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Book Spine Poetry

Book Spine Poetry is poetry made from the words on the spines of books.
posted by roaring beast on May 4, 2012 - 6 comments

"Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising." ~ Mark Twain

Don't judge a book by the ad on its cover. [Guardian.co.uk] Chalk it up as another brilliant innovation – or a sign of the impending apocalypse – as China Daily reports that publishers are making space on the front covers of books for advertising. Apparently the "first book to carry an advertisement" is an account of the famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma, written by his mother, which was published in March adorned with "the logo of a well-known Chinese textile manufacturer".
posted by Fizz on May 3, 2012 - 40 comments

Nook finds it's niche

Barnes and Noble is spinning off Nook into a subsidiary business after a $300M deal with Microsoft which gives the Redmond company a 17% stake, bringing an end to a patent dispute between the two companies and sending shares skyrocketing. Commentary from John Scalzi and Tobias Buckell. Meanwhile the Kindle Fire, Amazon's competitor to the Nook tablet, has grabbed over 50% of the Android tablet market.
posted by Artw on May 1, 2012 - 91 comments

Bye Bay Baby Bye Bay

Pirate Bay to be blocked By UK ISPs. "File-sharing site The Pirate Bay must be blocked by UK internet service providers, the High Court has ruled." [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Apr 30, 2012 - 400 comments

How to use printed books in the digital age

Ten gorgeous buildings made out of books. More views of some of them: Scanner — Book iglooTower of BabelCadiff/MillerArgument (with other book structures). Want to build your own? Order books by the yard from various outlets, some quite pricy, others more affordable: BookDecor, Half Price Books Outlet.
posted by beagle on Apr 30, 2012 - 20 comments

“They pay me absurd amounts of money,” he observes, “For something that I would do for free.”.

A Stephen King interview: by Neil Gaiman "I interviewed Stephen King for the UK Sunday Times Magazine. The interview appeared a few weeks ago. The Times keeps its site paywalled, so I thought I'd post the original version of the interview here. (This is the raw copy, and it's somewhat longer than the interview as published.) I don't do much journalism any more, and this was mostly an excuse to drive across Florida back in February and spend a day with some very nice people I do not get to see enough. I hope you enjoy it."
posted by Fizz on Apr 28, 2012 - 51 comments

Care and Feeding of Yer Books

Simple Techniques for the Repair and Maintenance of Books. [more inside]
posted by storybored on Apr 26, 2012 - 12 comments

Welcome to the Storyverse

Small Demons is a website that tracks the connections between people, places, and things in books. [more inside]
posted by sweetkid on Apr 24, 2012 - 13 comments

Dark things in the closet, literal and figurative

The Vulture ranks all of Stephen King's books from worst to best.
posted by mightygodking on Apr 24, 2012 - 300 comments

"A combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness"

Why Do Old Books Smell? [SLYT]
posted by quin on Apr 23, 2012 - 22 comments

Reading Markson Reading

Reading Markson Reading: ‘Exploring the mind, method and masterpieces of David Markson through the marginalia found on the pages of the books in his personal library.’ (previously: 1, 2)
posted by misteraitch on Apr 20, 2012 - 4 comments

"...for the next tour, I’ll either be calm and collected or nervous with a dangerously out-of-control boner."

The Awl: Nine Writers and Publicists Tell All About Readings and Book Tours
posted by zarq on Apr 12, 2012 - 18 comments

Apple and the Big Five

The U.S. has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five of the largest publishers, alleging a conspiracy to rig the pricing of e-books. Simon & Schuster, Hachette and HarperCollins have agreed to settle, though Macmillan, Penguin and Apple continue to contest the charges. Some background from WIRED: Bigger Than Agency, Bigger Than E-Books: The Case Against Apple and Publishers
posted by Artw on Apr 11, 2012 - 192 comments

"Perhaps in American cinema, women have typically been reduced to types like mom, girlfriend, or victim. But in the Y.A. books of our youth, they are far more complex, and more thoroughly drawn."

'The Atlantic Wire' kicks off its new YA For Grownups series with The Greatest Girl Characters of Young Adult Literature.
posted by box on Apr 9, 2012 - 54 comments

Hull 0, Scunthorpe 3

How can one describe it? For fuck’s sake, it is a quest saga and it has a talking horse. There are puns on the word ‘neigh’. Christopher Priest on the 2012 Clarke Award shortlist, the self-described "most prestigious award for science fiction in Britain".
posted by Hartster on Mar 29, 2012 - 226 comments

Getting wood

Romeyn Hough's American Woods is one of the most astonishing books of the late 19th century, a 14-volume set containing a thorough survey of the trees of the U.S., complete with thinly sliced samples of the wood of each tree. Complete sets of this mammoth undertaking are today rare and highly prized.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 28, 2012 - 4 comments

Louise Fitzhugh's "Harriet the Spy"

In December 1974, there was a memorial service at St. James Episcopal Church on Madison Avenue for Louise Fitzhugh, author and illustrator of Harriet the Spy, the groundbreaking children's novel that has sold 2.5 million copies since its publication in 1964. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Mar 26, 2012 - 45 comments

Rare and Unusual Images

recto|verso is a place where the staff of F.A. Bernett Books showcase some of the more spectacular, interesting, unusual and puzzling items they have come across. Discoveries of note include: Both Sides of Broadway, Then and Now, a building-by-building sequential photographic survey of the most famous street in America. The most influential graphic arts publication of late-1920s Tokyo, Gendai Shogyo Bijutsu Zenshu. Felix Vallotton’s Reinvention of the Woodcut, credited by many art historians of his time (and ours) as having modernized and revitalized the form in Western art. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Mar 25, 2012 - 5 comments

"Why is this book, 50 Shades of Grey, so popular?"

