Books

Alibris Joins Partners to Offer Better Service, More Selection of Rare Books

Rare and hard-to-find book supplier Alibris has joined forces with Baker & Taylor, R.R. Bowker and Coutts Library Services to provide better access to libraries, consumers and other organizations. [more...] from The Daily Review.

The rape of Narnia?

I got this off the Library Underground mailing list ...

According to an article by Andrew Greeley, HarperCollins plans to "purge the Christian content" from C.S. Lewis\' The Chronicles of Narnia in an effort to make the series more palatable to "secularists."

The situation\'s not as bad as Greeley makes it out to be. As the New York Times article cited by Greeley indicates, the original Chronicles aren\'t being censored of their religious content. Rather, it\'s a marketing campaign for the re-issued books, as well as spinoff merchandise (including new books by unidentified authors), which will be void of Christian themes.

Letter to the Editor: Great Books Have a Place in Our Libraries

Judy Groner sent this one to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times after reading about a library coming under fire for putting up a display of Christian books. LISNews previously posted that story here. LISNews also posted another related story here.

Following Groner\'s letter is another letter to the editor, written by Bill Walker of Miami, which refers to the First Amendment. There\'s a link there which will take you to a sarcastic article by Jan Glidewell (he\'s the guy whom Blake said looks a bit like Santa Claus). It\'s not library specific, but we all like sarcasm, don\'t we?

Words on the Side

BrillsContent has a Story by Harold Bloom on the curious history of what we scrawl in the margins of books.

\"We read in order to live, even if in dark passages we read in order to survive. It may be that Jackson is right. Moses said to Joshua: \"Would to God that all the Lord\'s people were prophets!\" Perhaps it would be good if all readers violated the Marginalia Taboo.\"

The latest chapter in book sales: 3.3% drop

USAToday has A Story on the drop in book sales last year.

They credit Rowling for a rise in childrens books sales of 10.1% between 1999 and 2000. Adult Hardcover sales dropped 12.9% and trade paperbacks declined 14.2%, while cheaper, rack-sized mass-market paperbacks fell 2.8%.

Pat Schroeder blames it on the uncertainty about the outcome of the presidential election.

More likely are the price increases by publishers and smaller discounts from booksellers, consumers spent more while buying fewer books, spending $14.14 billion last year, up from $13.24 billion in 1999. They say previous industry studies have warned of a limited number of people willing to spend $25 on a book.

Duh. Someone needs to go back to college and take an economics class.

Newt\'s Books

Lee Hadden writes: \"The Atlanta Journal- Constitution has An Article about the favorite
books of Newt Gingrich. If you have admirers of the Newt among your library
patrons, you may want to stock these titles:


His reading list includes the novels
\"Shogun\" by James Clavell, \"The Killer Angels\" by Michael Shaara and \"The
Unvanquished\" by Howard Fast. Nonfiction choices are \"Naturalist\" by Edward
O. Wilson and \"The Effective Executive\" by Peter Drucker.\"


They note:
\"it\'s safe to say that Al Gore\'s \"Earth in the Balance\" was not one of them\".

Skim It and Weep

Lee Hadden writes:\"There is an excellent article on the problem of aliteracy, a scourge of
people who can read, but won\'t. Read more about it in the Washington Post.
\"The No-Book Report: Skim It and Weep : More and More Americans Who Can
Read Are Choosing Not To. Can We Afford to Write Them Off?\" A survey shows
Americans are reading printed versions of magazines, newspapers and books
less and less. \"Does this really surprise anyone?Truly sad\"

The Full Story has several interesting interviews and examples, it\'s worth the read.

Literary life and death

Bob Cox sent along This Story that takes a very different look at \"Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper\" by Nicholson Baker.
I know, you\'re probably about sick of hearing about this book, but this story is very different. The author worries that this influential book will lead us to consider the concept of the life cycle of literature in unhelpful ways.

\"Rather than join Baker in mourning the long dead, we should draw attention to and drum up support for efforts to keep books alive, if only momentarily.\"

More on The Wind Done Gone

Salon has a lengthy Story on \"The Wind Done Gone\", the book that was ruled to infringe on \"Gone With the Wind\". The argument here boils down to if the book is a parody or an unauthorized, unlicensed (and therefore illegal) sequel. The judge ruled \"The Wind Done Gone\" is simultaneously not enough about \"Gone With the Wind\" and too much like it. The judge said the \"extensive copying\" in \"The Wind Done Gone\" \"usurps the original\'s right to create its own sequel.\"

In observance of May Day ...

Brian writes \"The Chicago Tribune has a Good Feature on \"the world\'s oldest socialist publisher,\" the 115-year-old Charles H. Kerr Publishing Co.
\"

The Charles H. Kerr Publishing Co. is 115 years old, the world\'s oldest socialist publisher, Franklin and Penelope Rosemont are now in charge.

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