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My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy by Robert Bly (ghazals in English, interesting...)

Mortality by the late great Christopher Hitchens

 

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A couple of interesting articles in the ongoing e-book vs. print debate. Clearly, e-books entered the reading sphere with great fanfare and there was a lot of concern about the supposed death of the paper form of books. The first article is from a tech website and it explores the leveling off if not declining trend of e-books, while balancing the expansion and limitation of the tech format. There are surely conveniences, but the trade off is a sterile (proponents would say 'clean') relationship with the content, because the relationship with every book is the same:

Future Reading: Will Digital Books Ever Replace Print?

While the digital book industry is asking questions about its evolution, this is another source pointing to the growing confidence in the value and longevity of print:

Science Has Great News for People Who Read Actual Books

"...not all forms are created equal" and there is increasing evidence that the multi-sensory experience of print (linear reading, writing in books, earmarking, etc.) is better for stress reduction, comprehension, content retention, empathy and improved sleep.

It's good that e-books may make more people read or make people read more than otherwise would, but print is providing a better quality reading experience.  

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E-Books Are Damaging Your Health: Why We Should All Start Reading Paper Books Again

Jan 11, 2015 09:00 AM By Lecia Bushak

 

Reading in and of itself has plenty of benefits for our minds: Studies have shown that reading over the course of a lifetime (or even starting to read consistently when you’re well into your 60s and 70s) can prevent mental decline. Along with keeping your mind sharp and enlarging your knowledge base, reading can expand your sense of empathy, too. A 2013 study found that when people were transported into the emotional travails of books' characters, they grew to become more empathetic in real life.

So the act of reading is great, of course. But the way you’re reading also has an impact on your physical and mental health. In our technology-driven world, the paper book has been replaced by electronic devices — Kindles and Nooks, and even reading on your laptop or smartphone. Good old-fashioned books are no longer seen as practical.

There’s something simple and special, however, about reading a classic paper book that e-books seem to lack. Recently, I was reading before bed while I drank a cup of chamomile tea, and I found that it not only relaxed me, but I fell asleep almost immediately, I slept soundly through the entire night, and I woke up feeling refreshed. I found myself pondering events and scenes in the book, the imagery glowing in my mind in place of my typically exhausting anxieties. I’m going to believe it wasn’t a coincidence: Putting aside my phone — which, in addition to texting, has access to the cyclical, distracting spirals of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat — and focusing on a tale that took me outside of myself, somehow, inexplicably, helped me feel better on many levels.

Researchers have been examining the differences between reading regular books and e-books for years. Many of the studies have shown that reading old-fashioned books has plenty of advantages over e-books, which can be gateways to other electronic distractions, all of which screw with your sleep. This is why you should ditch the screen for printed pages.

1.You're Missing Out On Important Information

A 2014 study found that readers who used Kindles were less competent in recalling the plot and events in the book than those who used paperbacks. Researchers still aren’t quite sure why this occurs, but it might have something to do with being able to physically and visually track your progress in a real book.

“In this study, we found that paper readers did report higher on measures having to do with empathy and transportation and immersion, and narrative coherence, than iPad readers,” said Anne Mangen of Stavanger University in Norway, an author of the study, according to The Guardian. “When you read on paper you can sense with your fingers a pile of pages on the left growing, and shrinking on the right. You have the tactile sense of progress, in addition to the visual. … Perhaps this somehow aids the reader, providing more fixity and solidity to the reader’s sense of unfolding and progress of the text, and hence the story.”

Digitization of text also means it’s likely to be more fragmented, full of disturbances and links that can lead you to anywhere on the Internet. Reading on an iPad with the ability to check Facebook provides an avenue to take “breaks” way too often. And in order to retain information, you need to read in long, undisturbed chunks of time.

2.E-Books Get In The Way Of Sleepytime

recent study out of Harvard University found that reading an e-book before bed lessened the production of an important sleep hormone known as melatonin. As a result, people took much longer to fall asleep, experienced less deep sleep, and were more fatigued in the morning.