E.L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey started out as Master of the Universe, an adults-only Twilight fanfiction posted under the pseudonym Snowqueens Icedragon. The erotica re-imagining of Bella Swan as a 21-year-old college student and Edward Cullen as a 27-year-old billionaire -- with BDSM tastes -- was published by Australia's Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing in May 2011; names and details linking it to Stephenie Meyer's bestselling trilogy were changed (...for the most part). In recent months, the book has gone viral, selling more than 250,000 copies (over 90% in ebook format) and landing the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List. Last week, E.L. James sold republishing rights for the Fifty Shades trilogy to Vintage Books in a seven-figure deal. [more inside]
posted by changeling on Mar 15, 2012 - 97 comments

The Hacker Shelf

The Hacker Shelf is nice crowd-sourced guide to (legally) free books on various computational and mathematical subjects. The topics page gives you an idea of the breadth of material available.
posted by philipy on Mar 15, 2012 - 24 comments

Still a Fast Food Nation

Still a Fast Food Nation Eric Schlosser reflects on his book's tenth anniversary (previously).
posted by box on Mar 15, 2012 - 86 comments

"Anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic."

Flannery O'Connor reads A Good Man is Hard to Find aloud at Vanderbilt University in 1959. [more inside]
posted by jquinby on Mar 9, 2012 - 36 comments

Can I Give It -9999 Stars Instead?

The worst book that will ever exist in the history of all books! A collection of the internet's worst reviewers.
posted by kanata on Mar 2, 2012 - 68 comments

"You know what I think?" she says. "That people's memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive."

In Search of Haruki Murakami, Japan’s Great Postmodernist Novelist, a 50 minute documentary exploring Murakami's Japan and culture. via.
posted by timshel on Feb 26, 2012 - 28 comments

Twenty photos of beautiful private and personal libraries.

Twenty photos of beautiful private and personal libraries.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl on Feb 26, 2012 - 51 comments

Page by Page Review of the Back to the Future Novelisation

I present to you a page by page review of the novelisation of the movie Back to the Future. The review is being undertaken by Ryan North, who also creates the very funny webcomic Dinosaur Comics.
posted by Effigy2000 on Feb 25, 2012 - 26 comments

Penis Panic

The Great Singapore Penis Panic has been short-listed.
posted by Paul Slade on Feb 24, 2012 - 14 comments

You are, unfortunately, a fiction writer.

46 Things to Read and See for David Foster Wallace's 50th Birthday. The writer described as The Best Mind of His Generation would have turned 50 years old today. [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on Feb 21, 2012 - 26 comments

Beautiful bookshops

With Amazon slowly taking over the publishing world and bookstores closing left and right, things can sometimes seem a little grim for the brick and mortar booksellers of the world. Before they go completely, here's a list of the 20 most beautiful bookshops in the world.
posted by PeterMcDermott on Feb 17, 2012 - 30 comments

rip lnu

"rip lnu". So ends 13 months of the greatest pirate ebook site the world has ever known. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Feb 16, 2012 - 102 comments

"I’m curious about what will happen next."

"I always knew that Sugar was Cheryl, and that the anonymity was just a temporary experience, and it wasn’t going to be really who Sugar was in the end. I revealed myself to you. I only withheld one piece of pretty meaningless information: my name. But I showed myself to you." Dear Sugar of The Rumpus is revealed to be author Cheryl Strayed. [more inside]
posted by mokin on Feb 15, 2012 - 17 comments

Adding a sense of drama to the living room.

To expose a bookshelf is to compose a self. The Paris Review towards a history of bookshelves.
posted by shakespeherian on Feb 14, 2012 - 19 comments

California Dreamin'

California rejects top rate tax increase, removes all state funding for CA libraries. Funding cut for "literacy programs, InterLibrary Loans, and miscellaneous expenses such as librarian training programs and books." Library Journal goes into more of the technicalities.
posted by jaduncan on Feb 12, 2012 - 266 comments

The main thing about impersonation, Tom thought, was to maintain the mood and temperament of the person one was impersonating, and to assume the facial expressions that went with them.

The Composites - Literary characters imagned using police composition software
posted by The Whelk on Feb 9, 2012 - 42 comments

Your favourite childhood book, perhaps?

