When Books Were Shelved Backwards

September 12, 2013

Odorico-Pillone-painted-books-300x132Chicago-based writer Stephanie Sylverne recently posted this interesting bit o’ book history on her website Ephemeris.

Posted at I Love Libraries’ Facebook page via Mikel Wilson’s Facebook page

Advertisements

“An End to Books”?

August 28, 2013

Seth-Godin-300x300Marketing specialist Seth Godin has lots of provocative ideas about lots of things.

Including books. As in “the probable future of the printed book as the preferred container for ideas and stories.”

Godin’s recently posted his current reflections on the likely future of the (printed) book to his blog.

Found via Book Riot


Books in Chains

May 14, 2013

Chained LibraryBefore books were mass produced and easier – and more costly – to replace when stolen, librarians had to resort to emphatic security measures to keep their stock from wandering off, never to return.

Netherlands-based medievalist Erik Kwakkel took these photos in one of her country’s libraries, and his efforts were picked up by The Paris Review.

You can find more information about chained libraries (and links to primary sources) at Wikipedia.

Contributed by alert librarian, bibliophile, and Atlanta Booklover’s blog follower Anne Vagts


“Loss & Gain, or: The Fate of the Book”

November 26, 2012

Anthony Daniels’ recent tribute to the printed book, posted at The New Criterion as the first of a series entitled “The Digital Challenge,” is the most rational essay on the subject that I’ve read this year.

Daniels mentions several points I haven’t seen in similar screeds about books and book-loving. He also aknowledges what is surely true: that reading is, for most book-lovers, an addiction that shares certain characteristics possessed by all other addictions.

As is often the case, the readers’ comments about Daniels’ humane and thoughtful essay are also worth a read.

Read Daniels’ essay.

Found via Anecdotal Evidence


Bookish Photo du Jour

August 16, 2012

Someone at the Darien Public Library snapped this photo last year on a trip to the American Library in Paris.

Priceless!

Found at shh! no running in the library!


No More Printed Britannica

March 20, 2012

Most Americans have probably already learned that earlier this month Encyclopedia Britannica announced that the current printed edition of the encyclopedia will be the final one. Mr. Google will point you to a host of news articles and commentary (like this one from the blog of The New Yorker).

Britannica is neither the first nor the last familiar encyclopedia to abandon the codex for the computer. The rationale for digitizing time-sensitive reference works like encyclopedias is ever more irresistable, and it’s hard to argue with the sheer ecological argument of refusing to fell additional trees for subsequent editions of an encyclopedia that’s required numerous revisions since it was first published in (wait for it:) 1768.

Still, we felt it somehow necesssary to register here at the Booklover’s Blog this heartbreaking-if-inevitable turning point in the history of the book, if only because for many bibliophiles, perusing (in addition to referring to) Britannica is among the fondest memories of our early reading careers.

Britannica’s nostalgic value among readers (well, readers of a certain age, perhaps) is so strong that we predict that booklovers (and second-hand bookstore owners) are going to be snarfing them up from library book sales any time a public library divests itself of whatever edition it happens to own. (Lucky the booksale browser who stumbles upon a discarded set of the highly-regarded 11th (1911) edition!)

In any case, the death of the printed Britannica feel like another omen of the End of An Era (in this case, the Gutenberg one). Let us hope the marketing gods keep the licensing fees for the Britannica’s electronic versions within the range of public library budgets.

4/18/2012 Postscript: Britannica put together this nifty compilation of the media coverage of its announcement:


Bookish Poem du Jour

October 13, 2011

Today’s featured poem at The Writer’s Almanac is Joyce Sutphen’s “Bookmobile.”