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Wanna see some dirty books?

A researcher at St. Andrews University is using a tool called a densitometer to measure which pages in medieval manuscripts are the dirtiest, and therefore the most frequently read. The complete (and well-illustrated) study is available online from the Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Apr 24, 2012 - 12 comments

 

Less Wrong: The Best Textbooks on Every Subject

For years, my self-education was stupid and wasteful. I learned by consuming blog posts, Wikipedia articles, classic texts, podcast episodes, popular books, video lectures, peer-reviewed papers, Teaching Company courses, and Cliff's Notes. How inefficient! [...] What if we could compile a list of the best textbooks on every subject? That would be extremely useful.
Less Wrong, a community dedicated to rationality, is compiling a list of The Best Textbooks on Every Subject.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Mar 25, 2012 - 49 comments

BOOSH!

A Dramatic Reading of Justice League #1 (slyt)
posted by Artw on Feb 20, 2012 - 22 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

Bookstore cats

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

prepared reading for curious readers

Syllabi provides context and collects informative links for a wide variety of timely topics. The posts cover material ranging from The Mystery of Whales to The Violinists vs. the Stradivarius to The Finnish Approach to Education Reform. There are also regular roundups of good reads from the previous week. [more inside]
posted by lalex on Jan 30, 2012 - 10 comments

"I don't have a crystal ball."

Jonathon Franzen doesn't just hate ebooks - he thinks they are having a detrimental effect on the world. [more inside]
posted by Megami on Jan 30, 2012 - 263 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

Read all about it

Hubii is a map based newspaper browser. Filter by category, language, time or region or use the heatmap. [blog]
posted by unliteral on Jan 9, 2012 - 10 comments

"...to explore better ways to create and deliver the formal published record."

Have you seen the article of the future?
posted by iamkimiam on Jan 6, 2012 - 52 comments

“There are so many books. Always so many. They collide in my mind.” - Colum McCann

The Millions 2011: A Year in Reading. With 72 participants naming 214 books, it’s safe to say this has been our biggest and most high profile Year in Reading yet. Our participants included the current Poet Laureate, a longtime candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature, the reigning winners of the IMPAC and Pulitzer Prizes, two authors of books named The New York Times’ 10 Best of 2011, a recent inductee to the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and more Pushcart winners than I care to count. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Dec 23, 2011 - 12 comments

"In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy." ~William Blake

Winter Reads: [Guardian.co.uk] a new series matching the story to the season. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Dec 22, 2011 - 2 comments

For MetaFilter, in remembrance of so many happy hours--HR

Bookdedications is a collection of gift inscriptions found in used books. Some background from the blog's author.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 21, 2011 - 15 comments

Whatcha reading, Muncie?

What Middletown Read.
Robert and Helen Lynd's immersive studies of early 20th century Muncie, Indiana, published as Middletown (1929) and Middletown in Transition (1937), are classics of American sociology. Ball State's Center for Middletown Studies has created a database of the circulation records from the Muncie Public Library from 1891-1902, providing a rare glimpse of the reading habits of turn-of-the-century middle America. Slate examines the project and what it reveals.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Nov 17, 2011 - 7 comments

"The people I know who used to sit in the bathroom with pornography, now they sit in the bathroom with their IKEA furniture catalogue." ~Chuck Palahniuk

Is reading on the loo bad for you? [Guardian] Filthy habit or blameless bliss? A public health study by Ron Shaoul lifts the lid on toilet reading once and for all.
posted by Fizz on Oct 29, 2011 - 101 comments

"P.S. I would like to start with 'The Myths' by Robert Graves."

Christopher Hitchens responds to a nine-year-old's question: "What books should I read?"
posted by overeducated_alligator on Oct 12, 2011 - 92 comments

When two readers love each other very much, they raise a smaller reader

"It’s a mistake to rarify reading and put books out of reach."
posted by burnfirewalls on Aug 19, 2011 - 63 comments

Penny for your thoughts? Keep the change.

