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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

Ok, you guys are dead to me.

Life imitates art.
posted by Christ, what an asshole on May 4, 2010 - 26 comments

Legality and Ethics in downloading e-books

On the ethics of illegally downloading e-books; a Teleread essay full of interesting links about these modern e-reading times. Inspired in part by this New York Times Ethicist column, and brought to my attention by this ask.metafilter question.
posted by Greg Nog on Apr 7, 2010 - 159 comments

Hwaet!

Anglo-Saxon Aloud: Daily readings (and podcasts) from the Complete Corpus of Anglo Saxon Poetry, presented by Prof. Michael Drout, Wheaton College. For those that like to read along, the Corpus presented in text (no translation, though).
posted by Chrischris on Mar 20, 2010 - 18 comments

Picture Book Report

Picture Book Report is an extended love-song to books. Fifteen illustrators will reach out to their favorite books and create wonderful pieces of art in response to the text that has moved them, shaped them, or excited them. From sci-fi to children’s books to fantasy to serious novels, we’ll cover them all. For three weeks out of every month there will be a new illustration every day from one of us along with our thoughts, process, anything we can come up with. Together we will try to excite readers both new and old and capture some of that magic of storytelling.. [more inside]
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew on Feb 15, 2010 - 12 comments

"It's simply very easy to subordinate oneself to a worldview that's supportive of one's own interests."

A reading by Wallace Shawn: "I like to be reminded of these poor people, the 'unobtrusives', and then, I like to be reminded of my lack of interest in them." [C-SPAN video player] (Previously: 1, 2) [more inside]
posted by benzenedream on Dec 23, 2009 - 71 comments

where books come to life

A beautiful ad for the New Zealand Book Council. (SLYT, via)
posted by lalex on Nov 28, 2009 - 28 comments

your favorite literary writer sucks

This is what the cultural elite wants us to believe: if our writers don't make sense, or bore us to tears, that can only mean that we aren't worthy of them. [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Nov 26, 2009 - 143 comments

Edit, undo me

"Meanwhile, down in Vaginaland, Mr Condom's beginning to feel a bit iffy. He's overheating. For some reason, the shagging seems to be twice as fast this evening, and he grimaces as he gets flung willy-nilly in and out of the pink tunnel. He starts getting friction burns, hanging onto Bobby's stiff penis for dear life, headbutting Georgie's cervix at 180 beats per minute. 'Help me!' he yells in the darkness, feeling himself melting."
This year's worst sex. [NSFW or post-turkey family reading] [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Nov 25, 2009 - 44 comments

Faster. Faster. FASTER!

Spreeder is a free speed-reading training tool. Paste in your desired text, tell it how many words per minute, and hit play. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Oct 19, 2009 - 47 comments

The Book I Read

Nina Sankovitch is about to finish reading a book a day for a year. She not only reads them, she reviews them too. "You can’t go from ‘Little Bee,’ by Chris Cleave, which is about this young woman who witnesses torture and herself is a victim of abuse in Nigeria — a really great book, but you’re just crying or your stomach is clenched — to another book like it the next day,” she said. “If I read a book like that every day, I would have collapsed a long time ago.” Other 365 day projects have included this, this, and this.
posted by Xurando on Oct 13, 2009 - 133 comments

Wonder what this will do for book sales?

Bin Laden's Reading List for Americans [more inside]
posted by up in the old hotel on Sep 15, 2009 - 50 comments

But you don't have to take my word for it.

Whether you grew up checking out books like Louis the Fish and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie from the library every week, or you just know Steve Horlick's iconic theme song, you're probably familiar with Reading Rainbow, which ends its 26-year run today. [more inside]
posted by uncleozzy on Aug 28, 2009 - 67 comments

An ingenious device for avoiding thought...

The brain's plasticity has some neuroscientists worried about what the internet will do to reading - and to humanity. [more inside]
posted by smoke on Aug 13, 2009 - 64 comments

Suggestion

I've just finished reading ____________. Type in the name of the book you've just finished, and The Book Seer will provide recommendations for your next read.
posted by plexi on Aug 9, 2009 - 68 comments

...I didn't actually read the link...

