Archive for Books

Some Bookish News

If you haven’t looked at the various blogs authored by the British Library, for shame! The BL is among the world’s largest libraries and it contains numerous treasures; its digital manuscripts collections are marvelous and are highlighted in the blogs.

Did you know that the book industry here is controlled by five mega-publishers? This infograph shows who owns whom.

The Association of American Publishers newsroom has valuable book trade statistics and industry-related news.

Did you know that the federal government is among the world’s largest publishers? And that much of what it publishes, including books, are now online? Come here to find out what is available.

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Paper Books Still Rule!

At least according to this recent Pew survey: “Fully 65% of Americans have read a print book in the last year, more than double the share that has read an e-book (28%) and more than four times the share that has consumed book content via audio book (14%).” (2) The report goes on to detail how dedicated e-readers are falling out of favor, and that people are reading materials off their phones or tablets. Many graphs supplement this report; the questionnaire utilized is also included.


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“Sacred Books of the East”

“The Sacred Books of the East (SBE) series, comprising fifty volumes, was issued by the Oxford University Press between 1879 and 1910. It has translations of key sacred texts of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Zoroastrianism, Jainism, and Islam….The SBE has been designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as part of the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works.” The entire set is available online, along with a comprehensive index. This was a monumental undertaking and some of the translated texts are still the most definitive we have.

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Middle English Works

For those with a appreciation for how English has developed and changed over the years, these Middle English prose and poetry works might be of interest.

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Irish Tales and Poetry

The Irish Texts Society publishes critical, translated editions of classic Irish poetry, tales, and the occasional history; most of these editions, even though some are a century old, are still considered the best of their kind. The first twenty-four volumes are split between here and here.

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Historical Development of Thought in Western Europe

The Dictionary of the History of Ideas was published to great acclaim in 1973/74; it contains works by such scholars as Merle Curti, Peter Stearns, and Sidney Hook. As the preface to the e-edition states “…the Dictionary of the History of Ideas was a culminating work in a tradition that had been energized by the fight against fascism. It was a tradition committed to the pursuit of disinterested scholarship in the academic sphere and to free expression of thought in the political sphere ….” From the development of cities to the workings of biology, this four-volume work distills much of the work and thought of twentieth-century academics. The bibliographies, while obviously outdated, still provide valuable citations.

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Major Literary Works of the 20th Century

The British Library is hosting Discovering Literature: 20th Century Literature; it contains major literary works, interpretive essays and analyses, and links to related writings such as letters, drafts, and manuscripts.

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