The Elusive Big Idea "It is no secret, especially here in America, that we live in a post-Enlightenment age in which rationality, science, evidence, logical argument and debate have lost the battle in many sectors, and perhaps even in society generally, to superstition, faith, opinion and orthodoxy. While we continue to make giant technological advances, we may be the first generation to have turned back the epochal clock — to have gone backward intellectually from advanced modes of thinking into old modes of belief."
posted by bitmage on Aug 16, 2011 - 92 comments

"Somebody should set up the ‘I Hate the I Hate Reading Page!"

We hate the “I Hate Reading’ Facebook page. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Aug 15, 2011 - 138 comments

There can be only ten.

NPR Books is asking people to vote for their ten favorite science fiction / fantasy books of all time. The list is exhaustive; the picking only ten is hard.
posted by mygothlaundry on Aug 3, 2011 - 521 comments

Read All About It

"Reading printed text is so fluid and transparent for most people that it's hard to imagine it feeling any other way. Maybe that's why it took a dyslexic designer to create a typeface that optimizes the reading experience for people who suffer from that condition." [more inside]
posted by rtha on Aug 3, 2011 - 62 comments

SCIENCE!

At the beginning of last month, Scientific American unveiled a new network of 47 blogs with 55 bloggers. Their latest posts can be found here. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 2, 2011 - 15 comments

Pork City

Christopher Walken reads Three Little Pigs on a British TV series in 1993.
posted by gman on Jul 14, 2011 - 28 comments

Reading as Therapy

Why do people read fiction anyway? -to deal with personal problems Jon Baskin wrote a review of a book by Timothy Aubry titled: Reading as Therapy Oprah, Amazon, and The Rise of Therapeutic Fiction.
posted by naight on Jul 14, 2011 - 39 comments

"Gatsby without greatness"

Roger Ebert has discovered the Macmillan Reader's Edition of The Great Gatsby and he hates it: "This is an obscenity." Macmillan Reader's Editions are geared to ESL students. Ebert thinks that's a really bad idea: "Why not have ESL learners begin with Young Adult novels? Why not write books with a simplified vocabulary? Why eviscerate Fitzgerald?" [more inside]
posted by CCBC on Jul 8, 2011 - 247 comments

Dripread

Most of us know and love Dailylit. But, if you want to have more current book snippets emailed to you every day, you can upload your own ebooks to Dripread. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jul 3, 2011 - 8 comments

The Stockholm Syndrome Theory of Long Novels

"Reading a novel of punishing difficulty and length is a version of climbing Everest for people who prefer not to leave the house. And people who climb Everest don’t howl with exhilaration at the summit because the mountain was a good or a well made or an interesting mountain per se, but because they’re overawed at themselves for having done such a fantastically difficult thing." Mark O'Connell writes about how he overcame his fear of reading very long novels.
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear on May 18, 2011 - 83 comments

I want my edition with the subtraction!

In such a world maximalism and encyclopedism, erudite puzzle solving, simply feel like more of the same, and the last thing we need is more of the same. We need less, much less: we don't need fiction that cultivates the general noise in a slightly more erudite way but still plays by the same rules; we need fiction that strips its way down to our nerves and fibers, simulations that are willing to cut enough of our context away to let us step outside of our own increasingly simulated experience and to see it afresh, from without.
Brian Evenson, "Doing Without," an essay in The Collagist
(could also be titled "How a mistake in the digital conversion of a Cory Doctorow novel [see difference between print and electronic version] made me think about the meaning of innovative literature") [more inside]
posted by jng on May 16, 2011 - 10 comments

As long as they're vertical, it's all right.

