The reading list
“You need a birthday present, let's say for your cousin's boyfriend. You're bad at guessing shirt sizes, so it might as well be a book. You find a bookstore (if you're lucky). You make for the section that nobody knows what to call: in front of the cash register, between the chocolate bars and fridge magnets, just before you get to the wrapping paper. And here they are: blank books, cat books, books of lists, books of quotes, books of misspelt birthday cake frosting messages, anthologies of AutoCorrect-generated obscenities.
“If you want to understand the forces reshaping what and how we read, if you want to understand what new glamour print is acquiring in the digital age, or if you want to pin down what books can do that blogs can't and vice versa, it's worth pausing en route to the Media Studies aisle to browse this unnamed section. Not that anyone has much to say about its contents; elegies for Gutenberg waste few tears on it. What Charles Lamb dismissed already in 1822 as 'things in books' clothing' find few defenders. Nor do gift books need any, since they laugh off the forces that threaten other print genres.
"Their resilience offers two lessons. First, reading is only one of the uses to which you can put p-books. In the half-millennium when paper reigned supreme, few pages ever made it into the hands of readers; most gathered dust on the parlor shelf before being recycled in the kitchen or privy. Even illiterate servants had their favorite newspapers, based not on their politics but on whether the paper was repellent or absorbent. No sooner were telephone numbers digitized than ads popped up for the Boost, a block of yellow foam shaped like a book but sized for your toddler's behind. Second, books are social media. They can be shared or hidden behind, foisted on other people or confiscated from them. What would an electronic Gideon Bible look like?”
– From “Books on Books” at publicbooks.org
What are the three most common eating disorders?
Wisdom of the ages
“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.” – Isaac Asimov
“After this Kermit Gosnell trial, (and) some of the horrific acts that were going on, the vast majority of the American people believe in the substance of this bill, and so do I.” – House Speaker John Boehner, after the Republican-led House passed a far-reaching bill to ban almost all abortions after 20 weeks.
Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by self-starvation, weight loss, an irrational fear of gaining weight and a distorted body image. Bulimia nervosa is characterized by a cycle of compulsive binging followed by purging through various means. Binge eating disorder is the most common disorder and is characterized by frequent periods of compulsive overeating without accompanying purging behaviors.
mishpocha (mish-PAW-khuh) – an entire family network comprising relatives by blood and marriage and sometimes including close friends; clan, as in: “Gotta stand by your family – it's a mishpocha thing.”
Today in history
On this date in 1772, slavery was outlawed in England; it didn't even require a civil war.
Now you know
A New Woman’s Day and AOL Living poll found that 72 percent of women surveyed have considered leaving their husbands at some point.