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Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Jefferson’

Philip K. Dick Leads Backlist Bestsellers at Library of America

For the first time in two years, the Library of America has updated its list of “all-time best-selling titles.”

Once again, Thomas Jefferson, Mark TwainAbraham LincolnWalt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau led that list of major sellers prestigious publisher. The Library of America also released a list of the top backlist bestsellers in 2012, and we’ve included the top ten below–a look at the new classics. Check it out:

Of course, the methodology of the above list favors titles that have been out longer; the most “recent” title in the top 15 was published in 1995. Readers might be interested seeing which “backlist titles” (i.e., volumes published prior to 2011) sold the most copies last year, in 2012.

(Via Edward Champion & Michael Orthofer)

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Supreme Court Rules on Bookselling Suit

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in a 6-3 opinion that “ first sale doctrine” applies to books purchased overseas.

The court decided that Supap Kirtsaeng did not violate copyright when he purchased textbooks overseas to sell to friends and families in the United States. Textbook publisher Wiley had sued Kirtsaeng for reselling these books.

You can read the complete Supreme Court decision at this PDF link. First sale doctrine applies to the sale of copyrighted goods, letting the buyer’s copy be “resold or otherwise redistributed without the copyright owner’s authorization.”

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Heartbreaking Borders Photograph

Reddit user Jessers25 took the photo embedded above at a Borders going out of business sale. In the photo, a Thomas Jefferson quote sat on a bare wall with a pile of dismantled bookshelves: “I cannot live without books.”

The photo has spawned hundreds of comments and a raging debate about the future of bookstores.

No matter what you think about mega-bookstores or Borders management, this is a sad year for everyone who loves books. If you want to help, the Help Ex-Borders Employees page is collecting resources for the thousands of booksellers looking for work.

New York Public Library to Host All-Night Scavenger Hunt

In celebration of the New York Public Library’s centennial festival weekend, game designer Jane McGonigal has crafted the “Find the Future” scavenger hunt.

500 players will join the “Write All Night” event on May 20th. Inside the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, they will use laptops and smartphones to find 100 objects from the library’s collection of treasures and perform a related-writing challenge.

The video embedded above features a promo clip for the event; it seems to mimic The Da Vinci Code‘s film trailer. If you want to participate, just answer this question: “In the year 2021, I will become the first person to __________.” Submit your answer before 11:59 PM Pacific Time on April 21st.

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The Importance of Marginalia

Did you know that President Thomas Jefferson, novelist Mark Twain, and evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin all wrote in the margins? According to the New York Times, marginalia was denounced in the 20th century as a form of graffiti. These days, scholars love marked up books.

The article offers these observations from University of Toronto professor Heather Jackson: “Books with markings are increasingly seen these days as more valuable, not just for a celebrity connection but also for what they reveal about the community of people associated with a work…examining marginalia reveals a pattern of emotional reactions among everyday readers that might otherwise be missed, even by literary professionals.”

The Caxton Club and the Newberry Library will host a symposium in March to debate this subject; Jackson will be speaking there as well. The event will spotlight on a new essay collection entitled Other People’s Books: Association Copies and the Stories They Tell. This title contains 52 essays and 112 illustrations.

How to Use Wordle with Your Favorite Books

Wordle: The Jungle Book by Rudyard KiplingWordle is a fun web tool that allows people to make artistic text collages or  “word clouds” from any text.

Here’s more from the site: “Wordle is a toy for generating ‘word clouds’ from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.”

This GalleyCat contributor took eBookNewser’s “Free eBook of the Day” (Rudyard Kipling‘s The Jungle Book) and created a word cloud–the image is embedded above. Other literary projects on Wordle include the U.S. Constitution, John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’sI Have a Dream” speech, and Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn.

Thomas Jefferson & Mark Twain Top Library of America’s Bestseller List

The Library of America gave readers a peek at sales figures this morning, revealing the publisher’s bestselling titles–a list lead by classic Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain volumes.

More recent volumes like Philip K. Dick‘s Four Novels of the 1960s or  H. P. Lovecraft‘s Tales still haven’t cracked the top twenty list. We’ve linked to the top five bestsellers below, follow this link to see the complete list. (Image via LOA; link via Michael Orthofer)

  1. Thomas Jefferson: Writings [1984]                                   217,518
  2. Mark Twain: Mississippi Writings [1982]                         150,973
  3. Abraham Lincoln: Speeches 1859–1865 [1989]                120,589
  4. Abraham Lincoln: Speeches 1832–1858 [1989]                118,284
  5. Walt Whitman: Poetry & Prose [1982]                             114,790

Why Maira Kalman Would Have Dated Abraham Lincoln

Illustrator and author Maira Kalman has worked for years as a visual columnist at the New York Times,  writing her illustrated Opinion column. While touring with her new book, And The Pursuit Of Happiness, she told television host Stephen Colbert why she would date Abraham Lincoln. Watch the complete interview in the video embedded above.

In the book, her portrait of Lincoln  includes the words: “I looked deep into his eyes and found.” Kalman added: “I thought he would be the most incredible boyfriend. If I were married to him instead of Mary Todd Lincoln, the whole history would’ve been a whole different thing.”

The book’s cover features a portrait of Benjamin Franklin. Other illustrations include Thomas Jefferson‘s bed and an “incredible pie” she encountered at an army base.  (Via Huffington Post)