Book News and New Book Reviews

Just a sampling of our new materials (right side)!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Study Finds Reading to Children of All Ages Grooms Them to Read More on Their Own

Cue the hand-wringing about digital distraction: Fewer children are reading books frequently for fun, according to a new report released Thursday by Scholastic, the children’s book publisher.
In a 2014 survey of just over 1,000 children ages 6 to 17, only 31 percent said they read a book for fun almost daily, down from 37 percent four years ago.
There were some consistent patterns among the heavier readers: For the younger children — ages 6 to 11 — being read aloud to regularly and having restricted online time were correlated with frequent reading; for the older children — ages 12 to 17 — one of the largest predictors was whether they had time to read on their own during the school day.
The finding about reading aloud to children long after toddlerhood may come as a surprise to some parents who read books to children at bedtime when they were very young but then tapered off. Last summer, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced a new policy recommending that all parents read to their children from birth.
“A lot of parents assume that once kids begin to read independently, that now that is the best thing for them to do,” said Maggie McGuire, the vice president for a website for parents operated by Scholastic.
(Rest of the article in the New York Times)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2014 Proves Another Solid Year for Indies

A mild winter in many parts of the country coupled with a six-year low in unemployment and significantly lower gas prices combined for a strong holiday season at most independent bookstores and up sales for the year. Or as Steve Bercu, CEO of BookPeople in Austin, puts it, “People are just back into books. There was just tons and tons of stuff getting sold.”
Based on PW’s informal survey of more than two dozen stores, many easily beat the National Retail Federation’s prediction of a 4.1% increase during November and December. Beth Black, co-owner of the Bookworm in Omaha, Neb., which moved to an upscale shopping center in October, described the Christmas season as “terrific. Our holiday sales were up nicely over last year, up 20%.” Long-time bookseller Shirley Mullin, owner of 29-year-old Kids Ink in Indianapolis described it as “the best holiday season we’ve ever had.” 

(Rest of the Article)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

If Your Kids Won’t Read, Maybe You Should Find Them Better Books

In January, Scholastic is publishing the fifth edition of its "Kids & Family Reading Report," a big survey on kids' reading habits and preferences. A sneak peek is up here, and while not all of it is surprising — did you know that people of almost all ages really, really like Harry Potter? — one finding in particular sticks out: According to Scholastic, "73% of kids ages 6-17 say 'I would read more more if I could find more books I like.'"
This suggests a seemingly easy way to get kids to read more: expose them to more books, and ones that are a better fit given their interests. Easier said than done, of course: It's easy to imagine tired, overworked, but otherwise good parents falling victim to the busyness of daily life and failing to take an active approach to helping their kids find good books. For a lot of folks, it's probably an uphill battle just to carve out a couple of hours to make a family trip to the library, let alone to take the time to join their kids in exploring the stacks. But if this survey's any indication, doing so will probably pay off.   read the rest

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Science Has Great News for People Who Read Actual Books

I's no secret that reading is good for you. Just six minutes of reading is enough to reduce stress by 68%, and numerous studies have shown that reading keeps your brain functioning effectively as you age. One study even found that elderly individuals who read regularly are 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer's than their peers. But not all forms of reading are created equal.
The debate between paper books and e-readers has been vicious since the first Kindle came out in 2007. Most arguments have been about the sentimental versus the practical, between people who prefer how paper pages feel in their hands and people who argue for the practicality of e-readers. But now science has weighed in, and the studies are on the side of paper books. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


| 12-09-2014
With today's rapidly evolving technology and ever-present social media changing the way consumers are connecting with the written word, it should come as no surprise that today's teens are finding and consuming content differently from previous generations. But while we typically associate these youthful consumers with being early adopters of new technology and digital content platforms, the reading habits of those aged 13-17 are a mix of old and new.
Despite teens' tech-savvy reputation, this group continues to lag behind adults when it comes to reading e-books, even with the young adult genre's digital growth relative to the total e-book market. While 20% of teens purchasing e-books, 25% of 30-44 year olds and 23% of 18-29 year olds buy digital copies. While younger readers are open to e-books as a format, teens continue to express a preference for print that may seem to be at odds with their perceived digital know-how. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Releases 400,000 Images Online for Non-Commercial Use

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has released a vast archive of 400,000 (mostly) hi-resolution digital images online that you can download and use for non-commercial purposes. From a 12-megapixel scan ofRembrandt’s 1660 self-portrait to over 18,000 photos spanning almost two centuries. Here are a few quick gems from the Photography collection, see also: Arms & ArmorModern and Contemporary Art, and otherhighlights. (via Kottke)
From the web site.
(For the rest of the article click here).
(To go to the MET Collection click here).

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

PW's Picks: The Best Spirituality and Religion and Books of 2014

PW's top five spirituality and religion books for 2014 are from preachers and teachers, Christians and atheists, a grieving mother and a happily married pastor and his wife. The perspectives are varied, the voices fresh and eloquent

Learning to Walk in the Dark

Barbara Brown Taylor (HarperOne)

At home on a page or at a podium, Taylor always offers eloquent provocation to thought. The title conceit exemplifies how the Episcopal priest and theologian develops insights from unusual perspectives that lead to more enlightened living.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Field Trip to America's Public Libraries

How they serve the needs of their communities   by  NOV 19 2014, 10:57 AM ET

As we’ve been crisscrossing the country visiting towns and cities for ourAmerican Futures project, I always look forward to stopping in the town's public library. Every town has one. They’re often lovely buildings. (Thank you, Andrew Carnegie!) They offer a first pulse of the town. (Are they vibrant and bustling?) The librarians are as knowledgeable as the newspaper editors and as welcoming as the Chamber of Commerce. Who wouldn’t love a library?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Art of New York: An Assortment of New York Books for the Holidays

Have friends with empty coffee tables? Here’s a selection of New York holiday gift books.
“Art touches our souls because it comes from our souls,” Stanley Tucci, the actor, writes in the foreword to “New York’s Underground Art Museum: M.T.A. Art and Design” (Monacelli Press), by Sandra Bloodworth and William Ayres, an illustrated tour of the transit system’s public art program advocated by the former Metropolitan Transportation Authority board member Ronay Menschel.
“It has been said that this program is trying to save the soul of the subway,” Mr. Tucci writes. “In doing so it may be saving a piece of ours as well.” Works in this expanded edition range from Heins & La Farge’s 1904 terra-cotta beavers at Astor Place to Sarah Sze’s maquette for the new Second Avenue subway.
(Rest of the article)