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What We Talk About When We Talk About Books
What We Talk About When We Talk About Books: The History and Future of Reading | Leah Price
23 posts | 8 read | 38 to read
Reports of the death of reading are greatly exaggerated Do you worry that you've lost patience for anything longer than a tweet? If so, you're not alone. Digital-age pundits warn that as our appetite for books dwindles, so too do the virtues in which printed, bound objects once trained us: the willpower to focus on a sustained argument, the curiosity to look beyond the day's news, the willingness to be alone. The shelves of the world's great libraries, though, tell a more complicated story. Examining the wear and tear on the books that they contain, English professor Leah Price finds scant evidence that a golden age of reading ever existed. From the dawn of mass literacy to the invention of the paperback, most readers already skimmed and multitasked. Print-era doctors even forbade the very same silent absorption now recommended as a cure for electronic addictions. The evidence that books are dying proves even scarcer. In encounters with librarians, booksellers and activists who are reinventing old ways of reading, Price offers fresh hope to bibliophiles and literature lovers alike.
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TracyReadsBooks
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Pickpick

It likely goes without saying I enjoyed this fascinating, albeit on occasion dry, look at books (as objects) & reading (as an activity). Exploring everything from how we read to the medical benefits, or medical problems, from reading Price discusses, as the cover says, the history & future of reading. Books, & those who write, sell, & read them, have long been disrupters & innovators & this book offers a fascinating glimpse into that world.

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TracyReadsBooks
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🤨

“...novels were forbidden to under-sixteens.”

So interesting...Sorry for all the posts...it‘s just all so interesting and more than occasionally Really?!? What?!? Wow!

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TracyReadsBooks
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On the health hazards of reading...according to doctors in the 17th and 18th centuries.

So many interesting things to think about it terms of books as objects and reading as an activity...

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TracyReadsBooks
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Readers beware...”some people cannot stand very exciting or thrilling stories...”

Swear off novels?!?

😂

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TracyReadsBooks
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Seriously, some strong opinions about the whole buy vs. borrow debate. Contests even...

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TracyReadsBooks
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The ongoing debate of borrow vs. buy...a matter worth commenting on by Jane Austen way back in the day.

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TracyReadsBooks
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Going with nonfiction and a hot cup of tea this morning. Learning all sorts of interesting things such as books were the “first consumer goods marketed specifically as gifts” and this was happening by the nineteenth century! Anticipating a fascinating read.

Tamra That‘s an intriguing factoid! 2w
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TracyReadsBooks
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Ohhh, there is nothing better than getting a new book EXCEPT, perhaps, getting a book about books!!! One of my friends and I always, without exception, exchange books for all the important occasions—holidays, birthdays, any reason at all. Once again, she has gifted me with what looks to be a very interesting book. Can‘t wait to read it!

ElishaLovesBooks This looks great! Can‘t wait to hear your thoughts! ♥️ 1mo
20 likes1 comment
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ravenlee
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Mehso-so

Some interesting bits here, though it felt somewhat disjointed and rambling. Big ideas: difference between books and texts; readers have not changed much over the centuries despite shifting technologies; where we read and get our reading material matters as much as (or more than) what and how we read.

I loathed the “lay flat” section‘s format, by the bye.

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ravenlee
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Is anyone else bothered by the transition from “small-town child” to “cradled the book as tenderly as a lover‘s body”?

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ravenlee
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The idea of the book vending machine is not new at all.

Also, #TIL: 52 libraries opened in the London Underground during the Blitz of 1940-1941, when the Underground was used for bomb shelter.

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ravenlee
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I‘m amused by the pejorative words for book borrowers.

