Friday, March 18, 2016

Reading about the reading life, March 18, 2016 edition

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 found some interesting things this week, so I have enough to share a few with my four readers. So here we go.

  • I learned a bit about the history of Fat Men's Clubs. Apparently these were a thing in the lat 19th century and into the very early part of the 20th Century. The story comes via NPR. The article also mentions the book Fat History by Peter Stearns, which I will be adding to my TBR. The article also features some links to historical pieces on the topic.
  • Here is an essay on why we can't get Arabic books in the United States. As usual with stories about the U.S., a lot of it has to do with basic American ignorance. Story via The Millions.
  • Under what can only be described as fuckery, the estate of the late Harper Lee decided to kill the low cost paperback edition of the book, i.e. let it go out of print and then no longer allow it to be published. They claim it was the author's wish, but I highly doubt the old lady would want to deprive schools, who are the main buyers of the book in order to shove it down kids' throats teach it, of an affordable option. This is just clearly a greedy dick move from the heirs. Story via The Rumpus, and it has been reported in other places.  
  • Now in a follow up and apparent gesture of decency (or appeasement), Harper Collins, which publishes the trade paperback edition of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, is offering schools a sort of rebate. In essence, they can buy the trade paperback edition and get it for the mass paperback price. Story via Publishers Weekly
  • In cool news, a new manuscript by H.P. Lovecraft has been discovered. Apparently it is a piece that Houdini commissioned for Lovecraft to ghost write. Story via The Guardian.
  • I also learned that tough hombre Charlton Heston was a rare books collector, and it seems he had a predilection for Jane Austen. Go figure. Story via Fine Books and Collections blog.
  • And finally, Umberto Eco passed away back in February. Learn a bit about the book that inspired his novel The Name of the Rose. Story via Fine Books and Collections blog. 

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