It’s only natural that if you wish to present yourself as a well-read person, a certain degree of complete bullshit is required. There’s no shame in lying about what you’ve read. There’s only shame in getting caught. Then you look like a doofus, and an illiterate one at that... How to lie about books.
posted by Artw on May 28, 2009 - 73 comments

Infinite Summer

Infinite Summer - "The Challenge: Read Infinite Jest over the summer of 2009" [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on May 21, 2009 - 118 comments

Readernaut

Readernaut. Share your reading experience by writing notes, tracking progress, and engaging in meaningful discussions with friends.
posted by chunking express on May 6, 2009 - 23 comments

What are you reading, charming writer?

What are writers reading? An eclectic mix of authors answer the perennial question. [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on Apr 21, 2009 - 10 comments

Storyreading

A guide to Storyreading. "For over ten years now, various friends and I have been getting together on occasion to read stories aloud to each other. This activity—graced with the unlovely but utilitarian name "story reading"—can be a great deal of fun, but can also be rife with pitfalls of various sorts. This guide is an attempt to help others to run story readings. Note that reading stories is different from—and, generally, much easier than—telling stories; while people do occasionally tell stories at these gatherings (and it usually goes over well), that's not the primary emphasis...The origins of our approach to story readings are lost in the mists of antiquity. The idea may have sprung fully-fledged from a conversation I had with DH about a Delany essay called "On Pure Storytelling"; or it may've been derived from MK's reading The Princess Bride aloud, which in turn may've been inspired by folks at Yale who were doing much the same thing. Whatever the history, it's clear that other groups—notably one in Boston—have been having similar sorts of readings for at least as long as we have." [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Mar 13, 2009 - 19 comments

Telling tales

You say Orwell, Tolstoy and Joyce, but actually it's Rowling and Grisham... Anyway if you are a chap, just make sure you put away that Clarkson before your date arrives.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 5, 2009 - 52 comments

Hey, some of us are reading here.

Readability is a wonderful bookmarklet that strips away all the surrounding cruft on a page so you can focus on the content.
posted by jragon on Mar 3, 2009 - 35 comments

Fetish of ambition

"... many critics and editors, especially male ones, make a fetish of "ambition," by which they mean the contemporary equivalent of novels about men in boats ("Moby-Dick," "Huckleberry Finn") rather than women in houses ("House of Mirth"), and that as a result big novels by male writers get treated as major events while slender but equally accomplished books by women tend to make a smaller splash." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Feb 24, 2009 - 95 comments

It is impossible - and unnecessary - to grapple with every 'must read' of the literary canon

John Updike died, have you read his books? Who has time where there are a 1000 novels to read yet! James Delingpole argues that it is impossible - and unnecessary - to grapple with every 'must read' of the literary canon. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jan 31, 2009 - 49 comments

Screen Literacy

People of the Screen : "Digital literacy’s advocates increasingly speak of replacing, rather than supplementing, print literacy. What is “reading” anyway, they ask, in a multimedia world like ours? We are increasingly distractible, impatient, and convenience-obsessed—and the paper book just can’t keep up. Shouldn’t we simply acknowledge that we are becoming people of the screen, not people of the book?"
posted by dhruva on Jan 16, 2009 - 31 comments

Nietzsche on your Nokia

Need a little Tolstoy while you're waiting in line? How about some Mark Twain on the subway? Booksinmyphone puts - surprise! - books in your phone, for free.
posted by desjardins on Dec 31, 2008 - 21 comments

Read me a story.

Something for a kid you know, or your own inner child. Speakaboos offers online stories with the written word below the illustrations, as if read from a book: fables, nursery rhymes, fairy tales, folk tales, lullabies. You can watch the stories without registering. You will have to sign-up (for free) for the future function of recording your own "that will allow kids and parents to record their own voices reading (or singing!) their favorite story, song, or nursery rhyme." Christmas stories. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Dec 15, 2008 - 10 comments

Magazines + Google = Neato

New York Magazine? Popular Science? The Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists? Ebony? Every issue, every page, back into the mists of history. [more inside]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Dec 9, 2008 - 46 comments

'Where Forgotton Books are Remembered'

The Neglected Books Page
posted by anastasiav on Dec 5, 2008 - 13 comments

Will success spoil Nate the Great?

