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Reading and Restaurants

A new story at the Guardian on how McDonald’s is planning on distributing 15 million children’s books over the next few years through it’s happy meal program. What a great way to make parents forget that the food is terrible — they give us books! Actually, the story made me …

As many types of books as there are readers

I am signing off for the holidays, and I thought I could do worse than citing Oliver Sacks on why we need as much diversity as possible when it comes to reading: “No one sort of book should be allowed to disappear, for we are all individuals, with highly individualized …

The Instruments of Writing

I’ve just returned from a fantastic conference in London at the Victoria and Albert Museum on Women’s Writing Instruments in the Eighteenth Century. We learned about the types of things that a woman would have at her desk when she sat down to write, including seals, wax, ink, quills, knives, …

Reading’s Black Boxes

One of the bigger challenges facing the humanities today with the changing nature of our reading interfaces is the problem of technical opacity, what goes by the colloquial name of the black box. Do we need to know how computers or computation work to understand an electronic text? Or can …