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Readers

Reading Print Versus Digital Increases Comprehension: Study

bookstack304Reading a print book is better for comprehension than reading on a computer, according to a new report out of Norway.

Researchers from at the Reading Centre of the The University of Stavanger conducted a study on a group of 10th graders and formed this conclusion. For the study, students were divided into two groups — those reading books and those reading on computers. Both groups were given the same two texts, one fiction and one nonfiction. After they read the text, the students were quizzed for comprehension. Those that read print books did better on the tests than those that read on computers, even when accounting for their reading skills and vocabulary going into the study.

Why? The researchers concluded that reading print texts helps the brain form mental maps. ScienceNordic.com has more: Read more

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Ralph Lauren Initiates Children’s Literacy Program

Ralph Lauren LiteracyRalph Lauren has initiated a Children’s Literacy Program.

According to the press release, the company executives have produced a “Literacy Capsule Collection” which includes t-shirts, a journal, a tote and bag charm. Buyers can choose from two different t-shirts; the limited edition one showcases a “runway sketch” and the other features “a new Polo Pony designed to promote childhood literacy in 12 languages.”

The company plans to release these items for sale starting in late August. The On Our Minds blog reports that “25% of the purchase price from items in the Literacy Capsule Collection will be donated to Reach Out and Read in the United States, with up to 100,000 books fulfilled by Scholastic.”

Bill Gates Reviews His Favorite Business Book in WSJ

UnknownWhat is Bill Gates‘ favorite business book? Business Adventures by John Brooks, a 1960s collection of New Yorker stories which profiles different companies.

Warren Buffett recommended the book to Gates back in 1991, and Gates says that the book is still relevant today. He reviewed the out-of-print title in The Wall Street Journal today, pointing out that while business times may have changed, human nature has not.

Here is an excerpt: “Unlike a lot of today’s business writers, Brooks didn’t boil his work down into pat how-to lessons or simplistic explanations for success. (How many times have you read that some company is taking off because they give their employees free lunch?) You won’t find any listicles in his work. Brooks wrote long articles that frame an issue, explore it in depth, introduce a few compelling characters and show how things went for them.”

Mike Stillkey Turns Old Books Into Beautiful Paintings

thequietallureofexistence-1.LOArtist Mike Stilkey uses the covers of discarded books as the canvas for colorful paintings featuring the likes of animals dressed up in costumes or playing instruments.

Thisiscolossal.com visited his recent solo show at The Gilman Contemporary Gallery and posted a ton of photos of these amazing creations. In an interview series posted on  YouTube, Stilkey explains that he had no formal training but was drawn to painting through skateboard culture.

Here is more about the artist from his bio: “Using a mix of ink, colored pencil, paint and lacquer, Stilkey depicts a melancholic and at times a whimsical cast of characters inhabiting ambiguous spaces and narratives of fantasy and fairy tales. A lingering sense of loss and longing hints at emotional depth and draws the viewer into their introspective thrall with a mixture of capricious poetry, wit, and mystery.”

 

Wearable Device Helps Visually-Impaired People Read

fingerreaderResearchers at the MIT Media Lab have invented a tool that makes it easier for visually-impaired people to print read books. The FingerReader is a ring-like tool that these readers can wear to help them read printed text.

Here is more about how it works from the MIT Media Lab website: “Wearers scan a text line with their finger and receive an audio feedback of the words and a haptic feedback of the layout: start and end of line, new line, and other cues. The FingerReader algorithm knows to detect and give feedback when the user veers away from the baseline of the text, and helps them maintain a straight scanning motion within the line.”

We’ve embedded a video demo of how it works after the jump. Read more

London is Peppered With Book-Inspired Benches

bookbenchesHow to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll are among books that have been given a new life in London this summer. The National Literacy Trust in Britain has developed a public art project that commemorates 50 books in an new and innovative way: as public benches.

The project is called Books about Town. Artists have been asked to adapt famous books into benches which have been placed throughout the city. The “BookBenches” project is designed to encourage reading. Readers can find four different literary maps of these sculptures online and use them to guide their literary treasure hunts. The routes include: Greenwich Trail, Bloomsbury Trail, City Trail and Riverside Trail.

The exhibition is up through September 15th.

Fan Creates a ‘Books of Orange is the New Black’

OITNBFinished watching season 2 of Orange is the New Black? Already devoured Piper Kerman’s prison memoir?

Lucky for you, the “Books of Orange is the New Black” blog has plenty of literary recommendations. The fan behind this Tumblr page collected the titles of books mentioned on the popular Netflix original series.

The characters on this show have been spotted reading Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James, and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Follow these links to check out the books featured on the first season and the second season.

TED Talks Speakers Recommend Summer Reads

TEDTalksLooking for something good to read this summer?

TED Talks speakers Elizabeth Gilbert, Melinda Gates, Bill Gates, Rashida Jones, Clay ShirkyUzoamaka Maduka, Amanda PalmerStanley McChrystal and Blood Orange have put together their lists of recommended reads.

Check it out: “Summer: the season for cracking open a good book under the shade of a tree. Below, we’ve compiled about 70 stellar book recommendations from members of the TED community. Warning: not all of these books can be classified as beach reads. And we think that is a good thing.”

U.K. Education Board Cuts American Literature

deptofeducationThe British GCSE exam board has dropped U.S. literary classics from John Steinbeck and Harper Lee from its English Literature syllabus in a move to push for a more British-centric curriculum.

According to the new document issued by the exam board, “students should study a range of high quality, intellectually challenging, and substantial whole texts in detail. These must include:

  •  at least one play by Shakespeare
  • at least one 19th century novel 2
  • a selection3 of poetry since 1789, including representative Romantic poetry  fiction or drama from the British Isles from 1914 onwards.”

The change has prompted criticism from writers and readers online, leading many people to believe that the books were banned. British education secretary Michael Gove has defended the move, claiming that the books are not banned. “Teachers are as free to introduce children to the brilliant writing of Lee, Steinbeck and Miller today as they were yesterday and nothing this government is doing will change that in the future,” he told The Guardian.

‘The Bible’ & ‘Gone With the Wind’ Lead Americans’ Top 10 Favorite Books: Harris Interactive

thebibleThe Bible is the most popular book of all time among Americans, according to a new survey by Harris Interactive. The company surveyed 2,234 U.S. adults online between March 12 and 17, 2014. The Bible also topped the list back in 2008, when the company last did the survey.

Margaret Mitchell‘s Gone with the WindJ.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series and J.R.R. Tolkien‘s The Lord of the Rings series also made the list.

We’ve got the entire list after the jump for you to explore further. Read more

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