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Readers

USA Ranked 23rd in World for Time Spent Reading

Read some books this patriotic weekend! A new infographic outlines how many hours people around the globe spend reading books, and the United States is ranked 23rd on the list.

Below, we’ve listed the top 30 countries–sorting them by mean hours spent reading. Russia Beyond the Headlines created the infographic using data from the World Culture Score index, a list compiled in 2005. Check it out:

Consumers in India are most likely to spend time reading, at an average of 10.7 hours per week, followed by consumers in Thailand and China (at 9.4 hours and 8 hours per week respectively). At 3.1, 4.1 and 5 hours respectively, individuals in Korea, Japan and Taiwan fall to the bottom of the reading list.

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Infinite Jest Reader Chops Out Page Numbers

As you can see by the photograph embedded above, one reader surgically removed all the page numbers while reading David Foster Wallace‘s imposing Infinite Jest.

“Today I broke through the chains of oppression. No longer will page numbers tyrannize my life. I… have taken action,” they explained. Readers had mixed reactions to this unusual way to finish a book–are you horrified or impressed? One reader wrote:

“I saw this and almost had a panic attack. Why are page numbers so bad? What did your book ever do to deserve this treatment?!”

Will English Majors Fade Away?

I was an English major in college and many of my best friends were too. However, it appears we were part of a diminishing crew.

In a New York Times editorial, author and editor Verlyn Klinkenborg outlined how this once popular course of study is fading away. Here’s an excerpt from “The Decline and Fall of the English Major“:

At Pomona College (my alma mater) this spring, 16 students graduated with an English major out of a student body of 1,560, a terribly small number. In 1991, 165 students graduated from Yale with a B.A. in English literature. By 2012, that number was 62. In 1991, the top two majors at Yale were history and English. In 2013, they were economics and political science.

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Map Your Favorite Books

You can map out your favorite books on Google Map apps through Placing Literature. The site lets readers place literary landmarks in real locations on maps.

AppNewser has more:

The app launched last week and already has more June 19 at the more than 1,500 locations logged on the site including wilderness locations near Lake Tahoe where Samuel L. Clemens first wrote about Mark Twain and the Ennet House Drug and Alcohol Recovery House in Massachusets, which was featured in Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. The maps are crowd sourced web so if you don’t see the literary connection that you are looking for, you can add to the growing database and map by logging into your Google account.

Only 33% of Parents Read Bedtime Stories Every Night

According to a survey of more than 1,000 parents, only 33 percent of parents with kids eight years old or younger take the time to read with their children on a nightly basis. At the same time, 50 percent of those parents reported that their kids devote more time to television and video games instead of books.

Below, we’ve embedded an infographic about the results.

Reading is Fundamental and Macy’s commissioned the survey and will launch their annual “Be Book Smart” national literacy campaign on June 21st. This initiative will give away its 10 millionth book this year.

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LeVar Burton Reveals His Favorite Children’s Books

During a HuffPost Live interview, LeVar Burton revealed that his favorite children’s books are Mary Hoffman‘s Amazing Grace and Derek Munson‘s Enemy Pie.

Watch an excerpt from the interview in the video embedded above. Burton discovered these books while he hosted the Reading Rainbow TV series.

For Burton, working “on that show has enriched my life in so many immeasurable ways.” What was your favorite Reading Rainbow book?

Writers Live Everywhere

Earlier this year, the Daily News and the Los Angeles Times were arguing about whether Los Angeles or New York City is the best place to be a writer.

This is a silly argument in the 21st Century in the middle of an economic downturn. Most writers can’t even afford to live in these cities anymore. We are all dedicated to one of the least lucrative careers in the world, and it is downright reckless to argue that we should live in two of the most expensive cities in the country.

After years writing for GalleyCat, I know this for certain: Writers live everywhere.

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How High School Reading Has Changed Since 1907

Renaissance Learning has released its fifth edition of the What Kids Are Reading report. Among the many topics covered in the free report, it compared high school reading across the last century.

Below, we’ve linked to free eBook copies of the most popular books in 1907, 1923 and 1964. The complete report noted “a decline over time in the complexity of required texts for high school students.” Follow this link for an infographic summary of the research. Here’s more from the report:

Although our analysis is restricted to the  period of 1907 to 2012, there is evidence that writing has become less complex over the last several hundred  years. Complexity is impacted in part by average sentence length; books with longer sentences tend to be more  difficult to comprehend than books with shorter sentences … it is worth noting that just because the books students are being assigned to read are less complex than in  prior years, this does not necessarily mean that they cannot read or comprehend books at higher levels, nor can  we assume that assigning more complex texts would necessarily lead to improvements in achievement.

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How To Get a Kid To Read Judy Blume Book

Novelist Judy Blume took to Reddit to answer questions from readers this week.

A middle school teacher asked how to get her kids to read Blume’s classic work and asked how Blume felt about the popularity of YA series like The Hunger Games and TwilightBlume responded with some sage advice:

Whatever gets them excited about reading is good! If you want them to read my books don’t tell them so. Maybe just leave around a paperback with a new cover and say, “I’m not sure you’re ready for that.” You know, it’s cyclical. When I started to write series were out. No publisher wanted a series. Some kids will always want to read about reality.

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First Edition of George Orwell’s ’1984′ Sells for $3,000

As controversy about federal programs to monitor your Internet and cell phone activity, two first editions of George Orwell‘s Nineteen Eighty-Four have sold for impressive sums this week.

The books were sold on AbeBooks, and the company shared a bit of history about price ranges for the classic novel about a dystopian surveillance state. Check it out:

A first edition, first printing in a green dust jacket sold for $3,000 (about £1,913) and a first edition, first printing in the red dust jacket sold for $2,845 (about £1,814). It is uncertain whether the green or red version came first, so it’s common to see both books listed as the true first edition. The book was published in 1949 by Secker and Warburg and, of course, is one of the most important novels of the 20th century … In April of this year, AbeBooks sold another first edition, in a red dust jacket, of the book for $10,000 (£6,438) – easily the most expensive copy of Orwell’s masterpiece that we have ever sold.

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