“Chemists have conducted a few different studies identifying them. One prominent compound results from the breakdown of lignin, a polymer found in plant cell walls, as well as paper. As it degrades, it’s converted into vanillin, a chemical naturally present in vanilla beans, accounting for the hints of vanilla.”

Anonymous said: imagine a dragon who hoarded librarians and every so often knights come to rescue them and the librarians get very upset because the dragon is quiet and reshelves everything neatly and the knights are Very Annoying






can I just

Librarians and dragons?! YES PLEASE!!!

It already exists, and it’s exactly as amazing as it sounds.


^ GUYS YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!  If you haven’t read it, stop whatever you’re doing and read it RIGHT NOW!

I gave a kid this book and a few days later she came in clamoring for the next one and I almost cried.

This is an excellent book series. Soooo good.

“Public libraries now outnumber retail bookstores by two to one in the United States, and are fast becoming the only in-person book browsing option for the residents of many communities.”
“Only yesterday a smart young Ph.D. student told me his supreme goal was to keep himself from checking his email more than once an hour, though he doubted he would achieve such iron discipline in the near future. At present it was more like every five to ten minutes. So when we read there are more breaks, ever more frequent stops and restarts, more input from elsewhere, fewer refuges where the mind can settle. It is not simply that one is interrupted; it is that one is actually inclined to interruption. Hence more and more energy is required to stay in contact with a book, particularly something long and complex.”

Reading: The Struggle by Tim Parks | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books (via infoneer-pulse)

Reading is hard (so is writing when your first draft of this post got eaten) and these types of distractions are hard to handle, and worse if you are inclined to seek out information. I know I am reading fewer books now than I used to, however that time has been taken up with reading twitter, tumblr, RSS feeds, and fanfiction. So I can see the draw of simpler, more interruptible reading material over longer, more in-depth, denser texts that take much more time to unpack.

I tend to deal with this by every so often just getting a very strong feeling that “I’ve not read enough nonfiction recently” at least once a summer, and then going off and raiding my local (and via ILL, the surrounding) libraries. I’ve gone through five nonfiction books after I realized I had been bitten by the bug again and possibly one more before that. Plus I’ve also read four of Harry Turtledove’s alternate history books since Memorial Day and seeing him at [Clockwork Alchemy](http://www.clockworkalchemy.com).

I guess it’s interesting to think on how people who’ve never had to read a book to fill time, rather than being in constant, direct, and probably real-time communication with people will fare gong forward from here. And how people who had been used to that discrete flow of information deal with the continuous streams of communication and information as they try to read too.

“I really cannot fathom how anyone would say that the blind are thieves when accessible copies of books are not even available for purchase.”

The problem, he said, was simply that most departments of language and literature required a book for tenure, but scholarly presses were publishing fewer and fewer of them.

Greenblatt’s shot across the humanistic bow inspired a lot of salutary activity. Scholarly-press editors, long tired of their position as de facto arbiters of tenure cases, added their voices to the conversation, and the MLA sponsored a task force that produced a set of recommendations for personnel decisions.

The results have been palpable. Many departments have revised their tenure-and-promotion demands. Fewer advisers now imagine their graduate students’ dissertations necessarily as books in the making. While the book still remains the absolute standard in many departments, the group that thinks that way is getting smaller. A new realism prevails, along with a new awareness that the game has changed. The digital revolution has driven those changes, and it’s affecting the meaning of the book itself