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Posts tagged Reading

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...

UK rejoices as Gove goes
July 15, 2014 | 4:22 pm

mr-gove-cover Good news for UK teachers, pupils, readers - and incidentally, fans of American literature. Michael Gove, the much-despised UK Education Secretary dismissed by Professor Simon Schama at last year's Hay Festival for his "insulting, offensive" attitudes, and by author Patrick Ness as "appalling, ignorant and damaging" and "massive, arrogant egotist who can’t see anyone else’s opinion,"  has been moved to a new post as Chief Whip, in charge of internal discipline for the UK Conservative Party in the House of Commons, as part of a cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister David Cameron. According to David Cameron's official Twitter feed, "Michael Gove...

Kids vs Paper Books: Two Stories
July 4, 2014 | 12:25 pm

paper booksI have written about kids’ books more than once for this blog, and my feeling has always been that eBooks are fine for grown-ups like me, where how it looks doesn't really matter. But for kids, I still think that how it looks does matter. And while I have seen my share of them muck around with reading apps on the iPad, I think that there is still something special about bonding with a tiny child over a printed, paper book. And two book-ish encounters this past week have inspired me to start building up my paper library again, with...

How are eReaders affecting our children?
June 30, 2014 | 12:25 pm

ereadersBy Miles Young Those of us who have been around for a while continue to marvel at the way mobile technology is rapidly becoming a part of everyday life. For today's young children, however, smartphones and tablets are as basic and intuitive as the household refrigerator. Parents and teachers alike are asking themselves: what role do e-readers have on today's learning reader? One of the reasons it is difficult to reach a conclusion is because there are several factors to consider, including age, platform, and whether the child is reading alone or with a parent. It is also important to note that...

Books are as essential as bread. Ask the English poor.
June 27, 2014 | 2:28 pm

In these enlightened times that have brought us that wonder of 21st-century social engineering, the foodbank, it's gratifying to report that, without any conspicuous aid from the current British government, UK charities are ministering to poorer citizens' cultural and intellectual as well as culinary needs. British literacy charity Booktrust has teamed up with the Trussell Trust Foodbank network to distribute books through their network - in this case, children's picture title Super Duck by Jez Alborough. "Books and toys are low down on priorities for families," said Project Leader of West Norwood and Brixton Foodbank, Elizabeth Maytom. "Money will be spent on...

Are books substitutable?
June 24, 2014 | 2:25 pm

booksKaetrin at Dear Author poses an interesting question: are books substitutable? She discusses the example of a patron searching for a book to read at the library. Absent a special circumstance (such as a new release by a favourite author) would one do as well as any other? Kaetrin's conclusion---which I agree with, but for different reasons than she does, is yes. While she does ascribe a higher value to books she truly loves, she doesn't know that such books will have that value until she's read them already. So, at the browsing stage, they really are all truly equal to...

Only 17% of parents say reading is a top priority this summer
June 20, 2014 | 10:25 am

man reading on grassFrom GalleyCat comes this depressing survey, from a group called Reading is Fundamental, and Macy's. They surveyed 1,000 parents and found that only 17% of them feel that reading is a top priority this summer. I am not sure what to make of it. The sample size is pretty small for this one, and the survey does also point out that parents who do make reading a priority are more likely to have kids who read. But it stuck in my mind because I had read only yesterday a thought-provoking question on Ask Metafilter that struck close to home on this...

I tried to read through Tim Parks’s article on attention deficit and literature, but …
June 16, 2014 | 10:25 am

yawning-puppy-275... my attention wandered when I realized how sententious, hidebound, and just plain unconvincing his argument was. So I went on Facebook instead. And one I'd heard before. Parks's "Reading: The Struggle" in his regular New York Review of Books blog complains of "the state of constant distraction we live in and how that affects the very special energies required for tackling a substantial work of fiction" in tones very familiar from here, here, here, here, and here. (Wow, some of them are over five years old - amazing people had the attention spans to keep coming back to this tired...

Fun with eBook stats
June 10, 2014 | 2:25 pm

ebook statsAs we reach the halfway point of 2014 and I prepare to look again at my reading goals for the year, I thought it might be an opportune time to check out my ebook stats! I have been keeping them since I first started reading eBooks in 2008, and it's been awhile since I've done a write-up on them! Why do I keep stats? Well, I like having a record of how many books I read, for one thing. And for another, I remember how when I first started reading eBooks, people used to remark on how expensive that must be....

Should I read these books?
June 9, 2014 | 12:25 pm

readAs part of my spend-less-money year, I have been trying to go through my backlog of unread books and prune a little more vigorously. I want to be able to buy new books guilt-free---when I want to read them. And that means I have to have time to read them by not having 500 unread buys sitting in my library, taunting me. So I have been clearing out the Kindle freebies, considering carefully which free classics I truly will read, deleting off the library wishlist and archiving some past buys I know I'll never get to (the defunct Fictionwise was...

Morning Roundup: Digital vs Print, Pocket adds premium service and more
May 29, 2014 | 9:00 am

digital vs printDigital vs Print: What is the Future of Reading? (Digital Book World) This is a topic that has headlined presentations since the digital revolution began, but interestingly, we still don’t have the full picture of what reading will look like in even one year, let alone ten, fifty, or one hundred years. *** Accepting Amazon's DRM Makes it Impossible to Challenge its Monopoly (Techdirt) Monopoly, of course, is economically the correct term. Publishers of books that are restricted by copyright have a set of exclusive rights granted to them by law. Their monopoly looks distinct from Amazon's near-monopoly bookseller position, though, because it's one...

The debate over trigger warnings in literature classes
May 23, 2014 | 2:42 pm

trigger warningsIn today's Morning Links, I posted a story from Nate at The Digital Reader, which reminded me I was overdue to cover a story which is getting a lot of press lately. The short version is that students at several US universities are campaigning to have professors add 'trigger warnings' to the syllabi of college classes, to warn students about potentially upsetting or offensive material. Nate's story looks at the 'slippery slope toward censorship' argument against this, which is a valid angle. But I have a different take on this story, and it's this: as a teacher, I have watched the...