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Reading’s Design

One of the nicest books I received in the mail recently was The Association of American University Presses’ catalogue to the Book, Jacket, and Journal Show (2013). It’s a gorgeous reminder of the creativity of book designers, not to mention the vibrancy of academic publishing. Book design is one of …

The Language of Quantity

I have been writing a new piece about using computational modeling to study the legacy of Augustinian conversion in the modern novel. The project began when I tried to devise ways of detecting greater or lesser degrees of narrative binaryness across a broad range of texts, including novels and autobiographies. …

Reading us reading wikipedia

A really interesting new report released by wikipedia on usage statistics of its pages (over 29 million in English). And what do we find? Readers like celebrities, sex and death. It’s often unfortunate to know more about ourselves. Actually, reports like this tend to do a disservice to things of …

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 …

Long live the pocket-book!

I was taking notes in my notebook this weekend when I realized it had a pocket in the back. It reminded me of the centuries-old tradition of books as containers. Unlike e-books that keep things out, books are things that hold things (notes, eye-glasses, dried plants, records, even flies for …

New Word Art

The interest in language as a visual and material medium continues to grow. The more we lose in this area electronically, the more we are learning to value it. A new exhibit, “Postscript,” now on view at the Denver Museum for Contemporary offers a nice look at the history of …