Sace I kinda like "culture vulture" and "greader". And I find it sort of silly to be coming down on the readers, it's the money grubbing publishers I've got an issue with ? (or is that the whole point of the section you're sharing?) 2mo
TiredLibrarian This is so timely with Macmillan restricting ebook sales to libraries. Do they not get the whole book ecosystem: that borrowers become buyers, buyers are also borrowers, and so on? https://www.npr.org/2019/11/01/775150979/you-may-have-to-wait-to-borrow-a-new-e-...
(edited) 2mo
ravenlee @Sace @TiredLibrarian yes, this section is about the reframing of book reading into book owning, trying to discourage the sharing of books and magazines. Apparently MacMillan is still playing from this playbook. They definitely don‘t get that people who read more buy more, even if it‘s not the same title borrowed and bought. 2mo
Sace @TiredLibrarian You read my mind. I was thinking of MacMillan when I made that comment! 😊 2mo
28 likes4 comments
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ravenlee
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Today‘s library #bookhaul - and all #nfnovember too. Hopefully they‘re quick reads, because they all look good.

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Nitpickyabouttrains
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Pickpick

A cool non fiction about books and how they are different from stories. The history of books and how people read and how it has been seen through time.

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underground_bks
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Pickpick

English professor Leah Price turns our common conceptions about the health and history of the book on its head in this concentrated examination of how we‘ve thought of books and reading through time. I particularly enjoyed her chapters on biblio-therapy and book activism. It did feel a bit rangy and scattered to me—but full of fascinating facts about books to ponder!

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HillsAndHamletsBookshop
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Pickpick

I enjoyed it, though I will say you have to be pretty interested in book history for it to be a good fit. Price presents some fresh perspectives on book history and our current print zeitgeist that are thought provoking for modern book activists.

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Becker
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Mehso-so

The contents of this book would normally be very interesting to me but honestly, 224 pages of it got a bit dull. Too much of a good thing. I should have broke it down into much smaller reading segments.

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Angeles
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Here is the gist of this delightful book:
Our ancestors were as lazy, unfocused and inattentive readers as we are: stop blaming technology😁

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vivastory
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Having a TBR I will never conquer, precariously placed stacks in my apartment that occasionally fall, & having spent a small fortune on books...I must say, this is truly a #wonderfullife & I wouldn't want it any other way.
#RedRoseSeptember
@arlenefinnigan @Cinfhen

Melissa_J Well played! 4mo
Suet624 💕💕💕👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 4mo
Cinfhen Wonderful ❤️ 4mo
arlenefinnigan Well said 👏 4mo
OnlyYoo ❤️❤️❤️ relatable 4mo
110 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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Booksnchill
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Reading a review of the tagged book in The New Yorker. The idea that our current interaction with books should not be nostalgic or as a bunker to stave off the digital onslaught but as a way to “have words with one another” the important thing is the “interactions through which we get our hands on books” as well as those that “awaken a desire for them”... so basically Litsy!!!🤣🤓🤔 Community Goals. Happy Sunday Littens!

Riveted_Reader_Melissa Yes Litsy! 4mo
Emilymdxn Just read this what a great article! 4mo
Booksnchill @Riveted_Reader_Melissa 👍👏👏👏💕 4mo
Booksnchill @Emilymdxn I put the book on hold at my library- I hope it‘s as good as the review! 4mo
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Flaneurette
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Good reading spot today

merelybookish Indeed! 😍 4mo
LeahBergen Gorgeous! 4mo
TheSpineView 😍 4mo
Dawnrod1970 So beautiful! 4mo
CarolynM Lovely😍 4mo
46 likes1 stack add5 comments
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kd_lawson
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Mehso-so

I enjoyed this while at the same time feeling like something was missing.
It never fully capture my attention but was filled with interesting information about the history of books as physical objects.
The narration was solid but somehow I still found my mind wandering to other things.
I plan on reading it again in the future because it could just be my headspace at the moment.

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Mitch
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Oh my goodness - what a title! Shouldn‘t this be stacked by every Litten! Out today if you‘re interested..l can‘t believe there isn‘t a Litsy post about it yet ( my first port of call when I see something new and wanna get a feel for it!)

squirrelbrain Stacked! ❤️ 5mo
AnneCecilie I need to check into this one 5mo
82 likes13 stack adds2 comments