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Thanks to everyone who attended our presentation yesterday at the NLA conference. I’ve sent the slides to the organizers so they can get posted on the conference site but you can also find them right here.
For the past two weeks I’ve been setting up my home library. Not all the shelving is done at this point, but folks have been wanting more photos so here you go.
The reading world was riveted earlier this week by reports that a long-awaited second volume of Harper Lee’s work, a sequel-slash-prequel to the Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird, would be released by HarperCollins in July 2015. But speculation is already circulating that this is not in accordance with the author’s wishes or best interests…
Essentially, critics of the pending release aren’t at issue with its content or its quality, but of the fact that they do not believe the author herself would ever have allowed its publication if she were in better health and had better care watching over her interests. Lee is reportedly nearly blind and deaf and has lived in a care facility since a stroke in 2007, and some people close to her have reported she suffers from dementia. Critics have argued that this book never would have become public if Alice were still alive to protect her sister, her status as the author’s former attorney notwithstanding.
Read the full article @ goodereader.com.
Under the law that existed until 1978 . . . Works from 1958
The films Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Gigi, the books Things Fall Apart, Our Man in Havana, and The Once and Future King, great music, and more. . .
Current US law extends copyright for 70 years after the date of the author’s death, and corporate “works-for-hire” are copyrighted for 95 years after publication. But prior to the 1976 Copyright Act (which became effective in 1978), the maximum copyright term was 56 years—an initial term of 28 years, renewable for another 28 years. Under those laws, works published in 1958 would enter the public domain on January 1, 2015, where they would be “free as the air to common use.” Under current copyright law, we’ll have to wait until 2054.1 And no published works will enter our public domain until 2019. The laws in other countries are different—thousands of works are entering the public domain in Canada and the EU on January 1.
Get the full list @ Center for the Study of the Public Domain.
I’m getting really cranky at third-party sellers on Amazon. I’ve learned to expect that many people selling these books are not booksellers and they’ll tend to over-grade their books. So, I try to be careful when I do purchase from third-parties. In this case I chose a seller that’s said (or at least implied by their name) they’re a book store (not just some guy) and listed the book as “Condition: New” and stated “Brand new book!” in the description of the book. Here’s what I got:
A bargain book: This automatically disqualifies it as “new”.
Damage to the top and bottom of the spine. (This may have happened in transit as it was shipped in a padded mailer, and not a box.)
And last but not least: stains on the dj’s spine.
Yeah, I just wanted to vent. Hopefully they’ll give me my money back and maybe even let me keep the book. I’m waiting to hear back from them.
Over on Core77, Rain Noe discusses a sweeping international study by a team of Stanford and University of Munich researchers, who looked at all sorts of questions about how economics, school conditions, and parents end up affecting education. But one of the most interesting tidbits concerned the fact that a child’s achievements at school are correlated to whether his or her parents own a very simple object.
That object? A bookshelf. Two, actually. According to the study’s authors, the educational achievements of British children whose parents owned two bookcases differed from children whose parents didn’t by 1.15 standard deviations. In plain language, that’s three times the amount of what the average kid learns during a year of school.
Read the full article @ Gizmodo.com.
Originally, we were only going to publish Joyland in paperback.
Steve grew up buying paperbacks for fifty cents from the wire spinner racks at his local drugstore in Lisbon Falls, Maine, the sort with sexy cover paintings and lurid cover copy and breathless storytelling that kept you glued to the page well past your bedtime. I did, too, though in my case it was in New York City rather than Lisbon Falls, and by the time I came around the wire spinner racks had vanished and the era that produced them was gone, too. When I found these paperbacks it was at flea markets and library sales, at used book stores and on my father’s bookshelves. (My grandmother’s too – this proper old lady had been a big fan of Mickey Spillane back in the day.) Like Steve, I fell in love with them, discovered they scratched a powerful itch I hadn’t even known I had. And when, years later, I found myself reminiscing about them with a friend over drinks, we decided the world needed more books like that, damn it. That’s how Hard Case Crime was born.
Read the full essay on Boing Boing.
The phone call came at 3:30 a.m. with the shocking news:
The storm blew the roof off the library.
That was Janet Stoeger Wilke’s first thought. She is the dean of the library at UNK. She phoned Dee Urwiller, who coordinates the emergency plans for the library, and both rushed there to help save its books.
Water damages books.
And books are the lifeblood of the library.
The April storm with its 78-mph winds blew much of the roof off of UNK’s Calvin T. Ryan Library.
Rain flowed into the library along the seam that joins the 1963 half of the building with the 1983 addition. The seam is above the center of the main book collection on the second floor.
The water damaged at least 6,259 books.
Read the full article @ CampaignForNebraska.org.
It is World Book Night next week and World Book Night is a good thing, because it is fun and helps get books into the hands of people who wouldn’t otherwise read them.
And people should read books. Books are good.
But many are intimidated. One of the reasons people are put off reading is snobbery. You know, the snobbery that says opera and lacrosse and Pinot Noir and jazz fusion and quails’ eggs and literary fiction are for certain types of people and them alone?
There is something innately snobby about the world of books. There is the snobbery of literary over genre, of adult books over children’s, of seriousness over comedy, of reality over fantasy, of Martin Amis over Stephen King. And it is unhealthy. If books ever die, snobbery would be standing over the corpse.
So here is my message to book snobs:
1. People should never be made to feel bad about what they are reading. People who feel bad about reading will stop reading.
8. It does not matter about who the author is. The only thing a book should be judged on is the words inside. [MS: Orson Scott Card anyone?]
26. Stephen King was right. Books are ‘portable magic’. And everyone loves magic.
Read the full list @ booktrust.