books · Publishing

People are Making Books Out of Jellyfish Now

I have an irrational fear of jellyfish. Scientifically-minded folks tell me that the real name for my fear is scyphophobia, presumably from the Greek word for squishy monster.* If they ever say anything more about jellyfish, I never hear them over the sound of my screaming. I had thought that my life was mostly insulated… Continue reading People are Making Books Out of Jellyfish Now

books · libraries · resources

Shakespeare Online: Saving the First Folio

In my first memory of seeing a Shakespeare play live, the fairies from a A Midsummer Night’s Dream enter the stage to the dulcet tones of No Doubt’s “Hella Good” and begin to dance. I don’t know what I had been expecting when I sat down in the theater, but it certainly wasn’t that. Seeing very modern… Continue reading Shakespeare Online: Saving the First Folio

books · resources

700 Free Art Books from the Guggenheim and Metropolitan Museum of Art

I’m an art nerd. If you ever want to see me get stupidly excited, start a conversation about Japanese prints or Near Eastern archaeology. Unfortunately for me, finding great books about art can be difficult. Oh, the books exist. Museum gift shops and college libraries are full of them after all. But they also tend… Continue reading 700 Free Art Books from the Guggenheim and Metropolitan Museum of Art

libraries

Then Libraries Came for the Memes

I recently mentioned the prolonged work in progress that is the US Library of Congress’s Twitter archive, but while we wait for it, other digital archives have finally come to fruition. In an effort to preserve the aesthetic and language developments that have defined the past decades, the Library of Congress has created the Webcomics… Continue reading Then Libraries Came for the Memes

libraries

How the Library of Congress is Trying to Archive Twitter

Losing the remnants of the past is one of the nightmares of historians. There are so many fragments that simply don’t survive the march of time, and as they disintegrate so too does our ability to understand the past. The modern era and its technologies raise new questions about how archivists, historians, and other interested… Continue reading How the Library of Congress is Trying to Archive Twitter

books · libraries

The Library at the End of the World

People like to prepare for end of the world, and sometimes they use libraries to do it. There is, of course, the Survivor Library, a digital collection of over 7,000 freely available PDFs intended to help humanity rebuild after a cataclysm. It contains information about “[h]ow to make water safe to drink. How to build… Continue reading The Library at the End of the World

books · libraries

Like a Car Wash for Books: How Libraries Clean Reading Materials

As much as I like to imagine that library books remain perfectly clean, the reality is a little different. Sometimes books get gunky. Oil from people’s skin rubs off onto them. Someone spills a cup of coffee on a book cover. A child drops her novel in the garden. In cases like these, libraries have… Continue reading Like a Car Wash for Books: How Libraries Clean Reading Materials

resources

Afraid of Reading Glasses? There May Be a Way to Prevent Your Brain from Needing Them

When I first got glasses at age 9, it opened up a whole new world for me. I had forgotten that I was supposed to be able to see leaves on trees without being close enough to touch them. Then I put my first glasses on, and there those leaves were. I imagine that someday… Continue reading Afraid of Reading Glasses? There May Be a Way to Prevent Your Brain from Needing Them

books

A Graphic Novel about the iTunes Terms and Conditions. Yes. Really.

Every once in a while, creators make something that is a little wonky. I’ve found another one of those oddball items. Comic artist and satirist Robert Sikoryak has illustrated a graphic novel that is filled with the text of the iTunes terms and conditions legal contract that everyone has to agree to before using the service.… Continue reading A Graphic Novel about the iTunes Terms and Conditions. Yes. Really.