It's an odd thing that libraries – by tradition temples to the unfleshly – can sometimes seem such sexy places. The Secret life of libraries.
posted by shakespeherian on May 3, 2011 - 37 comments

2011 Pulitzer prize winners in easy-to-read format

Longform.org has the 2011 Pulitzer prize winners in unadorned plain text. Instructions below for using Longform with Instapaper. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 on Apr 19, 2011 - 15 comments

Recent research related to children

Recent research on children. (1) Brothers and sisters who argue a lot can improve their language, social skills and outcomes: Guardian article; paper on part of the research (pdf). (2) First findings from Understanding Society. Conclusions include: the unhappiness of children’s mothers with their partners affect children’s happiness, but this is not the case if children’s fathers are unhappy in their relationships; having older brothers or sisters doesn’t appear to affect children’s happiness, but having younger brothers or sisters is associated with less happiness; not living with both natural parents has a greater negative impact on a young person’s life satisfaction than their material situation. (3) A longitudinal study on people now in their forties has found that for these people reading is linked to career success, though not necessarily to better pay, whilst playing computer games and doing no other activities was associated with less likelihood of going to university. In particular, those who owned a ZX Spectrum or Commodore C64 were less likely to go to university. thinq interview with researcher. Guardian article. Telegraph article. (4) Poll about children’s attitudes to losing in sport. Press release. Data from children’s survey. Data from parents’ survey. (All three are PDFs.)
posted by paduasoy on Apr 9, 2011 - 30 comments

2010 Locus Recommended Reading

Locus, the Magazine of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Field, is the paper of record in the science fiction community. Every year the editors and reviewers at Locus publish a recommended reading list which includes novels, YA novels, first novels, anthologies and collections, related non-fiction, art books, and three types of shorter work (novellas, novelettes, and short stories). If you are at all interested in the current state of the SF&F genre you can't do better than Locus' yearly effort. The list for 2010 appears in the February issue. [more inside]
posted by Justinian on Feb 18, 2011 - 25 comments

Books On Demand

The library system in Polk County, Florida has installed vending machines so that patrons who aren't close to a library can still check books out.
posted by reenum on Jan 31, 2011 - 49 comments

LaForging New Alliances

LeVar Burton goes behind the scenes of Star Trek: The Next Generation in a Reading Rainbow episode. (via)
posted by spiderskull on Jan 21, 2011 - 52 comments

The once and future e-book

The once and future e-book: on reading in the digital age
posted by Joe Beese on Jan 4, 2011 - 122 comments

One million books to be given away

One million books will be given away for free in the UK & Ireland as part of World Book Night. Any adult can apply to receive a box of 48 copies of their favorite from a list of 25 titles, by the likes of John le Carre and Toni Morrison, and give them away as they please. The ambition is to roll out the idea worldwide in future years if it proves a success in the UK.
posted by philipy on Dec 2, 2010 - 27 comments

The Suck Fairy

The Suck Fairy. "The Suck Fairy is an artefact of re-reading. If you read a book for the first time and it sucks, it’s nothing to do with her. It just sucks. Some books do. The Suck Fairy comes in when you come back to a book that you liked when you read it before, and on re-reading—well, it sucks. You can say that you have changed, you can hit your forehead dramatically and ask yourself how you could possibly have missed the suckiness the first time—or you can say that the Suck Fairy has been through while the book was sitting on the shelf and inserted the suck." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 30, 2010 - 168 comments

Everything about Science!

Joanne loves science! And science books (yt). via Science Cheerleader. Or maybe vice versa.
posted by xowie on Sep 23, 2010 - 4 comments

Arthur's Classic Novels, his Love of Mankind and the Internet

Arthur's Classic Novels has 4000 free ebooks, no registration, nicely organized by author and topics: great old Science Fiction magazines l plentiful online education with 650 books for doctors l a vast collection of famous novels l short stories l by women l Buddhist Scriptures, including The Buddhist Bible, a fave of Jack Kerouac l magazines online l stories by Robert Sheckley l The Autobiography of Charles Darwin l huge collection of fairy tales l philosophy l P. G. Wodehouse l vintage technology l Oscar Wilde l Mark Twain l Rudyard Kipling l George MacDonald l the Koran l a collection of eText resource links. About Arthur Wendover. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Sep 16, 2010 - 33 comments

What's your position?

