Saturday, March 31, 2018

Reading about the reading life: March 31, 2018 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). 

Welcome to a special Saturday edition of "Reading about the reading life." Let's see what we have for this week.

  • According to science, you should be reading more. Among many reasons, it could help you live longer. Story via Inc
  • Meanwhile, if the Pendejo In Chief could be thanked for anything it's that feminist bookstores are doing more business and selling more books as they resist him and the Party of Stupid. The most uptick in sales is in large cities, where most of the remaining feminist identified bookstores can be found. Story via Publishers Weekly
  • Speaking of feminist bookstores, Lit Hub has a bookstore interview article with Cafe Con Libros, a feminist community bookstore in Brooklyn, New York City. 
  • Also via Lit Hub, if you got some money to burn, and you like books, really like books, well, here are 25 very expensive books you could buy on the Internet if so inclined.
  • To consider, greeting cards are often full of cliches, but it turns those cliches can be meaningful and even helpful for some people. Story via Aeon.
  • Wallet Hacks has one of those articles that librarians often hate, the dreaded "where can you donate your used and/or old books." So once again, allow this librarian to clarify a few things:
    • "Local libraries love receiving donations." If as the article states, they are in good condition, and of recent interest, we will probably at least consider it. For public libraries, donations often go to the Friends of the Library book sale for fund raising. So don't get illusions your donation will end up in the library collection. Odds are good it will not. And no, libraries do NOT want old encyclopedias, Reader's Digest crappy books, old National Geographics, or anything with mold. Those will probably just get tossed out, and we will curse you for laying that work on us. 
    • "Just like libraries, schools and universities are often looking for new material for their students." Some poor public schools, maybe, and they still do not want your old 40 years old encyclopedia. Universities I can pretty much guarantee do not actively look for donations unless they are actually new materials, preferably that can be used for a class, or maybe something seriously valuable they could add to their Special Collections (big if). Old textbooks? Do not bother. Rules for libraries as above apply even more to academic libraries. We do not want your old shit. We are even more strict on what we may or not take as a donation, especially since academic libraries rarely if ever have a way to sell donations like public libraries often do. 
    • The other suggestions vary in degree of usefulness, so as the saying goes, your mileage may vary. 
  •  Via Cultural Front, a short piece on Black men, personal libraries, and mentoring. The post is part of a series, and there is a link to read more too. A hat tip to Max Macias (@MaxMacias on Twitter). 
  • Atlas Obscura has an article on book towns. The article also highlights a book on the topic. 
  • If you have an interest in religious texts, Open Culture reports that Princeton has digitized 70,000-plus religious texts, and you can read them for free.
  • Via Scholastic, a report that James Patterson "will personally donate $2 million to teachers to build classroom libraries this year, in the fourth year of his School Library Campaign."
  • And speaking of generous people, Dolly Parton's book foundation just donated their 100th million book. Story via Signature.
  • Pew Research reports that nearly one in five Americans now listen to audiobooks. However, for now, print books still hold on as most popular format. I personally would listen to more audiobooks were it not for the fact that my local public library's selection of audiobooks is pretty poor (a contrast to other areas where they are pretty good). 
  • And to wrap up this week, apparently there is a new trend in fiction about chefs, and that is chefs behaving badly and being overall assholes. Story via The Booklist Reader. However, this is probably not far from reality. Various celebrity chef nonfiction books like Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential (link to my review) DO present chefs as assholes. Not to mention in recent news celebrity chefs have been revealed to be major assholes. Here is a small list of chef and restauranteur assholes, and if you look online, you will find more. So as you can see, fiction here is just reflecting reality.

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