Washington Post – “A childrens author is in the center of a firestorm over his book about a bullied overweight girl who finds friends and happiness on the soccer field after slimming down. Paul Kramer, who self-publishes his kids’ books from his home in Hawaii, has drawn the ire of parents and public health specialists for his portrayal of an unhappy, obese 14-year-old in his book “Maggie Goes on a Diet,” which is due out next month.”
Care2 – “A Catholic school student who identifies herself by the avatar name “Nekochan” started an unofficial library of banned books that she runs out of her locker at school. She began to lend books to her classmates when her school banned a long list of classic titles, including The Canterbury Tales, Paradise Lost and Animal Farm. Concerned about getting in trouble for violating school rules, Nekochan wrote a letter to an online advice column to ask if it was “ok to run an illegal library” from her locker.”
LA Times – “Bibliophiles can turn to several tourist spots in New York City, including the public library and Book Row, to get a good read on the printed word and its writers.”
NYT – “There has always been a lot of discussion about the effect that reading books has on us. Far less attention has been paid to the effect that we (the readers) have on them (the books). I don’t mean on the reputations or royalties of the authors who wrote the books but on the actual physical objects themselves.”
NYT – “John Locke, the first self-published author to sell one million e-books on Amazon.com, has made a deal with Simon & Schuster for the sales and distribution of his print books. Mr. Locke said he wanted to allow readers “traditional access” to his books, which include the Donovan Creed thrillers and several westerns.”
BN – “These days, when it’s common to see adults engrossed in Harry Potter on the subway, and the edgiest shows on HBO are about vampires and dragons, it’s hard to believe there was once a time when sci-fi and fantasy fiction were confined to a cultural ghetto. But in his new study, Becoming Ray Bradbury (Illinois), Jonathan R. Eller shows that being a sci-fi writer in pre-World War II America was thoroughly unglamorous—less a career than a dubious kind of hobby.”
Washington Post – “Here’s a relatively new one in the annals of book challenges: A Virginia school district has removed from the required sixth grade reading list at one middle school a Sherlock Holmes book because a Mormon parent complained about the way it portrayed Mormons. Josh Davis, chief operating officer for the Albemarle County Public Schools said the school board decided a few days ago to honor the request of a group of parents, “one in particular of the Mormon faith,” who complained earlier in the year.
FlavorWire – “This week, we came across this list of ‘books you really should have read in high school’ over at MSNBC’s Today Books. While their picks are definitely classics, most of which we did in fact have to read in high school, we think today’s youth (and any adults playing catch-up, which let’s be real, is almost everybody to some extent) would be better served by a few alternate choices. The classics are wonderful, but the canon should be fluid, allowing some experimental choices as well as the tried-and-true. Of course, kids today should read hundreds of books, if possible, so this is by necessity a finite, imperfect list reflecting, as it must, our own proclivities. “
AP – “Once upon a time, there was a bookstore. One day, the bookstore went away and reopened online with a new name and a mission to combat childhood illiteracy.
The rest of the story of year-old e-tailer MonkeyReader.com is still being written but its founders hope the ending will be happy — and successful. “We’re beginning, we’re growing, we have a lot of great ideas,” co-founder David Lenett of the venture, a successor of the Discovery Bookshop, a popular Philadelphia children’s bookstore that closed in the 1990s and became an online storefront that evolved into the more interactive MonkeyReader site.”
Chronicle of Higher Education – “rain his or her brain to the habits of long-form reading, in any given culture, few people will want to. And that’s to be expected. Serious “deep attention” reading has always been and will always be a minority pursuit, a fact that has been obscured in the past half-century, especially in the United States, by the dramatic increase in the percentage of the population attending college, and by the idea (only about 150 years old) that modern literature in vernacular languages should be taught at the university level.”