Friday, June 12, 2015

Reading about the Reading Life: June 12, 2015

Welcome to another edition of "Reading about the reading life" here at The Itinerant Librarian. This is where I collect stories about reading and the reading life. Basically, these are items related to reading, maybe writing and literacy, that I find interesting and think my four readers might find interesting as well with a little commentary.As with other features I do on this blog, I do it when I have time or feel like it. Comments are always welcome (within reason). 

I have not done one of these in a while, and I would rather do this now then look at the bad economy. This week we have a combination of older things I have been saving and some more recent things. So, let's get on with it.

  • A first edition of The Hobbit got auctioned off for a lot of money a week ago. Story via BBC. 
  • Independent bookstores seems to be making a comeback. Story via The Christian Science Monitor. Now, you have to admit there is a touch of irony here. Borders and Barnes & Noble did their best to wipe out the independents. Then those two behemoths were mostly wiped out by Amazon (Borders is gone, and Barnes and Noble is often seen as gasping for air). And now, in spite of Amazon, independents are still surviving and in some cases thriving. Personally I prefer to shop at bookstores. I like seeing and browsing what I want to buy before I buy it among other reasons for my preference.
  • On the somewhat ridiculous front, Salon gets it on with the Book Riot bloggers regarding literary pissing matches and fancy book lists. It's one of those debates that get a lot of people, including some librarians, to clutch their pearls and get the vapors. For me, as a book blogger, it's not something I give two hoots about, but the story made the rounds and so I am posting it here as is. 
  • In other news, recently revealed documents give us a look at Osama Bin Laden's book shelf, the books he (likely) read in his compound. Among the books listed are books on how to hack elections electronically. Article via TruthOut, which includes links to the full book list. By the way, the book mentioned, Black Box Voting, can (as of this posting) be downloaded to read for free. Link for that is also in the article.
  • Bill Gates also recently revealed his summer reading list for this year.
  • Ever thought how books get shelved in bookstores? Yes, there are rules for that, and more. Learn about that in this piece out of The Atlantic.
  • I do not collect antiquarian books or such, but I do find reading about that trade interesting. But if you want to get into that endeavor, The Art of Manliness has a guide to help you start and get inspired.

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