“The light emitted by most e-readers is shining directly into the eyes of the reader, whereas from a printed book or the original Kindle, the reader is only exposed to reflected light from the pages of the book,” Charles Czeisler, lead author of the study, told the BBC. “Sleep deficiency has been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic diseases like obesity and diabetes, and cancer. Thus, the melatonin suppression that we saw in this study among participants when they were reading from the light-emitting e-reader concerns us.”

In contrast, reading an old-fashioned book can actually help you sleep better. By taking your mind off the things that you may normally stress about before falling asleep, a book can clear your mind and also make you sleepy, easing you into a full night’s rest. In addition, soft light being reflected off the pages of a book doesn’t signal to your brain that it’s time to wake up like the glaring screen of an e-book or phone.

3.Screens = Stress

Reading helps you de-stress faster or just as fast as listening to music, taking a walk, or having a cup of tea or coffee, according to a 2009 study. When researchers measured heart rate and muscle tension, they found that people relaxed just six minutes into reading.

But reading on a device might cancel out this effect, and may even impact your stress levels negatively. Repeated use of mobile phones or laptops late at night has been linked to depression, higher levels of stress, and fatigue among young adults. Constant use of technology not only disrupts our sleeping patterns and throws off our circadian rhythms, but it fosters a shorter attention span and fractured focus — online, we jump from meme to meme and link to link, checking Facebook intermittently. Social media and technological distractions also always seem to foster guilt and regret, and before we know it, three hours have passed and our brains feel like mush.

It's hard to put my finger on what exactly draws me to paper books, and makes me avoid electronic ones. Perhaps it's the tangible qualites: Turning the pages of a book helps me mark my progress, and underlining prose that stands out to me makes reading a very intimate occasion. It could also be the science behind it: that regular books ease our minds into sleep. But it's likely that reading allows me to rely on a singular focus to transport me to a new world, leaving all my stresses and personal problems behind. I stop the selfish cycle of technology that centers around checking my Facebook or Instagram, or taking selfies, as I wait for my brain to get rewarded from notifications and likes. Real books allow me to step outside myself and enter someone else's world. The modern world, after all, can be tiring. 

Reading an old-fashioned paper book might seem out of style, wasteful, or impractical. But don’t underestimate the simplicity of holding a physical book in your hands, flipping through the pages, and not having anything else to shift your focus to. Commit to the classic paper book and you'll get the full, healthier experience. 

Source : http://www.medicaldaily.com/e-books-are-damaging-your-health-why-we-should-all-start-reading-paper-books-again-317212

 

Edited by Kiwi_Zep_Fan87
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Not strictly something to read, but Tolkien related, always good! I so love these found in an old volume tales as well as any insight to the behind-the-scenes and sometimes tense creative process. The article also relates some info about real life inspirations behind Tolkien's fictional locations (though I think there's still some debate about these...). I love his handwriting, too; it's like a font, just so beautiful and unique.

Tolkien's annotated map of Middle-earth discovered inside copy of Lord of the Rings

Map goes on sale in Oxford for £60,000 after being found at Blackwell’s Rare Books inside novel belonging to illustrator Pauline Baynes

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Blackwell’s called the map ‘perhaps the finest piece of Tolkien ephemera to emerge in the last 20 years at least’.

Photograph: Blackwell’s Rare Books

Alison Flood   Friday 23 October 2015 13.48 BST

A recently discovered map of Middle-earth annotated by JRR Tolkien reveals The Lord of the Rings author’s observation that Hobbiton is on the same latitude as Oxford, and implies that the Italian city of Ravenna could be the inspiration behind the fictional city of Minas Tirith.