All the books in the world. Except one.
posted by jbickers on Feb 9, 2012 - 30 comments

Reviews of Bad Books

Nicole Cliff has been reviewing Classic Trash fiction for The Awl, with a recent exposition on Clan of the Cave Bear. Jeffrey Sconce reviewed 100 obscure and largely unloved books last year on Consumed and Judged, and shows no sign of slowing down. Pop Sensation profiles the cover of one, generally trashy, paperback, three times a week, (and includes a seemingly random quote from the book).
posted by latkes on Feb 8, 2012 - 19 comments

A single creature with the power of three beasts

If Nicholas Carr is right, and consuming words on a screen is a "more primitive way of reading," then the iPad is a little bit Neanderthal and a little bit Prometheus. Its potential for creative ways to interact with literature makes it more than just an e-reader. And while it took more than a year and a half since the iPad's launch, some publishers are beginning to experiment with that potential. Last year saw several forays into innovative literature apps, most notably T.S. Elliot's The Waste Land; Atlas Shrugged and On The Road also received the "enhanced" app treatment.
Laura Miller (Salon.com co-founder, NY Times Book Review columnist, author) and Maud Newton (writer and critic for The NY Times Book Review, Granta, The Awl) have both written extensively about digital reading and publishing and they've launched The Chimerist, tagline: Two iPad lovers at the intersection of art, stories, and technology. Newton writes: [more inside]
posted by not_the_water on Feb 7, 2012 - 20 comments

Bookstore cats

Bookstore Cats from Different Parts of the World [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Feb 4, 2012 - 78 comments

World Book Night USA

Hey! Do you like books? (Yeah...) Do you like free books? (Yeah!) Do you like giving books to friends and strangers and whomever? (Hell yeah!) Are you American? (I just said "hell yeah" didn't I?) Then sign up here! (Then what happens?) You can select from one of thirty books. (And?) They'll send you a box with twenty copies of one book which you can give to friends, strangers or enemies. (What's the catch?) There's no catch, it's World Book Night. [British edition previously on MeFi]
posted by Kattullus on Feb 4, 2012 - 39 comments

"...because there's nothing more tiring than reading long screeds of text on a computer screen."

"The more people 'pirate' a book, the better." [Guardian.co.uk] Multimillion-selling author, Paulo Coelho links with Pirate Bay.
posted by Fizz on Feb 1, 2012 - 67 comments

"If someone comes in and says they read a little of everything, they want the romance section."

25 Things I Learned from Opening a Bookstore.
posted by jeremy b on Jan 28, 2012 - 140 comments

Read twice, pass to your left.

A list of pothead novels.
posted by stinkycheese on Jan 28, 2012 - 61 comments

No, I DON'T want a bedtime story tonight

Smother Goose, an invaluable resource for anyone who was ever traumatized by a childhood "classic", covers everything from popular kids' books to bizarre movies, even that odd little song you had memorized as a kid. [more inside]
posted by misha on Jan 28, 2012 - 25 comments

Black... black... black... black... black... black... black... black... black... black... black... black... black... black... black... black... small pale dot... black... black... black...

Astronomical... the solar system in book form
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 28, 2012 - 24 comments

"There are many rights for which we should fight, but the right to protection from offense is not one of them."

Hari Kunzru: Reading The Satanic Verses in Jaipur: Why the novelist read from Salman Rushdie’s banned book The Satanic Verses to protest against the cancellation of Rushdie’s visit to the Jaipur Literature Festival.
posted by Fizz on Jan 23, 2012 - 8 comments

An academic review of 21 books on the financial crisis

Andrew Lo reviews 21 books on the financial crisis. In a 41-page paper, Andrew Lo, from the MIT Sloan School of Management, does a comparative review of 21 books about the financial crisis - some from academics and some from journalists and Secretary Paulson, looking for common threads. Tyler Cowen comments.
posted by falameufilho on Jan 22, 2012 - 30 comments

Diary of an Author: Woke up. Googled self.

Diary of an Author: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5.
posted by fings on Jan 22, 2012 - 28 comments

Top Ten books of famous authors

Top Ten Favorite Books from authors: Stephen King's 10 favorite books. David Foster Wallace's 10 favorite books. Sue Monk Kidd's 10 favorite books via the CS Monitor.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 20, 2012 - 52 comments

The Omnivore's dilemma

The Hatchet Job of the Year Award, sponsored by The Omnivore, is looking for 'the angriest, funniest, most trenchant book review of the last twelve months'. The shortlist includes Geoff Dyer on Julian Barnes ('excellent in its averageness'), Lachlan Mackinnon on Geoffrey Hill ('he is wasting his time and trying to waste ours') and Jenni Russell on Catherine Hakim ('if you should pass it in a bookshop, pick up a copy and drop it somewhere where nobody's likely to take an interest in it'). Mary Beard, another of the shortlisted candidates, insists that 'it's not actually a prize for skewering .. it's for honest as well as entertaining book reviewing, that isn't afraid to go beyond deference, to call a spade a spade'. [more inside]
posted by verstegan on Jan 17, 2012 - 21 comments

Storm in a tea state

Shakespeare's The Tempest banned by Arizona schools
posted by Artw on Jan 17, 2012 - 131 comments

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