Twilight, by Dr. Seuss
Jake likes a girl. Her name is Bella.
Bella likes a different fella.
See this vamp? This is Ed.
Ed is pale. Ed is dead.
Ed saved Bella from a van.
Ed must be a special man.
Ed won't kill boys. He won't kill girls.
Ed gets fed on deer and squirrels.
This is James. He's a tracker.
He's a sort of vamp attacker.
James hunts Bella for a thrill.
Will Ed kill him? Yes, he will.
But James gave her a little bite.
Will she be a vamp? She might!
Edward fixes Bella's cut.
She won't be a vampire.
She becomes one. Read some more.
She's a vampire in book 4.
I first heard about the secret bookshop, Brazenhead Books, from my friend Rachel Rosenfelt, founder of the literary website The New Inquiry. Rachel described Brazenhead as a mecca for book lovers and as one of those rare New York City gems, an extremely fascinating, yet unknown, spot...
A survey by the Jenkins Group, an independent publishing services firm, has shown that millions of Americans never read another book after leaving school.
- 33 percent of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
- 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
- 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
- 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
- 57 percent of new books are not read to completion
Inventing the printing press was not the same thing as inventing the publishing business. Technologically, craftsmen were ready to follow Gutenberg’s example, opening presses across Europe. But they could only guess at what to print, and the public saw no particular need to buy books. The books they knew, manuscript texts, were valuable items and were copied to order. The habit of spending money to read something a printer had decided to publish was an alien one.
Nor was print clearly destined to replace manuscript, from the point of view of the book owners of the day. A few fussy color-printing experiments aside, the new books were monochrome, dull in comparison to illuminated manuscripts. Many books left blank spaces for adding hand decoration, and collectors frequently bound printed pages together with manuscript ones.
“It’s a great mistake to think of an absolute disjunction between a manuscript world of the Middle Ages and a print world of the 16th century,” Pettegree said.
As in our own Internet era, culture and commerce went through upheaval as Europe tried to figure out what to make of the new medium and its possibilities. Should it serve to spread familiar Latin texts, or to promote new ideas, written in the vernacular? Was print a vessel for great and serious works, or for quick and sloppy ones? As with the iPad (or the Newton before it), who would want to buy a printed book, and why?
It's safe to assume that the digitized books that scholars will be working with then will be the very same ones that are sitting on Google's servers today, augmented by the millions of titles published in the interim.
That realization lends a particular urgency to the concerns that people have voiced about the settlement —about pricing, access, and privacy, among other things. But for scholars, it raises another, equally basic question: What assurances do we have that Google will do this right?
Everyone sees them, but no one does anything about them. They are the silent menace, stalking after the unwary fantasy writer like wolves after a lamb.
Tolkein is not to blame for the way that people have taken his books as the model for fantasy. His own writing on the subject of fantasy recommends "mining the past" for useful story-writing tools, not taking the pattern that someone offers you unaltered.
Most of the time, those imitations are themselves imperfect, ignoring a lot of what went on in the beginning story...