 

The map was found loose in a copy of the acclaimed illustrator Pauline Baynes’ copy of The Lord of the Rings. Baynes had removed the map from another edition of the novel as she began work on her own colour Map of Middle-earth for Tolkien, which would go on to be published by Allen & Unwin in 1970. Tolkien himself had then copiously annotated it in green ink and pencil, with Baynes adding her own notes to the document while she worked.

 

Blackwell’s, which is currently exhibiting the map in Oxford and selling it for £60,000, called it “an important document, and perhaps the finest piece of Tolkien ephemera to emerge in the last 20 years at least”.

 

It shows what Blackwell’s called “the exacting nature” of Tolkien’s creative vision: he corrects place names, provides extra ones, and gives Baynes a host of suggestions about the map’s various flora and fauna. Hobbiton, he notes, “ is assumed to be approx at latitude of Oxford”; Tolkien was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University.

 

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 The notebooks reveal that Hobbiton is on the same latitude as Oxford, and imply that the Italian city of Ravenna could be the

 inspiration behind Minas Tirith. Photograph: Blackwell’s Rare Books

 

The novelist also uses Belgrade, Cyprus, and Jerusalem as other reference points, and according to Blackwell’s suggests that “the city of Ravenna is the inspiration behind Minas Tirith - a key location in the third book of the Lord of The Rings trilogy”.

 

“The map shows how completely obsessed he was with the details. Anyone else interfered at their peril,” said Sian Wainwright at Blackwell’s. “He was tricky to work with, but very rewarding in the end.”

 

Correspondence between Tolkien and the late and acclaimed illustrator Baynes, who also worked on books for CS Lewis, as well as Baynes’s unpublished diary entries, gives further details about the sometimes thorny relationship between the two. On 21 August 1969, Baynes describes a visit to Tolkien and his wife in Bournemouth, “to chat about a poster map I have to do – he very uncooperative”.

 

The author later apologies for having “been so dilatory”, and a later lunch sees the author “in great form – first names and kissing all round – and pleased with the map”.

 

Henry Gott, modern first editions specialist at Blackwell’s Rare Books, said the map was “an exciting and important discovery: new to scholarship (though its existence is implied by correspondence between the two), it demonstrates the care exercised by both in their mapping of Tolkien’s creative vision”.

 

“Before going on display in the shop this week, this had only ever been in private hands (Pauline Baynes’s for the majority of its existence). One of the points of interest is how much of a hand Tolkien had in the poster map; all of his suggestions, and there are many (the majority of the annotation on the map is his), are reflected in Baynes’s version,” said Gott. “The degree to which it is properly collaborative was not previously apparent, and couldn’t be without a document like this. Its importance is mostly to do with the insight it gives into that process.”

 

Blackwell’s is selling a range of works by Baynes, who died in 2008, aged 85, including a range of her original signed drawings from the Narnia books.

 

 

Edited by Patrycja

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Dear lucky people of London (I feel like I say that a lot),

In January, 2016, you can see for the first time ever the 'lost library' of mathematician, mage, and alchemist John Dee who amassed one of the largest book collections in Renaissance England.

Scholar, courtier, magician: the lost library of John Dee

A major exhibition revealing the fascinating life, times and lost library of Queen Elizabeth I’s most famous ‘conjurer’.

John Dee (1527–1609) is one of the most intriguing characters of 16th century England. A member of the Elizabethan court, he is infamous for his attempts to make contact with other-worldly spirits and his study and practice of alchemy. He was also a mathematician and scholar of navigation, a founding fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, a university lecturer on rhetoric, and an astrologer.

Dee’s library was one of the most famous collections of books and manuscripts of its time, as renowned for its contents as for the fact it was pillaged and dispersed while Dee was travelling in Europe during the 1580s.

Today the Royal College of Physicians library contains more than 100 books previously belonging to Dee: the largest known collection of Dee books surviving in one location. They were acquired as part of the library of the Marquis of Dorchester, presented to the physicians in the 1680s. It is not clear how these 100-plus volumes came to be owned by Dorchester, but there is evidence that many of them were stolen from Dee by a certain Nicholas Saunder.

