RCB Bookmarks, Mid-January, 2009

Links on culture, reading, and the web.

  • Is blogging killing communication? » Principled DiscoveryMaybe it is the nature of the blog and the internet. A million voices are shouting through the noise and the easiest way to attract a following is to market outrage. The e-newsletters I receive never merely outline an issue, provide some background and offer suggestions for organizing against an action. Mixed in with this purported goal of the newsletter are hyperbolic statements about the end of America. The end of homeschooling. The end of the family. The end of worker’s rights… Everything is sensationalized. There is never a middle ground. There is always a call to arms.
  • E-Books—This Time It’s Real » The Platform by Peter Osnos In the face of the latest headlines—“Barnes and Noble Had Weak Holiday” (Wall Street Journal); “Putting Off The Ritz: The New Austerity of Publishing” (New York Times) and, grimmest of all, “An Autopsy of the Book Business” (The Daily Beast) by the correctly described “publishing legend” Jason Epstein—I feel like Voltaire’s ridiculous optimist Pangloss in saying that there is significant news to report that is wholly positive for anyone who cares about books.
  • NEA Study Shows Reading on the Rise, No Idea Why » BooksquareHallelujah and pass the ammunition! Cultural decline is not inevitable. Romans, we are not…If you’ve been hanging around [Booksquare] long enough, you’re not surprised that I’m not surprised that adding online reading to the mix increases the percentage of adults who engage in literary reading, though the range of who, what, when, where, why remain wide open for studying.
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