Books

The Decline and Fall of the Book Cover

Two irreversible trends are at fault here, neither of which can be altered by even a really persuasive essay. One is that the illustrated book cover, like painted movie posters or newspaper comics, is pretty much dead. Fonts, stock photos, and Photoshop are cheaper than commissioning illustrations. With the imminence of Kindles and e-readers, this is all moot anyway; soon enough, book covers, like album covers before them—like albums themselves, or sheet music for popular songs, or dance cards—will be a quaint, old-timey thing you have to explain to the uninterested young, and there’ll be one fewer excuse to strike up conversations with pretty strangers on the subway.

J.K. Rowling revealed as writer of crime novel

An ex-military man tries his hand at writing, publishes a debut detective novel and wins critical acclaim. But here's the twist in the tale: The true identity of the author is none other than "Harry Potter" creator J.K. Rowling.

It's impressive literary wizardry by Rowling, who said she relished the freedom of writing "The Cuckoo's Calling" under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Full story -- USA Today

Book is currently #1 on Amazon -- The Cuckoo's Calling

Actors Today Don’t Just Read for the Part. Reading IS the Part.

As audiobooks flourish, thanks in part to digital technologies, the industry has given many aspiring actors a steady paycheck.

Full story

...Others Titles by the Same Author

William John Locke. Photo via
Sean Fagan, Old and Rare Books.

The Avett Brothers talk books

And you thought they were just a wildly popular folk band. In an interview with JSOnline at Milwaukee's Summerfest, here they are talking some serious literature.

The Taksim Square Book Club

Protest is taking a new form in Istanbul where I was fortunate enough to visit about a month ago. Individuals are standing in their beloved square and reading books of their choice.

Violent scenes are still occurring around Turkey, including in Istanbul once again this past weekend, but the Standing Man protests continue unabated.

The images in this article explore one aspect of the protest in Taksim Square, ongoing since before the communal standing took off. Public reading and informal education has been notable since the earliest days of the protest, but has since merged with the Standing Man to form "The Taksim Square Book Club".

The chosen reading material of many of those who take their stand is reflective, in part, of the thoughtfulness of those who have chosen this motionless protest to express their discontent.

Librarians and the communication revolution

In the book Communication Revolution: Critical Junctures and the Future of Media author McChesney explains why we are in the midst of a communication revolution that is at the center of twenty-first-century life. Yet this profound juncture is not well understood, in part, because our media criticism and media scholarship have not been up to the task. Why is media not at the center of political debate? Why are students of the media considered second-class scholars?

This book provides strong evidence of how and why the American media system is failing to fulfill its role as an institution of American constitutional democracy, but it goes further to argue that we are living in a uniquely opportune moment - a "critical juncture" - during which we have the chance to make changes to the system.

Librarians whose profession is intertwined with media and communications should understand the policies and structures of the media landscape and be active participants in creating policies and structures that benefit the free flow of useful information to all groups of people.

Local Officials Look to Make American Cities More Livable

According to Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley, local officials are searching for new ways to innovate and make urban centers more livable. Judy Woodruff talks with Katz and Bradley, authors of "The Metropolitan Revolution," about major moves at U.S. city halls to breath new life into the American economy and democracy.

And Yet Another Urbana Story...

Source: State Journal Register
Dateline: Urbana IL — Some Urbana residents are upset and calling for the library director's resignation after thousands of books were mistakenly removed from the shelves.
(See two previous articles below)

Director Debra Lissak says the removal at the Urbana Free Library was a "misstep" and some of the titles are being returned.

The (Champaign) News-Gazette says workers removed art, gardening, computer science, medicine and cooking books from the stacks when they were culling the collection to remove volumes that were more than a decade old.

About half the library's 66,000 adult non-fiction books meet that threshold, but not every older book was removed because the process was halted.

Discarded Books as Photo Project...and then...Book

Do you ever feel sentimental about weeded books? Then this one's for you. (The NYT recommends that you view it full screen).

While books may not necessarily make for a better reading experience (ed. but it's ok to have a preference one way or the other), they are superior as subject matter for a photo project. (I defy you, dear reader, to find a loving portrait of a Nook.)

To wit, witness Kerry Mansfield’s “Expired,” a twenty-page photo series whose substance is the physicality of discarded and withdrawn library books. She brings the lens in close, showing worn edges and torn covers and photographing the ephemera of the library experience: the check-out cards and the paper pockets they went into

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