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Readers

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

National Book Day Festival Kicks Off in Pakistan

pakistannbdThe National Book Foundation of Pakistan is hosting a three-day book festival in Islamabad. The fifth annual event kicked off today with a number of literary activities.

The event includes a park full of book stalls. Pakistani readers can buy discounted books at these stalls. The goal of the event is to encourage reading among every age group.

Pakistan Today has the scoop: “The three-day National Book Day Festival would be held at Pak-China Friendship Centre under a slogan “Book leads to Peace” and feature school childrens’ book parade, childrens’ book anthem, hoisting of book flag and oath-taking ceremony in the opening session.National Book Foundation (NBF) MD Professor Dr Inamul Haq Javaid will deliver his inaugural address and highlight the important functions and achievements of NBF.”

 

Reading Rooms Will Be Popping Up Around NYC This Spring

uniportableThe Uni Project is preparing a series of pop up reading rooms that will be moving around New York City in April and May.

These outdoor reading zones will provide books to the general public. Check it out: “Based in New York City, we operate reading rooms that bring architect-designed structures, high quality books, and dedicated staff, to the city’s plazas, parks, and public spaces. We partner with community-based organizations and our circuit prioritizes underserved NYC neighborhoods.”

The reading rooms will be in Clinton Hill on April 25th; in the Lower East Side on May 4-9th; on Roosevelt Island May 10-11th; in Fort Greene on May 16th; and in Tompkins Square Park and Washington Square Park May 28-29th and June 13th.

Silent Reading Party Hits NYC

silentreadingpartySilent reading parties are not just happening in Seattle. A group of readers in New York have formed Silent Reading Party NYC, a once a month event in New York in which readers gather in a bar to silently read in a group setting.

The next one will take place this Sunday April 13th at Muchmore’s in Brooklyn from 7-9pm. Brandee Younger will play harp music to set the mood.

Check it out: “Silent Reading Party NYC is a free monthly event that offers people the chance to drink together and read to themselves in the comfort of a quiet bar with cozy couches and good lighting.”

Reddit to Ban Discussions of Select Books

redditbooksReddit has updated its policy, banning a list of classic books from the subreddit discussion of books including: 1984 by George Orwell, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, and A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin.

“There has always been one problem in /r/Books that is constantly brought up by the community, which is that the same books are brought up over and over. Good discussion is stifled by repetition. Well, we’re going to combat that problem,” explains the announcement.As of April 1st, discussions started involving books on banned books list will be deleted, and repeat offenders will be kicked out of the forum.

As some commenters point out, the ban is set to take place on April 1st, so this could just be an April Fool’s Day joke. We’ve reposted the entire list of banned books after the jump for you to explore further. Reddit also pointed out that this list could grow.

Read more

Rich People Read More Than Poor People in the UK: Booktrust

booktrustSocioeconomic background has a lot to do with how much people read in the UK. According to a new report from Booktrust, which includes survey results from 1,500 adults, the more money you have, the more likely you are to read and vice versa.

Twenty-seven percent of adults from the poorest socio-economic backgrounds revealed that never read books, while only 13 percent of the richest people surveyed admitted to never reading books. In addition, the report found that 62 percent of richest respondents admitted reading daily or weekly, whereas 42 percent of the poorest respondents read that often. Not surprisingly, richer people own twice as many books as poorer people.

Despite discrepancies in access to books and the time spent reading, most of the interview subjects agreed that reading improves their lives. According to the report, 76 percent of survey respondents said that reading improves their lives. Broken down into socioeconomic background, 83 percent of rich adults and  72 percent of poor adults admitted this. (Via The BBC).

The Most Popular Books by State

usaeBook subscription company Scribd has tabulated the most popular book by state throughout the 50 states in the US.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman is the top choice among readers in Illinois; The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption and Pee by Sarah Silverman reigned in New York; Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie was the top choice among readers in Texas; and The Family Vault by Charlotte MacLeod led the list for Vermont. The list takes into account, not just book sales or downloads, but the actual reading habits of its 80 million monthly readers.

Parade has the entire list at this linkThe Washington Post has a great map to help you visualize who likes which books a

Happy World Book Day!

worldbookdayToday is World Book Day, a one-day event that takes place in the UK and Ireland in which kids come together to read. The reading celebration is currently in its 16th year.

“The main aim is to encourage children to explore the pleasure of books and reading by providing them with an opportunity to have a book of their own,” explains the event’s website. “This may sound like a very simple idea, but unfortunately, many children do not have access to books in their homes.”

As part of the festivities, there are many reading activities at bookstores and schools around the UK and Ireland today. There is also a sale on books on the World Book Day site, in which many books are being offered for £1. The site breaks out books by age, making it easier to shop for children at different levels.

Bill Gates’ Reading List

billgatesEver wish you could read like Bill Gates? The entrepreneur has created a list of books on his virtual bookshelf which includes more than 130 books that he has read recently or is currently reading.

Books on the list include: Why Does College Cost So Much? by Robert Archibald and David Feldman; Interventions by Kofi Annan; The Cost of Hope by Amanda Bennett; World on the Edge by Lester R. Brown; and How to Spend $50 Billion to Make the World a Better Place by Bjorn Lomborg.

On his website, Gates includes images of these books along with the book’s description and sometimes his personal review. He also shares the status of if he has read the book yet. Readers can comment on his reviews, as well as on each of the book’s in the book’s listing page.

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