Bookish Headlines #11

It’s been a minute since I rounded up my Bookish Headlines and put them together. The list is getting out of control in the ‘saved’ section of my news feed and some of the headlines are out of date. Oops.

So let’s get some book news out of the way, shall we?

If you’re part of the book community online, there’s a good chance you’ve at least heard of Bookstagram or BookTube. Perhaps you’re part of one or both of them. There are a lot of people out there who haven’t heard of either of these things and so they don’t know how these communities are affecting the book world.

I read a lot of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and even though most of the stories didn’t really scare me, they scared my cousin when I read them to her and it was fun to scare her. It was also fun when I did find a story that actually creeped me out. If my parents knew I was reading them, they didn’t seem to care. But I guess other parents did and still do. Personally, I think kids should read them if they want to, because what better way is there to learn about scary stories when you’re at home, in your own bed with a flashlight under the covers?

For a lot of introverts, getting together with a bunch of people and having to be chatty about a book you might not have liked very much can be stressful. Making small talk? Forget it. But there are some groups meant for introverts who want to be in the company of others for a little while, but who also want to avoid a lot of conversation. These sorts of book clubs are just right.

Libraries are fighting to preserve your right to borrow e-books‘ by Jessamyn West via CNN

If you haven’t heard yet, major publishing companies are making it much more difficult for libraries to purchase and loan out audiobooks and ebooks to their patrons. Whether it’s a limited license that forces libraries to re-buy books after a certain period of time or number of check-outs, embargos that prevent libraries from purchasing audiobooks for weeks after publication, or higher pricing for libraries than individuals, these schemes are making it harder for libraries to obtain materials for their patrons. MacMillan claims that it’s just trying to even things out, but librarians know better. The publishing companies are trying to maximize profit at the expense of the public. I hope it backfires on them. Libraries provide essential services to a wide variety of patrons, many of whom wouldn’t be able to afford expensive audiobooks or subscription services. Anytime a company makes it harder for libraries to obtain books, I get grouchy.

brown dog biting a rope

The dog would like her library’s audiobook access back. Now.   Photo by Film Bros on Pexels.com

If you’re in the northern hemisphere, Autumn is on the way, and with it comes Halloween and all things witchy. Witchiness and witchy stories are on the rise in general, so here’s a look at why we find them fascinating.

Oh My Goodness, Look at These Adorable Pictures of Cats Taken by the Godfather of Feline Photography‘ by Sarah Cascone via ArtNet News

Taschen, a publishing house known for high-quality art books, has come out with a book filled with many of Walter Chandoha’s amazing and amazingly cute photographs of cats. Who doesn’t like cats? And who doesn’t like photographs of cats?

The future of sci-fi never looked so bright‘ by John Connolly via The Irish Times

Becky Chambers is known for her charming science fiction books like The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. She is one of the many women shaping the face of science fiction these days. Thanks to her and other new and diverse voices, the future of science fiction is looking wonderfully bright, in spite of trollish attempts to keep it locked in the 1950s.

In Praise of Pretty Books‘ by Michael Dirda via The Washington Post

Books are valued mostly for their contents and the ideas therein, but bibliophiles especially appreciate well-made and well-designed books that are meant to last, no matter how many times we read them.

What reading 3.5 million books tells us about gender stereotypes‘ by Nicole Karlis via Salon

Do we need a computer to tell us that women are stereotyped, degraded, and outright dismissed in entirely too many books? Nope. We knew that. But thanks to a study by Dr. Isabelle Augenstein at the University of Copenhagen, we now have an idea of how pernicious and extensive this bias has been. With the help of computer algorithms and machine learning, Augenstein and her colleagues examined 3.5 million books published in English between 1900 and 2008. So now we have hard statistics to show just how bad anti-woman bias has been in books over the past century or so.

 

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