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Harry Potter Casts Spell on Millennials' Political Views

Readers show 'greater support for equality': Anthony Gierzynski

(Newser) - JK Rowling's boy wizard hasn't just entertained millennials—he's worked his magic on their political views as well, writes a political science professor who's studied the subject. After surveying university students, Anthony Gierzynski found that "reading the books correlated with greater levels of acceptance for... More »

Forget Kindle Unlimited, Use the Library

A library card is a much better acquisition, writes Insider Higher Ed columnist

(Newser) - If there were a press release about this product, it might exclaim, "Revolutionary service gives you access to a virtually unlimited number of books!" writes Barbara Fister at Insider Higher Ed . She must be talking about Amazon's new Kindle Unlimited, which gives people access to 600,000... More »

'Dyslexia' Is a Meaningless Term, New Book Argues

It's too imprecise, according to 2 academics

(Newser) - "Dyslexia" is a meaningless term that should be scrapped, two academics argue in a new book. In The Dyslexia Debate , Julian Elliott of Durham University and Dr. Elena Grigorenko of Yale say the misstep comes in searching for a blanket term with which to label children who have trouble... More »

Here Are the Books People Lie About Reading

Made it through 'Ulysses' yet?

(Newser) - You've heard of these books. You might even have talked about them. You know you should have read them—but you probably didn't. At the Federalist , Ben Domenech offers his list of the books most people lie about reading:
  1. Ulysses, James Joyce
  2. The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli
  3. The Art
... More »

E-Book Boom Fizzles

Sales growth bottoms out after years of huge increases

(Newser) - The e-book boom looks to be finished, writes Nicholas Carr at the Rough Type blog. He picks up on stats from the Association of American Publishers that show just a 5% increase in sales in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the previous year. That's "anemic,"... More »

To Help Ward Off Dementia, Grab a Good Book

Study adds weight to the theory of keeping your brain active

(Newser) - It's not the most startling of conclusions, but a major new study lends weight to the theory that a lifetime of reading and other brain-boosting activities helps ward off dementia late in life, reports the BBC . The study in the journal Neurology tracked about 300 people from their mid-50s... More »

How to Read 365 Books in 2013

Jeff Ryan did it without shirking daily duties

(Newser) - A book a day, every day, from tomorrow to next New Year's Eve: Sounds impossible, right? Well, Jeff Ryan managed it in 2012—without giving up his job or his family duties, he writes in Slate . Of course, he tweaked the rules a little; some days, he wouldn't... More »

Best Books of 2012

Hilary Mantel, Dave Eggers among picks from New York Times

(Newser) - The editors of the New York Times book review have made their picks for the year's best fiction and nonfiction works. A sampling:
  • Bring Up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel: Her novel about Henry VIII won the Man Booker Prize, just like its predecessor.
  • Building Stories, Chris Ware: This graphic
... More »

Oprah Launches New Book Club Next Week

This time, it will have a digital component

(Newser) - Oprah Winfrey is back in the book club business, updated for the digital age. "Oprah's Book Club 2.0," a joint project of Winfrey's OWN network and her O magazine, begins Monday with the popular memoir Wild, Cheryl Strayed's story of her 1,100-mile hike... More »

Today's Books Are Too Long

Marc Wortman thinks Google is partly to blame

(Newser) - Marc Wortman has several books he keeps meaning to get to, including the recent biographies of Steve Jobs (630 pages), LBJ (736), George F. Kennan (800), and Malcolm X (608). The problem is, he has a life, too, and unless he devotes hours every day to the task, he'll... More »

America's Most (Surprisingly) Well-Read Cities

No. 1 is Alexandria, Virginia

(Newser) - If you think America's bookworms live in New York or San Francisco, think again. Amazon has released its list of the country's 20 most well-read cities, and they hail from such states as Michigan and Florida, reports Reuters . Top honors goes to Virginia's Alexandria, and though Berkeley... More »

Baboon 'Readers' Pick Out Real Words

Points to instincts behind reading

(Newser) - Don't expect him to pick up a novel anytime soon—but Dan the baboon and five buddies know real English words when they see them. For instance, if Dan sees the letters BRRU, ITCS, and KITE, he'll pick out the last one as the real word, even though... More »

How Indie Bookstores Can Battle Amazon

Time for local shops to go high-tech: Farhad Manjoo

(Newser) - After sparking a debate over the value independent bookstores , Farhad Manjoo is presenting a peace offering. Independent bookstores may be inefficient from a financial perspective, but that doesn't mean they're "doomed," he writes at Slate . If we want to keep such bookstores going, we can't... More »

Critic Is Off Base: Bookshops Are Vital to Cities

Salon writer rebuts critique of local stores

(Newser) - Slate's Farhad Manjoo has written a withering critique of local bookshops, arguing that everybody would be better off just buying from Amazon. At Salon , Will Doig begs to differ. Bookstores are about way more than just hawking books, he writes. They "function as communal spaces, which makes them... More »

Independent Bookstores Should Go Away

They're inefficient and charge too much: Farhad Manjoo

(Newser) - Independent bookstores win a lot of sympathy in their David-and-Goliath fight against big bad Amazon, but Farhad Manjoo of Slate is siding with Goliath in this one. He lights into those quaint corner bookshops as "some of the least efficient, least user-friendly, and most mistakenly mythologized local establishments you... More »

SAT Reading Scores Hit Lowest Ever

One reason: more students taking the test

(Newser) - One of the three Rs just found a new basement: SAT reading scores fell three points to reach their lowest level on record, the AP reports. The decline took the scores to 497 out of 800, and it was just the second time in the past 20 years that reading... More »

Kindle to Add Library Lending Feature

More than 11,000 libraries have signed up

(Newser) - Kindle users will be able to go to the virtual library soon. A new feature scheduled to launch later this year will allow anyone with a Kindle (or a phone with the Kindle app) to download e-books from their local libraries for free for a limited span of time, USA ... More »

California Library May Ditch Its Books

People could still order them, in a system similar to Netflix

(Newser) - New phrase for the digital age: "Bookless library." The California city of Newport Beach is considering just such a beast, reports the Los Angeles Times . Under the plan, the city would remove the physical books from one of its four branches but still keep it open as a... More »

In Laos, Bringing Books to Children—Via Elephant

The story of one American expatriate's local publishing company

(Newser) - In Laos, many children had never seen a book until “Uncle Sasha” came to town. American Sasha Alyson first visited the impoverished country in 2003, and was struck by the lack of books for children. “Many [kids] don't even know what a book is. Sometimes you have to... More »

Why Our Kids Need Jules Verne

Blogger: His fiction is especially relevant for today's students

(Newser) - Today's students need a little more Jules Verne in their curriculum, writes Good education editor Liz Dwyer. He was born 183 years ago this week, but his fiction "seems more applicable than ever to the 21st-century lives of students," she argues. He's probably an after-thought in the age... More »

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