Tag Archives: books

Short Saturday: Comments Authors Like to Hear

Do you love to go to book fests and fairs and meet your favorite authors? I know I do. Now that I’ve been editing for some years, I’ve actually been fortunate enough to hang out with authors whose work I admire. One of those is Sarah Loudin Thomas, the author of about the sort of […]

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#WordUse Series:
On Stationery. And Guilds. And Vocabulary Words.

Stationery is an old-fashioned word. Or maybe I just think it’s old-fashioned because I learned it a long time ago and I don’t see it used much any more, given our electronic culture. But no, my fave dictionary lists it as having appeared in 1688—which is old enough, but its etymology is stationer, which we’re told by the same […]

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The Library and the Intellectual Life

An intellectual life often forms in the strangest, most infertile of conditions. The deep forests of those isolated [army] bases became the kingdom that I took ownership of as a child. I followed the minnow-laced streams as they made their cutting way toward the Trent River. Each time in the woods I brought my nature-obsessed […]

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Personal Archeology: I Remember It Well

Have you ever bought a used book and found something interesting inside? I don’t mean the inscription inside the front cover (another post for another time) … I mean the ephemera. (Merriam Webster: “Paper items [such as posters, broadsides, or tickets] that were originally meant to be discarded after use but have since become collectibles.”) […]

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Short Saturday: Mass-Market Reading

A friend of mine drew my attention to this article from the New York Times about a new “project” from author James Patterson: He wants to sell books to people who have abandoned reading for television, video games, movies and social media. So how do you sell books to somebody who doesn’t normally read? Mr. […]

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Number 18

I’ve said it before: I like this guy Austin Kleon, not least because he’s interested in the creative process, as I am. (Click on creativity in my tag cloud, you’ll see.) But also because he’s a reader. When I read Kleon’s post “33 thoughts on reading” about a year ago, I wrote a blog post […]

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The Judgment of Librarians

Choosing books for a library like mine in New York is a full-time job. The head of acquisitions at the Society Library, Steven McGuirl, reads Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, The Times Literary Supplement, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, The London Times, and The New York Times […]

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Short Saturday: #AtMyBookstore

Last night I went to a book signing at Parnassus Books in Nashville. I had a really good time, which I often do at these things. And for a variety of reasons (which I’ll no doubt blog about later), I came home and checked in at the Parnassus website, where I stumbled upon this. It’s a […]

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The Childhood of a Writer

The childhoods of writers are thought to have something to do with their vocation, but when you look at these childhoods they are in fact very different. What they often contain, however, are books and solitude; and my own childhood was right on track. There were no films or theatres in the North, and the […]

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Why/How/What We Should Read

If reading books is to survive as a leisure activity—and there are statistics which show that this is by no means assured—then we have to promote the joys of reading rather than the (dubious) benefits. I would never attempt to dissuade anyone from reading a book. But please, if you’re reading a book that’s killing […]

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