Friday, January 20, 2012

Reading about the reading life, January 20, 2011

Just another small round-up of stories on things about reading and readers that I have found interesting. I read some of these a while back, but I did not get around to sharing them until now. As the saying goes, life (really) does trump blogging.

  • Aside from my native fluency in Spanish, and a very small barely working knowledge of French, I can't read in foreign languages. Thus, I am a reader who has to rely on translations if I want to read works from around the world. If I had unlimited time and wealth, going back to school to learn a few more languages, plus maybe spending some time abroad to immerse, would be my dream. In the meantime as I said, I have to look for translations for stuff I can't read in the original. I found this small piece about Indian publisher Seagull of interest. What they do is buy the English world rights for works and then translate them. From there, they then work to sell them in and out of India; University of Chicago distributes them in the U.S. Anyhow, the article also has some interesting tidbits about how the translation process works. Via Publishing Perspectives.
  • Here is a piece about the bestsellers in South America, specifically Chile and Argentina. The piece gives a small annotated list of titles and it briefly discusses a bit about the reading habits of both countries. From Chile, El escritor de epitafios by HernĂ¡n Rivera Letelier (The writer of epitaphs) sounds interesting to me. Unfortunately, according the WorldCat, which I used to get the book record, there are not too many places nearby that have the book for me to borrow. It may be a while before I get to it. Story via Publishing Perspectives
  • The Icelandic book market has some interesting quirks and issues. Well, they seem a bit quirky to me, but in reality a lot of it is a reflection of Iceland being a small nation with a small population, and a small, very educated population at that.  This item on the article's list caught my eye" Intellectualism is not a dirty word." Clearly very unlike the United States where more often than not Americans from the United States often take pride on their lack of erudition or just not being informed at the very least. If you are an intellectual in the United States, you are often seen as some academic egghead or a snob. Icelanders, while they may have other defects as the author mentions, do not have a problem with intellectuals. In fact, "erudition isn't considered to be a sign of elitism and snobbery but of education and intelligence." It sounds like it might be a good place to be a librarian. Via The Bookseller
  • Holy shit! Apparently there is a problem in Pakistan with students and other lower class people wanting to read "unethical, obscene and immoral literature." Gosh, they make it sound like it's such a bad thing that people may want to read some books. In other words, they are going through one of those "let's blame books and magazines for any social ills-real or perceived" stage. Favorite line from the article, in referring to these books, "give rise to many gender related issues in our society." Translation: folks may get ideas that sex and such could be fun, and lo and behold, heaven forbid if women read these, they may get uppity and kick our collective patriarchal asses. If nothing else, the books are competitively priced, so if you are in Pakistan, make a bee line for the bus stops. Via Daily Times (Pakistan). A hat tip to The Literary Saloon.
  • Joshua Kim at Inside Higher Ed has "8 Techie Ideas to Read More Books." The article does focus on reading more books, thus he does suggest going a bit lighter on magazines and newspapers, which are also forms of reading as far as I am concerned. The suggestions on online social media use and sharing what you are reading more are good. I certainly try to share what I read and comment on it, which I mostly do via my GoodReads page. These days, I will review or comment on a book more extensively in the blog if I took notes out of it or think it really is something I want to get my two readers to read. Otherwise, my GoodReads profile works out fine.

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