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Posts Tagged: books

Bibliophilism: On Love and Addiction

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It is possible to give one’s life to books, to dedicate years to collecting, reading, teaching, translating, writing, and studying them. In an essay for the New Yorker, Thomas E. Kennedy, a writer, editor, translator, and professor, reflects on his own experience of leading a life “decided by books,” the result of being given a book that reeled him in when he was still at “a susceptible age.”

Kennedy writes: “You wonder whether you actually love books or are merely addicted to them, obsessed by them.”

By the end of Kenendy’s essay, it remains unclear whether an obsession with collecting books is a good or a bad thing.

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How to Scientifically Predict a Novel’s Success

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It’s impossible to predict what will make a book sell well, but scientists at Stony Brook University think they might be on the right track.

After conducting statistical analyses of novels from several genres, they were able to predict with 84% accuracy whether a book was “highly successful” based on certain elements of style such as “discourse connectives” and “verbs that describe thought-processing.”

Of course, there’s a pretty large degree of subjectivity inherent in any study of this nature, but it’s still interesting stuff to think about.

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The Book As a Luxury Item

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All hailed the e-book for its innovations in technology. Embedded links, comments, and multi-media elements were what is supposed to kill the physical book. This recent essay at Salon contends that now that e-books are essentially being stripped down to resemble physical books, the real book is now considered a luxury item.

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Thanksgivukkah Reading

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Over at WNPR this week Maureen Corrigan offers up a “Literary Escape Plan” from holiday stress.

The Borsch Belt-style Pilgrim jokes and mishmash recipes (turkey brined in Manischewitz, anyone?) are flying around the Internet; but since Jews are frequently referred to as “the People of the Book” and Pilgrims pretty much lived by the Book, Thanksgivukkah seems to me like the quintessential (stressful) family holiday to celebrate by escaping into a book.

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Isaac is Buzzfeed’s First Books Editor

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Brace yourself, San Francisco. Former Rumpus managing editor and current Rumpus co-owner Isaac Fitzgerald is moving to New York City to become BuzzFeed’s first books editor.

What will this new books section look like?

 He foresees a section built on “shareable content” and personal essays from authors — “things that people want to share but also can connect with,” he said.

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