Describes how libraries across the United States have dismantled collections of original bound newspapers and brittle books to replace them with microfilmed copies, exploring the hidden reasons for such policies.
What does it mean when a fictional hero takes a journey?. Shares a meal? Gets drenched in a sudden rain shower? Often, there is much more going on in a novel or poem than is readily visible on the surface--a symbol, maybe, that remains elusive, or an unexpected twist on a character--and there's that sneaking suspicion that the deeper meaning of a literary text keeps escaping you.
In this practical and amusing guide to literature, Thomas C. Foster shows how easy and gratifying it is to unlock those hidden truths, and to discover a world where a road leads to a quest; a shared meal may signify a communion; and rain, whether cleansing or destructive, is never just rain. Ranging from major themes to literary models, narrative devices, and form, How to Read Literature Like a Professor is the perfect companion for making your reading experience more enriching, satisfying, and fun.
In post-World War I America, teeming as it was with magazines, newspapers, radio broadcasts and movies, many feared that the survival of traditional, serious books was in peril. This concern led to a publishing boom in fine editions; books valued primarily for their beauty, craftsmanship, extravagance, status, or scarcity. Beauty and the Book is a lively cultural history of the explosion in demand for these deluxe books during the 1920s and 1930s. Megan L. Benton argues that the clamour to own fine books reflected the anxieties and desires of those who mourned the rise of a modern mass culture. For them, such volumes not only affirmed a preindustrial ideal but also imparted social distinction and cultural superiority. Benton combines new archival research with a close examination of three hundred fine editions of the period. In theory, fine bookmakers were devoted to beauty and quality and were unwilling to compromise with machinery, popular taste, or concern for profit. But such ideal standards were nearly impossible to maintain. Paradoxically, fine publishers' ostensible indifference to commercial considerations was one of their most prized and lucrative products for sale. This b
In his national bestseller, A Gentle Madness, Nicholas Basbanes explored the sweet obsession people feel to possess books. Now, Basbanes continues his adventures among the gently mad on an irresistible journey to the great libraries of the past -- from Alexandria to Glastonbury -- and to contemporary collections at the Vatican, Wolfenb ttel, and erudite universities. Along the way, he drops in on eccentric book dealers and regales us with stories about unforgettable collectors, such as the gentleman who bought a rare book in 1939 by selling bottles of his own blood.
Taking the book's grand title from the marble lions guarding the New York Public Library at 42nd Street, Basbanes both entertains and delights. And once again, as Scott Turow aptly noted, Basbanes makes you love books, the collections he writes about, and the volume in your hand.
Michael Servetus is one of those hidden figureheads of history who is remembered not for his name, but for the revolutionary deeds that stand in his place. Both a scientist and a freethinking theologian, Servetus is credited with the discovery of pulmonary circulation in the human body as well as the authorship of a polemical masterpiece that cost him his life. "The Chrisitianismi Restituto," a heretical work of biblical scholarship, written in 1553, aimed to refute the orthodox Christianity that Servetus' old colleague, John Calvin, supported. After the book spread through the ranks of Protestant hierarchy, Servetus was tried and agonizingly burned at the stake, the last known copy of the "Restitutio" chained to his leg.
Servetus's execution is significant because it marked a turning point in the quest for freedom of expression, due largely to the development of the printing press and the proliferation of books in Renaissance Europe. Three copies of the "Restitutio" managed to survive the burning, despite every effort on the part of his enemies to destroy them. As a result, the book became almost a surrogate for its author, going into hiding and relying on covert distribution until it could be read freely, centuries later. "Out of the Flames" tracks the history of this special work, examining Servetus's life and times and the politics of the first information during the sixteenth century. Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone follow the clandestine journey of the three copies through the subsequent centuries and explore its author's legacy and influence over the thinkers that shared his spirit and genius, such as Leibniz, Voltaire, Rousseau, Jefferson, Clarence Dorrow, and WilliamOsler.
Out of the Flames" is an extraordinary story providing testament to the power of ideas, the enduring legacy of books, and the triumph of individual courage.
Situated at the center of the world's largest museum complex, the Smithsonian Institution Libraries links the holdings of 22 Smithsonian museums and research centres into one system encompassing 1.5 million books and manuscripts. The expansive collection includes many rare and unusual works equal to the celebrated art and artifacts of the Smithsonian's museums. This illustrated accompaniment to a new Smithsonian Libraries exhibition of the same name provides a three-part expedition through the collection. The first presents works such as a 1511 edition of Ptolemy's Liber geographiae (Book of Geography) and the pop-up book Buck Rogers, 25th century, featuring Buddy and Allura in Strange Adventures in the Spider Ship to illustrate how the world has been imagined, seen, and recorded by Europeans and Americans. The second journey explores how scientists have extended our understanding of the world, and includes a 1641 edition of Galileo's Systema cosmicum (System of the world) and a copy of Walden inscribed by Henry David Thoreau to Spencer Baird, then assistant secretary of the newly founded Smithsonian Institution.
In the rural Australia of the fifties where John Baxter grew up, reading books was disregarded with suspicion, owning and collecting them with utter incomprehension. Despite this, by the age of eleven Baxter had 'collected' his first book - "The Poems of Rupert Brooke." He'd read the volume often, but now he had to own it. This was the beginning of what would become a major collection and a lifelong obsession.
His book-hunting would take him all over the world, but his first real find was in London in 1978, when he spotted a rare copy of a Graham Greene children's book while browsing on a stall in Swiss Cottage. It was going for 5 pence. This would also, fortuitously, be the day when he first encountered one of the legends of the book-selling world: Martin Stone. At various times pothead, international fugitive from justice, and professional rock musician, he would become John's mentor and friend.
In this brilliantly readable and funny book, John Baxter brings us into contact with such literary greats as Graham Greene, Kingsley Amis, J.G. Ballard and Ray Bradbury. But he also shows us how he penetrated the secret fraternity of 'runners' or book scouts - sleuths who use bluff and guile to hunt down their quarry - and joined them in scouring junk shops, markets, auction rooms and private homes for rarities.
In the comic tradition of Clive James's "Unreliable Memoirs," "A Pound of Paper" describes how a boy from the bush came to be living in a Paris penthouse with a library worth millions. It also explores the exploding market in first editions. What treasures are lying unnoticed in your garage?