Posts Tagged ‘books’

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You Always Knew

June 4, 2016

Thu-Huong Ha, for Quartz:

Detail of frame from Ergo Proxy, episode 11, "Anamnesis (In the White Darkness)".Economists from Italy’s University of Padova compared data on 5,820 European men to see if longer compulsory childhood education could increase kids’ earnings over a lifetime. It does: Averaged across nine countries, boys who attended an extra year of school due to changing age requirements eventually returned an additional 9% of income.

But the researchers were surprised to find that, among kids who benefited from an extra year of school, those who grew up with more than 10 non-school books (that is, books they weren’t forced to read) at home eventually doubled that lifetime earning advantage, to 21%. Factors like whether the boys’ fathers had white-collar jobs, and whether their homes had running water, did not seem to make a difference.

Crucially, there was no significant difference between whether participants reported having 50, 100, or 200 books growing up. The key was whether they grew up with any number of books greater than 10.

The 2015 study from Brunello, Weber, and Weiss, published in The Economic Journal, is presently posted for open access.

Thus we find a scrap of evidence supporting something I think we all have known, instinctively at least, is true.

Keep reading. Keep teaching. Keep learning.

―bd

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Brunello, Giorgio, Guglielmo Weber, and Christph T. Weiss. “Books are Forever: Early Life Conditions, Education and Lifetime Earnings in Europe”. The Economic Journal. 25 April 2016.

Ha, Thu-Huong. “Economists show that boys who grow up around books earn significantly more money as adults”. Quartz. 2 June 2016.

(h/t Science of Us)

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The Moral of the Story Is Probably Extraneous

April 17, 2015

Detail of 'Mary Death' by Matt Tarpley, 17 April 2015.There really isn’t much I can add; Matt Tarpley makes the point well enough.

Still, though, maybe that isn’t fair. Let this be the moral of the story: Among the rites of spring, this might well be the most important.

Be well. Read well.

Something about a thousand words and more. Or for every star in the sky. Still, it is not enough to encompass every dream we carry with us.

Oh, my. See me prattle on.

―bd

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Image note: Detail of Mary Death by Matt Tarpley, 17 April 2015.

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January publishing sales

March 23, 2010

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) reports for the month of January 2010, book sales decreased by 0.7 percent at $814.9 million and were down by 0.7 percent for the year.

The Adult Hardcover category dipped 8.1 percent in January 2010 with sales of $55.6 million a decrease of 8.1 percent compared to January 2009. Adult Paperback sales increased by 0.8 percent for the month ($103.2 million) and were up by 0.8 percent compared to January last year. The Adult Mass Market category declined by 0.5 percent for January with sales totaling $56.0 million; sales were down by 0.5 percent year for the month. The Children’s/YA Hardcover category decreased by 41.6 percent for the month with sales of $31.7 million, a decrease for the month by 41.6 percent. The Children’s/YA Paperback category decreased by 18.1 percent in January with sales totaling $30.7 million; sales were down by 18.1 percent compared to January 2009.

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Gleick on publishing

December 9, 2008

Hmm … where to start? I know, how about the beginning? James Gleick tackles the challenges facing the publishing industry and offers some helpful thoughts for writers in these developing and often depressing times:

The gloom that has fallen over the book publishing industry is different from the mood in, say, home building. At least people know we’ll always need houses.

And now comes the news, as book sales plummet amid the onslaught of digital media, that authors, publishers and Google have reached a historic agreement to allow the scanning and digitizing of something very much like All the World’s Books. So here is the long dreamed-of universal library, its contents available (more or less) to every computer screen anywhere. Are you happy now? Maybe not, if your business has been the marketing, distributing or archiving of books.

One could imagine the book, venerable as it is, just vanishing into the ether. It melts into all the other information species searchable through Google’s most democratic of engines: the Web pages, the blogs, the organs of printed and broadcast news, the general chatter. (Thanks for everything, Gutenberg, and now goodbye.)

Ouch. But don’t be discouraged. Gleick notes that he doesn’t see things in the same terms, and even suggests that “we’ve reached a shining moment for this ancient technology”.
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