This week on the bookish internet

  • I feel so vindicated after learning that Marcel Proust paid for good reviews about Du côte de chez Swann. I knew there had to be some kind of scam to explain why À la recherche du temps perdu took off. I know people love it, but it sounds dreadfully boring to me. (The Guardian)
    • Pair with Emily Temple’s roundup of eight attempts to game the New York Times‘ bestseller list. (LitHub)
  • I’m not sure how I feel about Tramp Press‘ policy of rejecting submissions with letters addressed to “dear sir(s),” but I totally agree with their rejection of authors who proudly declare that they don’t read women. (The Guardian)
  • The fight for Manhattan’s libraries continues, although the 42nd street library (home of Patience and Fortitude) has been saved. (The Nation)
  • Alison Flood writes one of the more even-handed reports of the Melania Trump book donation debacle. (The Guardian)
    • My take: Only 10 books? Extremely skimpy donation. Every library has Dr. Seuss. Ms. Trump’s donation was a paltry offering and Soeiro is right in telling the first lady to do something more substantial for libraries and communities with greater needs. As for Seuss being racist, well, this is what the media have fixated on unfortunately. I don’t agree with Soeiro on this point.
  • For some reason, many readers conflate writers of color with their characters. Bryan Washington explores problems this creates. (The Awl)
  • Britain’s National Poetry Library is collecting poetry in endangered languages. (The Guardian)
  • I loved following Rowan Hisayo Buchanan down a research rabbit hole after discovering that a London library had once housed a mental asylum. (The Paris Review)
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This week on the bookish internet

  • Katie Hardy writes about life as a marathon reader. (Book Riot)
  • Hannah Kent writes about how her curiosity led her to historical research, which led to writing historical fiction. (LitHub)
  • Lisa Peet had a complicated relationship with her mother and her mother’s library. (The Millions)
  • Yash Kesanakurthy lists the things she hates hearing from bookstore shoppers. I completely agree with all of them. (Book Riot)
  • Ian Dreiblatt writes about a curious crime committed by a Hong Kong activist, in which books were thrown out of a library because of the script they were written in. (Moby Lives)
  • Frankie Thomas explains why she loved (and still does love) studying Latin. (The Paris Review)
  • Giles Scott writes about trying to get his high school students to think critically about their assigned reading. (The Millions)

This week on the bookish internet

  • Great minds think alike…which is a problem when an author and a multimillion dollar company keep coming up with the same titles. (Kris Writes)
  • Thomas Mullaney wrote a fascinating history about Chinese language reform. (Fascinating to me, at least.) (LitHub)
  • Elisa Lorello reflects on what it means to be “well read.” (The Writer’s Habit)
  • I’m bored of people “cracking” the Voynich manuscript, but I do enjoy reading about medievalists slapping them down. (The New Yorker, Ars Technica)
  • Patricja Okuniewska rounds up ten books that were written on a bet. (Electric Lit)
  • Na Kim writes about her struggle to come up with a cover that Jeffrey Eugenides liked. (LitHub)
  • Joanne Major reports on the comedy of errors that was the 1769 Shakespeare Jubilee. (All Things Georgian)

Last week on the bookish internet

  • Mark Lawson recounts the history of authors and their estates blocking (or attempting to block) sequels to great books. (The Guardian)
  • Simone Jung writes about rediscovering a love of reading after her college studies almost killed it. (Book Riot)
  • Edward Helmore reports on America’s first official city storyteller. (The Guardian)
    • Pair with Simon Reichley’s post about “book doulas,” a bizarre title for a writer’s assistant. (Moby Lives)
  • Mythili Rao shares the strange afterlife of one of Mark Twain’s posthumous, unfinished stories. After reading last week about Terry Pratchett’s harddrive being destroyed by a steamroller, I kind of wish something similar had happened to Twain’s story. (The New Yorker)
  • People, stop stealing books by the Beats. (The Boston Globe)
  • Irelands book collectors, sellers, and auctioneers have some advice for building a book collection—if you happen to have hundreds of thousands of euros lying around. It’s nice to dream, isn’t it? (The Irish Times)

This week on the bookish internet

  • Sian Cain wonders why it’s so hard to find books in translation by women. (The Guardian)
  • Eve Fairbanks writes about readers like herself (and me!) who befriend books instead of people when they’re young. (LitHub)
  • Jenn Sherman proposes new bookish merit badges. I am totally on board with this idea. (Book Riot)
  • Zack Thoutt is working on a neural network to write the next A Song of Ice and Fire book after than George R.R. Martin. (Motherboard)
  • Karlos Marshall and The Conscious Connect bring books to kids in “book deserts.” (WDTN)
  • Goodreads would like us all to hide a copy of our favorite books somewhere for another reader to find. I ❤ this. (Goodreads)

This week on the bookish internet

  • Reminiscing about beloved children’s books is about the only Proustian journey I can tolerate. Consequently, I loved J. Courtney Sullivan’s article about recreating her childhood library for her own potential children. (The New York Times)
  • We are shocked, shocked! to discover that it’s possible to buy one’s way on to the New York Times bestseller list. Read two accounts of this week’s YA tempest in a teapot at The Guardian and The Huffington Post.
  • I’ve been in some stupid orthographic arguments*, but I have never argued about the proper spelling of Shakespeare’s name like these students at USC and UCLA. (NPR)
  • The Annoyed Librarian has some pointed words about what librarians should do about Nazis. (The Annoyed Librarian)
  • Blame Milton for glorifying Satan, not Dr. Mona Prince. (The Telegraph)
  • Maegan Donovon wonders if “life-changing” books really do change readers’ lives. (Book Riot)
    • Pair with this delightful round up at Lifehacker of tips and tricks readers have learned from fiction.
  • And, just for fun, look at these cats who would rather you paid attention to them instead of your book. (Cheezburger)

* I work with catalogers. ‘Nuff said.

This week on the bookish internet

This week on the bookish internet

This week on the bookish internet

  • Tiffani Willis has reading rituals. (Book Riot)
  • I can never get enough of articles about recovered ancient and medieval texts, like this one involving sixth century writing in a book from 1537 held at Northwestern University. (mental_floss)
  • Nick Mafi rounds up some of the most beautiful university libraries in the world—including some I haven’t seen before. (Architectural Digest)
  • Laura Sackton writes against star-ratings for books. (Book Riot)
  • Read about the bookish life of Carla Hayden, first African American, first woman, and first actual librarian to be Librarian of Congress. (The New York Times)
  • Anna Solomon reflects on women on book covers and what it means when the woman on the cover is not looking wistfully away from the viewer or doesn’t have a head at all. (The Millions)
  • Dystopias are more obviously products of our time, but Danuta Kean writes about the recently emergence of books about empathy and kindness as an antidote for what ails our societies. (The Guardian)

This week on the bookish internet

  • Tara Cheesman has a pragmatic take on novels-in-translation. (Book Riot)
  • One of my guilty pleasures is reading bad book reviews by good book reviewers (especially when I agree with them and/or they’re taking down an author I think its pretentious and overhyped). So imagine my delight when Anna Silman rounded up a bunch of Michiko Kakutani’s best bad reviews. (The Cut)
  • Nikki Griffith’s briefly shares booksellers’ stories of sticky-fingered customers. (Moby Lives)
    • Pair with Alison Flood and Sian Cain’s longer article on book thievery. (The Guardian)
  • Texting and the internet are doing really interesting things to Arabic (classical and dialect), according to Hodna Nuernberg. (Asymptote Journal)
  • Emily Temple offers and interesting new way of understanding A Midsummer Night’s Dream: by giving it a playlist. (LitHub)