Sitting, lying or standing: what's the pole position for reading? Both the Guardian and Abebooks want to know? AbeBooks wonders if it's weird to read lying on your stomach?
posted by Fizz on Sep 7, 2010 - 58 comments

Reading Around The World

A photo essay by Steve McCurry of people reading books all over the world.
posted by Fuzzy Monster on Aug 23, 2010 - 17 comments

LeVar Burton never saw it coming

Modern drinking games are often crafted around movies or television, leaving dry those with literary ambitions. Now you avid readers can get in on the fun! (via) [more inside]
posted by Korou on Aug 7, 2010 - 95 comments

Ultimate reading lists

Five Books claims to make you an instant expert, which it may or may not. What it does do is interview an important thinker every day about a topic, and have them select five books on the subject. The results are often eccentric and usually fascinating. Some samples: Rebecca Goldstein on reason's limitations; John Timoney on policing; Calvin Trillin on memoirs, Marcus du Sautoy on the beauty of math, Judith Herrin on Byzantium, Jonathan Haidt on happiness, and lots more, including five books on puppeteering, Nabokov, books for kids, moral philosophy, video games, terrorism, the enemies of Ancient Rome, and cookbooks.
posted by blahblahblah on Aug 3, 2010 - 34 comments

John Gray on science fiction

War of the words - Science fiction was once driven by a faith in human ability to change the world. These days, the genre seeks to expose the illusions of everyday life. cf. near-future science fiction [1,2] & radical presentism [3] (via mr)
posted by kliuless on Jul 17, 2010 - 56 comments

You see all Yoknapatawpha in the dying last of day beneath you.

The writer has—has been stricken with the—the passion and beauty of life, the world, and a—a demon-driven need to—to express that, to put it down on paper or cut it into marble or into music, and with that foreknowledge that he has only a limited time to do it, he may be dead tomorrow—he's got to do it all while he can still breathe, and it's a—a desire, a need, to put the whole history of the human heart into any and every word, every paragraph that he writes, and the obscurity comes from a belief which I hold, that—that there is no such thing as "was."
In the late 1950s William Faulkner was writer-in-residence at the University of Virginia. Extensive recordings of readings, reflections, and classes are now online. NPR summarizes. [more inside]
posted by jjray on Jul 15, 2010 - 15 comments

Navigating the Post-Secular

John Milbank and Katherine Pickstock are interviewed about Radical Orthodoxy [more inside]
posted by superiorchicken on Jul 4, 2010 - 32 comments

Text 2.0

Using eye tracking software, text can respond to your gaze.
posted by phrontist on Jun 17, 2010 - 18 comments

Imagine a gym shoe stamping on a human face forever

Why are so many recent Young Adult novels set in nightmarish futuristic dystopias? Because they're just like high school. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jun 8, 2010 - 84 comments

The Book Tower

Book owners have smarter kids
posted by Artw on Jun 4, 2010 - 114 comments

Reading (and Typing) in Public

Last August (2009), the "ephemeral artists" of Nothing Happened Here staged a mobile public reading event, meandering around the town of San Luis Obispo, CA with The Reading Chair, and a group of folks reading a variety of stories, poems and tales. The group has planned Typing in Public to take place tomorrow (May 15, 2010), in the same little town. The event is primarily focused on people writing on typewriters around town, but people can also share comments via Twitter, Flickr, or texting the event coordinators. To spark some inspiration, the group has received submissions from a variety of people, including Gerald Casale for Devo, Paul Frommer writing in Na'vi (with translation to English), Dr. James J. Duderstadt, President Emeritus, University Professor of Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, writing on the library as the poster child of the it revolution, and plenty more. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 14, 2010 - 8 comments

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