The Dee collection contains some of the most dramatic and beautiful books in the RCP library, including mathematical, astronomical and alchemical texts. Many of the books are heavily and elaborately annotated by Dee himself.

Our 2016 exhibition will be the first time the books of Elizabethan England’s most famous ‘conjurer’ will have been displayed in public.

RCP museum opening hours are usually Monday-Friday 9am-5pm + weekend tours and special evening events.

Full details and dates for our John Dee-related events and tours will be available by late November 2015.

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https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/events/scholar-courtier-magician-lost-library-john-dee

 

Some additional info in the following article. What a rare chance to see the collection and personal notes of one of Renaissance's murkier characters.

The occult library of John Dee to go on show

Posted on October 23, 2015 by Paul St John Mackintosh

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One of the most mysterious figures of the Elizabethan era, the scholar and alchemist John Dee (1527–1609) had a voluminous library of alchemical and occult texts. One of the largest in Elizabethan England, this library was dispersed after his death. However, over 100 surviving volumes were gifted to the Royal College of Physicians in London, and will now form the centerpiece of an exhibition, “Scholar, courtier, magician: the lost library of John Dee,” opening there in January 2016.

In his lifetime, according to his alma mater, St John’s College, Cambridge, Dee “amassed a huge library of at least 3,000 printed volumes, as well as a large number of manuscripts, which he initially housed in his residence at Mortlake. Almost as soon as he departed for Poland to embark on that period of his life which caused most controversy, his communications with spirits, his house was raided and many books were stolen. The perpetrators probably included former pupils such as Nicholas Saunders.” The Marquess of Dorchester later acquired Saunders’ haul and donated it to the Royal College. According to the exhibition blurb, this will be “the first time the books of Elizabethan England’s most famous ‘conjurer’ will have been displayed in public.”

 

The Dee archive in the RCP Library includes such works as La cosmographie universelle by André Thevet, and Polygraphie et Vniverselle escriture cabalistique, by Johannes Trithemius. Dee left his own notes and annotations on many of the volumes. Dee’s legend has grown far enough to inspire books about him in his turn, such as Peter Ackroyd’s excellent mystery, The House of Doctor Dee. He’s even been the subject of an opera, Dr Dee: An English Opera. The RCP exhibition already looks set to be one of the most fascinating of 2016.

 

http://www.teleread.com/library/the-occult-library-of-john-dee-to-go-on-show/

 

Edited by Patrycja

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I just finished reading Phil Collen's " Adrenalized" autobiography last night. I'm not saying this to kiss his ass or any of that shit, but the final section of his book is the most powerful and mind blowing thing I have ever read, and I have read every book published by Austrian economists...And I mean that. It made me laugh at the depressing feel of his view of the world and the thing that scares me, is that I think he might be right, in fact deep down inside I know he is right which annoys me because I think we can be better.

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Is Capitalism worth saving? Well, when you consider the alternatives...yes.

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Is Capitalism worth saving? Well, when you consider the alternatives...yes.

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Damn right, mate! Also, if a person is brave enough to write a book / manual, on how to systematically destroy the ISIS / Caliphate Army, I will be one of the first people on this earth, to purchase a copy! B) 

Edited by Kiwi_Zep_Fan87
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I just finished "Zeytoun," by Dave Eggers. It's a nonfiction book about a man who stayed in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. What he went through...it is very worth reading. It wasn't the hurricane that almost cost him his life; it was cops and National Guard people...your tax dollars at work!

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I just finished "Zeytoun," by Dave Eggers. It's a nonfiction book about a man who stayed in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. What he went through...it is very worth reading. It wasn't the hurricane that almost cost him his life; it was cops and National Guard people...your tax dollars at work!

Never let a good crisis go to waste.

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Interesting title, Anjin-San. How recent is this?

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You think there's only one alternative??

Get your eyes fixed...I clearly said "alternatives".

 

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