Category Archives: Books

The First Telephone Directory

Today in 1878, George Willard Coy and a group of investors from the District Telephone Company of New Haven published the world’s first telephone directory, a single sheet with only 50 names. Yes, another thing we don’t have because of technology. Here’s … Continue reading

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The Penguin Takes Off

Today in 1935, the first ten Penguin Books, paperback reprints of titles previously published as hardbacks, are issued by publisher Allen Lane. Each title costs only sixpence each, the price of a pack of cigarettes, and all the titles feature the Penguin … Continue reading

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Bernard Lewis on Owning Books

“At an early age I made an important discovery: that the pleasure of reading a book could be greatly increased and renewed at will if one actually owned it. To begin with, one could choose the time and place of … Continue reading

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Ray Bradbury 1920-2012

In 1950, typing rapidly on a pay-by-the-hour typewriter in UCLA’s library basement, Ray Bradbury completed in just nine days the first draft of what will become Fahrenheit 451. In the book, which was published in 1953, Bradbury described a society … Continue reading

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Foolish Verses

  Thomas Freeman, an Oxford graduate, came to London, as Wood says, “to set up for a poet,” and published in 1614 Rub and a Great Cast, a volume of epigrams, among which are some on Shakespeare and other leading poets of the age. … Continue reading

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On Books and eBooks

“Few technological victories are ever complete, and in the case of books this will be especially true. Bookstores will not disappear but will exploit digital technologies to increase their virtual and physical inventories, and perhaps become publishers themselves. So will … Continue reading

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On the History of Information

Ann Blair in Salon:  “The history of information has developed especially in the last 10 years. It is a subset of intellectual and cultural history, which is a subset of general history. “Information” today typically refers to all the stuff … Continue reading

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Earliest Intact European Book Now Digitized

The British Library has announced that it has successfully acquired the St Cuthbert Gospel, a miraculously well-preserved 7th century manuscript that is the oldest European book to survive fully intact and therefore one of the world’s most important books.  The £9 … Continue reading

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Why People Like to Read

Source: Pew Internet

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Harper Lee on Reading

From a letter to Oprah Winfrey Harper Lee wrote in 2006: “Do you remember when you learned to read, or like me, can you not even remember a time when you didn’t know how? I must have learned from having been … Continue reading

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