Friday, March 15, 2013

Reading about the reading life, March 15, 2013

A few items I read a while back that I found interesting.

  • A very interesting overview of how Spanish and Latin American literature in translation is doing in China. Wow, the Chinese are reading our literature. How cool is that? The article features some nice photos of Chinese editions of these classics, which are neat to look at. Now, all we need to do is send them some Puerto Rican literature to add to their reading. Maybe start with some Enrique Laguerre, Luis Rafael S├ínchez, and Ana Lydia Vega among others. By the way, there is a shortage of translators from Spanish to Chinese. If I knew Chinese, I'd consider such a job, but the article says the work is notoriously underpaid. Oh well, this librarian can always dream a little. Story via the Global Times (China).
  • A while back, I was helping out a colleague at MPOW with some collection weeding (for my non-librarian readers, that is when libraries remove from the collections books that may be out of date, that have not circulated for a certain amount of time, or due to some other criteria) when we came across some books with some nice marbled paper. A pity the books had to go; they were beautifully crafted. Here, via the Fine Books & Collections blog, is a short piece on "Beautiful Marbled Papers." Yes, there are still people dedicated to that craft.
  • Via Book Riot blog, you can find some neat photos in "a Brief History of American Bookmobiles...in Pictures."
  • Via Irrawaddy Magazine, a story of a man who started out as a teacher and is now a bookseller in Burma. The best line for me from the article, when he is asked about the transition from teacher, which apparently is pretty well-regarded in Burma, to street vendor (how he started selling books) is this: "I believe there’s no shame in making an honest living." True words indeed. For me, book selling always seems like a viable career alternative, or rather, one I would not mind doing but sadly would not pay well, especially in this economy. Again, this librarian can dream a little.

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