Behold, the Tiniest of Books - The New York Times

Submitted by Blake on Fri, 03/08/2019 - 08:24
Most of the books in the exhibit are about one to three inches high and would nestle easily in the palm of your hand. Some are the size of a thumbnail. (There are also a few ultra-micro-miniatures, with no dimension greater than a quarter of an inch; one, shockingly, looks to be about as big as the period in this sentence.) The oldest is a cuneiform tablet from about 2300 B.C.; the newest was published last year.

The greatest of all novels: War and Peace

Submitted by Blake on Wed, 03/06/2019 - 16:18
Just 150 years ago, in 1869, Tolstoy published the final installment of War and Peace, often regarded as the greatest of all novels. In his time, Tolstoy was known as a nyetovshchik—someone who says nyet, or no, to all prevailing opinion—and War and Peace discredits the prevailing views of the radical intelligentsia, then just beginning to dominate Russian thought.

Dr. Seuss Books Can Be Racist, But We Still Keep Reading Them : Code Switch : NPR

Submitted by Blake on Tue, 02/26/2019 - 11:16
That tension between Seuss and Seuss-free classrooms is emblematic of a bigger debate playing out across the country — should we continue to teach classic books that may be problematic, or eschew them in favor of works that more positively represent of people of color?
From Dr. Seuss Books Can Be Racist, But We Still Keep Reading Them : Code Switch : NPR

The Lab Discovering DNA in Old Books - The Atlantic

Submitted by Blake on Tue, 02/19/2019 - 15:36
In recent years, archaeologists and historians have awakened to the potential of ancient DNA extracted from human bones and teeth. DNA evidence has enriched—and complicated—stories of prehistoric human migrations. It has provided tantalizing clues to epidemics such as the black death. It has identified the remains of King Richard III, found under a parking lot. But Collins isn’t just interested in human remains.

Menu Matters: On Alison Pearlman’s “May We Suggest” - Los Angeles Review of Books

Submitted by Blake on Mon, 02/18/2019 - 15:39
Studies of menus, however, are a little trickier to find. Menus as scholarly artifacts have come a long way in recent years — traveling from the libraries of antiquarians and sentimental dilettantes to invocations in academic monographs about everything from environmental history to immigration patterns to changing trends in graphic design. The New York Public Library’s collection of over 45,000 menus is getting a lot more traffic than it used to, while To Live and Dine in L.A.

Every Page of This Book Is a Slice of Cheese - Gastro Obscura

Submitted by Blake on Mon, 02/18/2019 - 13:47
Last summer, University of Michigan art and design librarian Jamie Lausch Vander Broek acquired 20 Slices—a squat, square volume composed of 20 plastic-wrapped Kraft singles sandwiched between bright yellow covers. “For me, a lot of the purpose of the collection is engaging with people who usually have never seen an artist’s book before,” she explains. “So I have tailored my selections away from subtlety.

Hold the front pages: meet the endpaper enthusiasts | Books

Submitted by Blake on Thu, 02/14/2019 - 16:18
Faced with the hideous maw that is today’s news cycle, there could be little more soothing than slipping into the esoteric world of We Love Endpapers, a society for enthusiasts to share their favourite examples of the most beautiful pages bookending tomes. Endpapers date back to at least the 15th century, when pieces of old manuscript or vellum would be used to help sew a book block into its binding, and to protect it.

Shelf policing: how books (and cacti) make women too 'spiky' for men

Submitted by Blake on Tue, 02/12/2019 - 07:27
Speaking of bedrooms – books apparently aren’t allowed in there, as they are a room for “sleep and love”. This raises some questions. Does it mean that if you like reading a book in bed you must then go put it back elsewhere in the house just before falling asleep? Is one book (singular) in the bedroom fine but two or more forbidden? What if you do find a partner thanks to your attractive new flat and he also enjoys reading in bed, does this create a loophole? Should you read this singular book together at the same time?