1984 Sales Jump

big-brotherAs of  yesterday morning, Amazon sales of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984
had jumped 6,021 percent in just 24 hours, to No. 213 on Amazon’s bestseller list. As NPR’s Alan Greenblatt recently pointed out, many people have found uncomfortable resonances between Orwell’s “Big Brother” state and the news that broke last week of U.S. government surveillance programs. More news here.

Authors’ Outlines

This is J.K. Rowling’s outline for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I am not a writer but the process fascinates me. The mind of an author must work overtime when they’re writing a book.rowling_outline2

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via

There are several other outlines of famous works of literature in this article by Emily Temple.

Protect Books from Dust

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To protect books from dust, crisp lengths of linen can be hung from shelves. The technique, used in old Swedish libraries, also gives a neat appearance to uneven volumes. To make, measure the length of the shelf, and the distance from the shelf above to the top of the shortest book. Add 1 inch to all sides; cut prewashed linen to this size. Hem bottom and sides by 1 inch. Sew 1-inch-wide twill tape to top edge. Fasten to underside of shelf every 6 inches with upholsterers’ tacks or a strip of Velcro.

Famous Books They Tried to Censor

5-4-2013 8-39-28 AMThere are a lot of famous books that people have tried to have censored over the years. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is always the first one the comes to my mind. But The Diary of Anne Frank? Originally, about 30% of this book was cut because she wrote about her sexuality in the entries. The entries have been reinstated and, of course, a parent recently tried to have the book banned. It boggles my mind that there can be so much sex and violence on television and someone is trying to have these classic books banned. Here are a few more famous books that were censored or expurgated from their original formats.

Movie Tie-in Book Covers

5-2-2013 1-34-38 PMThe 1925 dust jacket vs. the 2013 dust jacket.

Why do they have to ruin the cover of a book with the movie tie-ins? Couldn’t they put the pictures of the cast members on the back and leave the original artwork alone? I guess that’s too much to ask. I’m sure Leonardo’s photo will sell books. Here are more hideous movie tie-in book covers.

Movie Tie-in Book Covers

5-2-2013 1-34-38 PMThe 1925 dust jacket vs. the 2013 dust jacket.

Why do they have to ruin the cover of a book with the movie tie-ins? Couldn’t they put the pictures of the cast members on the back and leave the original artwork alone? I guess that’s too much to ask. I’m sure Leonardo’s photo will sell books. Here are more hideous movie tie-in book covers.

James Patterson Stirs the Pot

4-24-2013 1-05-50 PM“The Federal Government has stepped in to save banks, and the automobile industry, but where are they on the important subject of books? Or, if the answer is state and local government, where are they? Is any state doing anything? Why are there no impassioned editorials in influential newspapers or magazines? Who will save our books? Our libraries? Our Bookstores?” –James Patterson.

This was on the cover of Publishers Weekly. James Patterson also took out ads in The New York Times Book Review and in Kirkus. He has some legitimate concerns and good questions. Read more here.

Another good article on the subject is here.

Questions customers ask in a bookstore

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Jen Campbell, who works at the Ripping Yarns bookshop in North London, published a selection of questions that customers have asked at her store. The book was such a success that she asked other bookstore owners for questions that they’d received. A couple examples:

Customer: Do you have a copy of Jane Eyre? We’re doing it in our book club.

Bookseller: Sure. I’ll just get you a copy.

Customer: Thanks. You know, I go to this book club thing but I really hate reading.

Bookseller: So why do you go?

Customer: I don’t know, really. (Pause). To make things easier, I bought a book called How To Talk About Books You Haven’t Read.

Bookseller: Yeah?

Customer: Yeah. I didn’t read it.

Elderly female customer: I can’t believe everybody’s reading this Fifty Shades …

Bookseller: I know. I take it that it isn’t your cup of  tea, then?

Customer: Oh, no dear. Been there, done that — no need to read about it!

Read more funny questions here.