wrapped up in books

i've been wading through book news and noise all morning. here's some:

l. gordon crovitz ponders the fate of great books in his wall street journal op-ed...
those who wonder about digital media shortening our attention spans usually fret about businesspeople glued to blackberrys or students multitasking through homework. for another measure of how our society has changed, consider this new-product launch from april 15, 1952:

the scene is glitzier than steve jobs releasing the latest iproduct: a black-tie gala in the jade room of new york's waldorf-astoria hotel, attended by rockefellers, vanderbilts and a representative of the queen of england. what's being launched? a 54-volume set of books, with 443 works by 74 authors totaling 32,000 pages of small type... [continue]

from 'fought over any good books lately?' (new york times)...
jocelyn bowie was thrilled by the invitation to join a book group. she had just returned to her hometown, bloomington, ind., to take an administration job at indiana university, and thought she had won a ticket to a top echelon. “i was hoping to network with all these women in upper-level jobs at i.u., then i found they were in the book group,” she said. “i thought, ‘great! they’ll see how wonderful i am, and we’ll have these great conversations about books.’ ”

ms. bowie cannot pinpoint the precise moment when disillusion replaced delight. maybe it was the evening she tried to persuade everyone to look beyond oprah winfrey’s picks, “and they all said ‘what’s wrong with oprah?’”[continue]

'best of' lists: new york times' top ten // washington post // the guardian // salon

DOWNLOAD: belle & sebastian - wrapped up in books [mp3]

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