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Reading

James Patterson wants Amazon to do more to promote reading
November 20, 2014 | 7:16 am

Salon Magazine has an interview with bestselling author and literary franchise James Patterson that is refreshingly free of the anti-Amazon rhetoric that has characterized both institutions of late. At least they’re not currently trashing Amazon for what it’s doing. They’re complaining about what Amazon ought to be doing but isn’t. And I can’t say that I necessarily disagree. Patterson is planning to launch a new public awareness campaign to encourage reading, following on the heels of his $1 million in grants to bookstores. The campaign will include a TV ad featuring a public book-burning (a bit of a cliché,...

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow
November 19, 2014 | 10:25 am

snowWe had our first big snowfall of the year on Monday! And I was all ready, with new boots, a warm hat and fleecy mittens. The only aspect of my life that was hit hard? My reading life! One of the side effects of the loss of physical page turn buttons has been a dip in my reading as soon as mitten-and-glove weather hits, because I favour my iPhone when I am commuting, and you can't use it with be-mittened hands. I don't know if my snowy home makes it worth upgrading my Paperwhite to the Kindle Voyage, and I don't...

Must you finish every book you’re reading?
November 13, 2014 | 10:25 am

reading on a tabletI caught this provocative essay during my vacation and wasn't able to respond to it,  but since the fine folks at Book Riot are still talking it  I figure I am fair game to weigh in, even a few days late. The question: must you finish every book you're reading? The arguments Juliet Lapidos presents in the 'yes' camp are briefly, that finishing every book you read teaches you fortitude, persistence and respect. How can I rebut against that? With three words: life is too short. That's it. That's my answer. Life is too short to read bad books. On the 'fortitude...

Readers being ‘spread too thin?’
October 28, 2014 | 2:25 pm

readersHere's one I almost missed, from the fine, and prolific, folks at Book Riot. Josh Corman wrote last week about a topic I increasingly find myself relating to these days---the reader who is 'spread too thin.' We have differing definitions on what this means, I think. Corman explains his readerly anxieties thusly: "The problems isn’t that I haven’t had time to read or that I’ve let myself get wrapped up in other hobbies, work, distractions, etc. The issue is that I have so many quality choices and so much access to books that I’m paralyzed, unable to zero in on one...

Mintel research shows ebooks encourage reading
October 17, 2014 | 2:25 pm

eBooks should be more expensiveA just-published research study from Mintel, the London-headquartered consumer market research organization, demonstrates that ebooks are driving up reading levels in the UK. "One in four (26%) consumers who have bought an e-book in the past year say that they read more than they used to because e-books cost less than paperbacks, rising to as many as four in ten (38%) 16-24 year old-book owners," states the Mintel preamble. Cost seems to be one of the key grounds, as "over a third (36%) of UK book buyers buy both e-books and print books and 42% of these say that they...

Canada’s National Reading Campaign shows reading is good for your … body?
October 10, 2014 | 12:30 pm

infographic-reading-saves-lives Canada's National Reading Campaign has partnered with CBC to pull together an infographic to show the bodily benefits of reading, as if improving your mind wasn't reason enough. For most, I'm sure that point is obvious enough, but it's good to see - literally - graphic proof that a healthy mind means a healthy body - as well, apparently, as a healthier mindset and more socially responsible attitude....

Shock, horror: Techology doesn’t destroy reading habits, younger generation not cabbages
September 15, 2014 | 12:25 pm

reading habitsIn news that will come as no comfort to Jonathan Franzen and other Luddite technophobes, the Pew Research Internet Project has found that if anything, younger Americans are more likely to read books than their immediate seniors, have more respect for offline/dead-tree sources of knowledge, and are at least as involved with their local libraries as their elders. "Over three-quarters (77%) of younger Americans have a smartphone, and many also have a tablet (38%) or e-reader (24%)," says the Pew Research summary. "Despite their embrace of technology, 62% of Americans under age 30 agree there is 'a lot of useful, important...

Former GalleyCat Editor Dishes on Reading with Kids
August 19, 2014 | 12:17 pm

reading with kidsLaura Hazard Owen has a great review up at GigaOM on an intriguing new book on reading with kids, by former GalleyCat editor Jason Boog. The book, called 'Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age — From Picture Books to Ebooks and Everything in Between,' has strategies for reading with your kids, no matter what the medium. Boog proposes that not all reading is created equal. He proposes a reading style he calls 'Interactive Reading' where parents, well, guide the reading process through use of prompting questions, highlighting ways your child can identify with the characters and so on....

My new digital-age mantra: everything is improvable
August 13, 2014 | 4:25 pm

readingAn article came my way this morning which shook me out of my digital-age complacency. I had spent my morning RSS checking filtering out much more of the same old, same old. Case study: this GalleyCat write-up on a study which 'proves' that reading comprehension is better when students read paper texts as opposed to digital ones. With no offence to our friends at GalleyCat, this article was typical of many in this genre in that it presented its conclusion as a fait accompli---the study said that the old way was better, the end. So I was grateful to Nate at...

Karen Brodie joins UK Reading Agency
August 9, 2014 | 10:33 am

According to a press release, Karen Brodie, a former British Council senior official in the field of arts and literature, has just joined the UK literacy charity The Reading Agency as its new new head of publisher partnerships. The Reading Agency states that Brodie began her professional career in the rights departments of Harper Collins and Penguin before joining the civil service, where "for the last five years, she has lead strategic programmes and partnerships for the Iran team at the British Council and she has recently returned from a two-year posting in Istanbul as head of arts." At The Reading Agency,...

Books you know you’re never going to read
July 18, 2014 | 2:25 pm

booksOur friends at Book Riot have another fun booklist up today---Susie Rodarme writes about the 12 books she knows she's never going to read. From the article: "Obviously, if I don’t think I’m going to like a book, I won’t put it on my TBR; sometimes, though, there are books that are super-popular and thought very highly of and that look really good that I will unfortunately never get around to reading. And sometimes? Even though the books and I match on paper (heh), I just don’t want to read them, for reasons. Maybe irrational reasons. Probably irrational reasons." She thing goes...

Balanced Bibliophilocy: a new paradigm for reading
July 14, 2014 | 4:25 pm

e-booksOur friends at The Passive Voice linked to another of those tedious 'smell of paper' screeds the other day. You know the kind of article I mean: she bought a Kindle (for work! It's totally defensible!) but got seduced but the feature set and the convenience aspect, and the free public domain books and the one-clickiness of it all, and now she feels guilty. She is single-handedly killing the bookstores of the world, her ability to focus has gone out the window, her cat doesn't love her anymore and so on... And I got annoyed. And then I got bemused that...