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Posts tagged Classics

Lovereading’s guide to the world’s most popular books – and a few surprises
December 3, 2014 | 1:27 pm

TheMostPopularBooksofAllTime_5284b9a651a5a-640x4278 UK book discovery and selection site Lovereading has developed this striking - though pretty conjectural - infographic of the most popular books of all time, based on  number of copies sold, translations made, and editions printed. For some titles, especially the Quran and the Bible, these figures are certainly going to be somewhat off target, even more so since the data is just over a year old, but the general picture is clear. I'd really hope against hope that the data on the Quotations from Chairman Mao or The Da Vinci Code is off though....

Revisiting the Magic Mountain in Davos
March 18, 2014 | 2:25 pm

Davos in Switzerland is one of the cities lucky - or unfortunate- enough to be canonized by a 20th-century classic of intellectual and cultural crisis. Thanks to The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann put Davos on the map alongside James Joyce's Dublin, T.S. Eliot's London, Andrei Bely's Petersburg and Franz Kafka's Prague as one of the capital cities of early modernism, and helped its transition from a 19th-century health spa for tuberculosis patients to its modern status as a mecca for high-level [pun intended] intellectual, political, and economic debate. At a conference there last week, I had a chance to touch...

Morning Roundup: E-Books and print bundling; the copyright monopoly; more
September 16, 2013 | 9:03 am

Video Isn't Breaking the Internet, the Industry Giants Are (GigaOM) Video isn’t breaking the web, the way that the web’s biggest players are trying to optimize their costs at the expense of the best consumer experience is. *** At What Point Will the Next Generation Kill the Copyright Monopoly Altogether? (TorrentFreak) For teenagers today, the copyright monopoly is something that the establishment uses to punish them for enjoying culture and science, to censor their protests and voices, and to prevent their art from reaching an audience. As these people grow older and come into policymaking positions, at what point will they just kill the...

Movie Review: Disrespect for the classics in Arnon Goldfinger’s ‘The Flat’ (2011)
July 2, 2013 | 11:01 am

The Flat "The Flat" is a charming 2011 documentary I recently watched on Netflix. The film, by writer-director Arnon Goldfinger, centers around the flat (i.e., the apartment) of his late grandmother, which over the course of the film, the family empties following her death. During this process, they uncover a pile of old magazines that highlight an element of his grandparents' past that they were not expecting—it concerns their exit from Nazi Germany prior to the Holocaust. [caption id="attachment_88851" align="alignright" width="125"] Arnon Goldfinger[/caption] I won't spoil the surprise, because it's nicely done. But what made me want to share this film here on TeleRead...

Apple awarded patent for digital page turning
November 18, 2012 | 5:15 pm

Here I go, turn the page. On the NY Times Bits blog, Nick Bilton gleefully reports that the patent office has seen fit to award Apple a design patent on, of all things, the digital page turn used in iBooks. Bilton uses this as proof of the ridiculousness of the current patent system, as well as a reminder of the obnoxiousness of Apple’s recent patent litigation practices. But is this patent really as silly as it looks? As some people point out in the comments under Bilton’s article, the patent is narrower than Bilton makes it seem—it doesn’t cover any page turns,...

Of reading, classics, and guilty pleasures
June 24, 2012 | 5:22 pm

image138[1]Here’s an amusing little blog post from the New York Times about reading and guilty pleasures. It seems to be saying that people feel guilty about reading modern (allegedly inferior) stuff they like instead of reading all those old hard-to-plow-through “classics” that (they feel) aren’t much fun to read. The article is kind of amusing because the way it starts, by questioning whether one genre can or should be considered inferior to another, you assume it’s going to say that modern stuff isn’t necessarily any worse than older stuff—then it takes a screeching 180-degree turn when it suggests that,...

Page-turning animation is popular for e-readers
May 13, 2012 | 8:17 pm

You wouldn’t think that you would find page-flipping on tablets. But many e-reading apps have it. iBooks has a page-turn animation, which it actually lifted (along with its wooden bookshelf display) from the iPhone e-reader “Classics”. Instapaper recently added page-flipping as an option instead of scrolling. Flipboard uses its own stylized page-flip, too (from which it takes the “Flip” part of its name, come to think of it). So why do developers use it so often? Because readers seem to like it. “Pagination is obviously an artificially bolted-on construct on the iPad and iPhone,...

Classic literature: ‘Boring’ or relevant?
January 25, 2012 | 9:45 pm

old-booksI came across a rather interesting pair of posts on BookRiot today. Cassandra Neace opined that there’s no point in reading “the classics” anymore, because they are essentially boring—no four-letter words or sex and violence (because those classic writers were far too couth to include any such things), and too many dead white males. (Ah, how Roger Mifflin would cringe.) Amanda Nelson wrote a longer and amusing rebuttal, pointing out that a lot of classics became classics because they pushed the boundaries of couth for their day. (Indeed, some of them, such as Huckleberry Finn, continue to be controversial...

Gollancz announces plan to digitize 5,000 out of print science fiction and fantasy novels
July 30, 2011 | 11:25 am

When news broke earlier this month that the publisher Gollancz had stepped up to sponsor an all-digital third edition of the "Encyclopedia of Science Fiction," an executive hinted that it was part of a bigger, profit-minded plan to be announced soon. This week the publisher announced SF Gateway, which will launch in September with over 1,000 classic and out of print SFF novels in ebook form, with plans to offer 5,000 titles by 2014. From The Guardian: A complete list of the authors already signed up – they're negotiating with many more – is here (warning: PDF). Tanith Lee is...

Booksurfers adds new life to classic public-domain books
July 11, 2011 | 1:15 pm

Book Surfers Treasure IslandThe Literary Platform has a look at a new publishing project called “Booksurfers”. Booksurfers e-books consist of classic, public-domain works (such as Treasure Island or The Wizard of Oz) paired and hypertextually interlinked with a newer work based on the older one. The article goes into further detail about the ways the narrative is interwoven, and how the publishing company behind it hopes that this will get kids more interested in reading the classics. But more interesting to me is the way that this shows, once again, that there is still current value in the public domain—even for...

HarperCollins announces iBooks and Nook editions of “I Can Read” series
July 7, 2011 | 8:40 am

The publishers' long-running line of early childhood reading books, featuring characters such as the Berenstain Bears, Frog and Toad, and Splat the Cat, have been converted into digital versions with professional narration and word highlighting. The ebook editions are only avaiable through Apple and Barnes & Noble. Here's more info from their press release: HarperCollins Children's Books announced today the launch of the I CAN READ program on Apple's iBookstore and Barnes & Noble's NOOK Bookstore. I CAN READ is the first complete early reader program available digitally, with eighty titles out now and many more to come. I CAN READ...

Microsoft patents virtual page-turning
July 11, 2010 | 2:56 pm

courier-page-curl Here’s a weird bit of news. In a patent application filed in January, 2009, Microsoft laid claim to the idea of virtual page-turning, the way iBooks does it—creating a visual facsimile of a turning page, complete with transparency to see through to the words on the back of the page as you turn it. Obviously, Microsoft originally intended to use this with its Courier tablet, which it recently axed. But could Microsoft go after Apple for infringement if this patent is granted? I find it hard to believe that the patent would stand up to challenge,...