It happened to Clifford. It happened to Little Bear. It happened to Harold and his Purple Crayon, and Curious George. Now, Moe Greene productions presents, Nate the Great. I don't want to begrudge my favorite children's book authors a fat paycheck, BUT... [more inside]
posted by rikschell on Nov 30, 2008 - 32 comments

free reading, writing and arithmetic resources

EduChoices offers some good free stuff online: 25 Places to Read Free Books Online l 50 Online Writing Websites for New Writers l Ranking of 20 Universities that Offer Free Courses Online (with links to the free courses), as well as information about university courses etc. l Great Reference Sites Other Than Wikipedia l Free Linux Tutorials for Beginners l Useful Online Calculators For Almost Every Educational and Life Need. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Nov 3, 2008 - 7 comments

Online Literacy Is a Lesser Kind

Online Literacy Is a Lesser Kind. Testing shows people "read" online text much differently than printed text. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Sep 20, 2008 - 75 comments

You wanna rock 'n' roll, or you wanna throw stuff?

Last weekend, (22-24 August 2008) saw the fantastic Reading Festival take place (dodgy timeline). Emerging from the National Jazz Festival in 1961, it mutated into the National Jazz, Blues and Rock Festival festival in the 70s, and on into the eclectic festival it is today. My personal faves were 1989 and 1992, but the best moment was seeing Meatloaf bottled off stage in 1988! Due to the combined force of the BBC and the interwebs, most of this year's performances - many complete - are available online for your delictation... [more inside]
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar on Aug 27, 2008 - 19 comments

What Book Got You Hooked?

What book got you hooked? For Scarlett Johansson, it was Fantastic Mr. Fox. For Stephen Colbert, it was Swiss Family Robinson. Neil Patrick Harris? Bridge to Terebithia. And it was Franny and Zooey for Ira Glass. These and dozens of other celebs have shared their answer to this question with First Book, a charity that has distributed more than 60 million free and low cost books to children to spur their interest in reading. What book got you hooked? (Via the always fantastic Get Rich Slowly)
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Aug 4, 2008 - 185 comments

Moby Dick? Middlemarch? Jane Eyre?

Humiliation: Which book are you most embarrassed to admit that you have never read? Several "respectable" authors answer the question at the Ways With Words festival. (single-link Telegraph post)
posted by fiercecupcake on Jul 28, 2008 - 260 comments

Internet Literacy

When is reading reading? Or, rather, when is it good for you? The New York Times looks at how the internet is changing the ways we think and how we learn.
posted by ztdavis on Jul 27, 2008 - 66 comments

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Is Google Making Us Stupid? "My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski." [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Jun 10, 2008 - 85 comments

Swap books; read more.

You may have heard that reading is in a slow decline (previously). We now know that such reports were either exaggerated, or at least statistically questionable. On the flip-side of all this is the fact that reading as an activity has never been more accessible (or thrifty!) considering the number of reputable book swap programs available on the internet. There's no excuse now! [more inside]
posted by tybeet on May 30, 2008 - 48 comments

The Essential Man's Library

100 Must-Read Books (for dudes) Men just have different ... needs ... than women, so apparently they need to read different books as well. However (as a chick myself) I tend to check this sort of thing out in a futile but ongoing attempt to figure out men. Hmmph. Men. Go figure ....
posted by kd on May 14, 2008 - 89 comments

Readers' Travels

I know a man who once went to Sioux City, not one of the world’s leading destinations, precisely because he had never been there before. More than a decade later he still talks about the experience, from the Sergeant Floyd obelisk to the dog track of North Sioux and the meat packing plant converted to a shopping mall. The same impulse explains a non-specialist’s reading a history of Byzantine iconography or a survey of Australian wildlife. Both offer a break in daily life and an enlargement of our sense of wonder and possibility. That awareness can provide a sense of transcendence, and connection, or even the spark of divine discontent that leads people to change their lives.
Reading as Vacation, an essay by J. D. Smith and Subway Reader, pictures of people who read while using public transportation.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 6, 2008 - 17 comments

Reports of Reading Decline Greatly Exaggerated?

Are people reading less? Government survey says: yes. Declines in how much and how well people read “are adversely affecting this country's culture, economy, and civic life as well as our children's educational achievement.” Also the cause of poor test scores. Steve Jobs agrees: Kindle DOA because nobody reads books anymore. WaPo says 1 in 4 persons read no books in 2006. And children didn't keep reading after they got through Harry Potter, either. So literacy's in a long slow decline.
But wait. [more inside]
posted by cogneuro on Feb 21, 2008 - 122 comments

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