What We Lose Of Books In E-Readers

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“Regardless of their printed contents, books tell their own alternative stories, whether this be from smudges on the pages, or edges crinkled from a spilt drink; corners curled or margins dotted with sneaky annotations. Before self-service check-out systems, you could always tell how popular a library book was by how many pages were glued to the inside page, stamped with a list of past loan due dates.”

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Why Don’t We Have Alternative “Director’s Cut” Versions Of Books?

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“While the film industry eventually embraced the notion of a director’s cut and ran with it – ran, in fact, with the idea of releasing multiple versions of films, each definitive in its own, idiosyncratic way –publishing did not. Despite a few exceptions, there seems to be very little enthusiasm today for multiple editions of the same contemporary book.”

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The Great English Novel Is Being Reinvented

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“Fiction isn’t dying – but it is changing. The delivery mechanisms might change but we cannot get on without stories, especially not in an age and time when all the old certainties of God and State and Family and Capital are collapsing around us.”

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Why Do Writers Have To Sound So Constipated When They Read Their Poetry?

Gregory Orr

“Poet Voice,” is the pejorative, informal name given to this soft, airy reading style that many poets use for reasons that are unclear to me. The voice flattens the musicality and tonal drama inherent within the language of the poem, and it also sounds overly stuffy and learned. In this way, Poet Voice does a disservice to the poem, the poet and poetry. It must be stopped.”

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When Brigham Young Got A Mormon Alphabet

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“In 1853, after [George D.] Watt taught shorthand to Brigham Young, the Mormon leader commissioned the British clerk to create a 38-character ‘Deseret alphabet.’ The phonetic alphabet was meant to simplify the spelling of English words. Watt said … ‘An alphabet should contain just as many letters as there are simple-pure atoms of sound.’”

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The Dream Of Speed-Reading (And What It Does To Our Brains)

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“It is much more difficult to gather ideas of any complexity at all using Spritz than it is in ordinary reading. Complex ideas, like those routinely presented in philosophy or literary fiction, require a lot of rereading as you go. Also, when the sentence begins in a Spritz display, you can’t tell how long it’s going to be: a terrific drawback for comprehension.”

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Amazon Working On “Netflix For Books”

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“The e-commerce giant is working on a subscription ebook service called Kindle Unlimited, which would offer unlimited ebook rentals for $9.99 a month. It’s a move that’s very much aligned with where both the tech and the publishing industry are headed.”

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Global Versus Local Literature – How Our Global Culture Changes The Context Of What We’re Reading

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“If, then, when nations were forming, writers began to address their work to a national audience, wouldn’t it be logical that now, in a period of intense globalisation, they might think of their books from the start as being destined to travel beyond national borders? Hardly noticing the shift perhaps, the novelist begins to have a foreign audience in mind.”

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Knowing When To Quit: How Much Harry Potter Is Too Much Harry Potter?

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“While it’s heartening to know that Harry’s doing well in his career as an Auror and that Viktor Krum is still going strong as Bulgaria’s Seeker, it begs the question anew of when exactly it’s time for a creator to walk away from their creation—and whether they really can these days.”

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Do We Still Need To Learn To Write Cursive? Here’s Why

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“The benefits of writing by hand, and doing so from a young age, are fundamental: improved and sustained development in social skills, hand-eye coordination, long-term memory. And when one considers “fluency” in its literal sense, it makes sense that cursive especially can energize a more fluid and coherent process of thought.”

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David Mitchell Is Tweeting A Short Story

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The author of Cloud Atlas and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet “turns to the ‘diabolical treble-strapped textual straitjacket’ of Twitter for the first time to tell a new short story, ‘The Right Sort’. Mitchell will unveil his tale, about a boy tripping on his mother’s Valium pills, in Twitter’s 140-character bursts for the next seven days.”

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France Banned Free Shipping, So Amazon Now Charges One Cent

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“This past October, French lawmakers decided it was time to show Amazon who’s boss. Frustrated by Amazon’s fast and cheap book-selling model, which poses a threat to France’s healthy ecosystem of indie bookstores, politicians banded together to approve a bill that prohibited Jeff Bezos’ company and other online retailers from shipping discounted books for free.” Far be it from Amazon to break the law …

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