All Book Think Articles

Books, covered and uncovered

  • If Anyone Can Save Libraries, Margaret Atwood Can

    Bravo to Canadian literary legend Margaret Atwood for waging online warfare against library closings this week. When Toronto councillor Doug Ford floated some made-up statistics about the number of libraries in...

  • Borders, Revisited: Was Their Death Really Amazon's Fault?

    My post attributing the death of Borders to Amazon’s sales tax advantage raised some hackles among commenters and fellow bloggers alike. Matthew Nisbet over at Age of Engagement countered that the reasons for...

  • Save a Library, Save Democracy

    Earlier this summer I was feeling down in the dumps about libraries. I was spending the month of June in Flushing, Queens, a melting-pot neighborhood where the local library bustles with patrons of all ages....

  • Why We'll Never Escape "Catch-22"

    Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 turns fifty this year, and like its hero Yossarian, it seems destined to survive for the long haul. It's the best kind of literary paradox: a classic that people actually read. To some...

  • Emily Dickinson, Erotic Grief Counselor

    Most people know that Emily Dickinson was a great poet, but it takes a deep plunge into her collected poems to realize just how staggeringly great she was. Usually represented in classrooms by a handful of...

  • Thanks to Amazon, a World Without Borders

    So Borders is gone for good, its last four hundred stores scheduled to vanish within weeks. As mourners rush to the liquidation sales, it’s worth pausing to ask: what the hell happened here? For a handy...

  • Life Redefined: "The Devil's Dictionary" Turns 100

    A century after its publication as The Devil’s Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce’s comic lexicon remains a beautifully nasty piece of work. Though it’s a work of satire first and foremost, its mock definitions...

  • What's the Future of Book Design? (Part 2)

    As print sales decline and new e-platforms pop up everywhere, the future of the book has become a source of widespread speculation. In my previous post I asked: what’s the consensus among people who actually...

  • What's the Future of Book Design? (Part 1)

    With e-books now outselling print titles on Amazon.com, the book business is undergoing its most radical transformation in living memory. Everyone and their literate cat has an opinion about what the industry's...

  • Much Ado About Drug-Testing Shakespeare’s Corpse

    “Blessed be the man that spares these stones, / And cursed be he who moves my bones,” Shakespeare’s gravestone famously proclaims. Anthropologist Francis Thackeray, the man currently petitioning the Anglican...

  • What "Pottermore" Really Means for the Book Business

    In her introductory video for “Pottermore,” the recently unveiled web portal for all things Potter, J. K. Rowling promises an enhanced multimedia experience for “the digital generation.” She also announces that...

  • Shelley in Egypt: How a British Poem Inspired the Arab Spring

    “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world,” Percy Shelley wrote in 1821. Not surprisingly, this claim has earned some snickers from people who think of poets as barely able to legislate their own...

  • Welcome to Book Think!

    A book, any book, is for us a sacred object. Cervantes, who probably did not listen to everything that everyone said, read even “the torn scraps of paper in the streets.” —Jorge Luis Borges, “On the Cult of...