How Book Vending Machines Can Help Those Living In America’s Book Deserts

Low-income neighborhoods in major cities across America have book deserts — a limited access to children’s books negatively impacts children’s vocabulary and reading comprehension. Book vending machines, installed in high-trafficked areas within these book deserts by NYC’s JetBlue airline, might be able to combat the problem.

In 2016, NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development led a study in partnership with JetBlue. The results shed a light on the lack of children’s books in low-income neighborhoods across the three major cities of Detroit, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. Those living in concentrated poverty, the study holds, have a much more limited access to print: They live in book deserts. The socioeconomic inequalities can be stark and they come at a cost, given that reading books as a child can have an out-sized impact on someone’s reading skills across the rest of their life.

Continue @ Forbes

Operation Paperback: Sending books to those who serve

Sandy Marron of Heritage Harbour collects books for soldiers.

Operation Paperback, a non-profit founded in 1999, sends shipments of books to military bases all over the world. Marron is one of 19,000 volunteers under the Operation Paperback umbrella.

The books go to military families, veterans, hospitals and bases overseas. The books help soldiers learn, pass the time or, on deployment, read to their children via webcam. Romance and religious books aren’t accepted.

Continue @ Bay Weekly

Meet the YouTube Stars Turning Viewers Into Readers

When Christine Riccio was a teenager growing up in New Jersey, she and her sister would upload videos to YouTube of the two of them being silly, dancing to Britney Spears’s “Piece of Me” or attempting a back flip. It wasn’t until Ms. Riccio was in college in 2010 that she “actually talked to the camera” for the first time and decided to upload a video book review of Suzanne Collins’s “The Hunger Games.”

“I was reading a lot of books, and I had no one to discuss them with,” she said, explaining why she turned to the internet. “I was like, ‘I’ll be lucky if I ever get 500 subscribers over here.’”

Continue @ New York Times

New Study: Trigger Warnings Might Make People Less Resilient to Trauma


Academic trigger warnings—notes of caution that inform students about emotionally disturbing content ahead of time—may “present nuanced threats” to psychological resilience, according to a study that raises important questions about an increasingly controversial classroom practice.

The study was authored by a team of Harvard researchers and will appear in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry. (Reason obtained and reviewed an unedited version.) The study does not deal trigger warnings anything close to a fatal blow, but it does yield credence to the theory that forewarning students about challenging material may fail to prepare them for life’s challenges.

Continue @ Reason

Geoff Johnson: How to turn our kids into lifelong readers


At its best, reading is an intimate experience. It creates a direct conduit between the experiences and imaginations of the writer and the reader.

Patrick Hogan of the University of Connecticut and Keith Oatley of the University of Toronto are researchers who have studied the links between emotion and understanding.

Continue @ Times Colonist

Literature events company to create ‘immersive’ festival performances

Very excited to hear about this and hope the idea spreads.  I’ve wanted to do something similar for years.  I used to have a notebook of “literary themes” to work from for parties, especially viewing parties with books made into films.  Love the idea of whole festivals built around it!  If you want to “escape” reality, why not go “all in”, eh? 🙂

I’d really like to see regional literary festivals throughout the USA much the way you find Renaissance Festivals with a different book chosen each year for each festival.  Would be so much fun!  Books would have to be chosen a year or two in advance though to allow time for cosplayers and set designs, but so fun!

A new literature events company called Story Machine Productions plans to “revolutionise the experience of books” by creating “immersive performances” at festivals inspired by book content alone.

The outfit – spearheaded by Norwich publisher Sam Ruddock (pictured), a former Waterstones bookseller – aims “to do for literature and human knowledge what Secret Cinema has done for film: create exciting celebrations of the written word”. This it will do by remaining “100% faithful” to chosen texts while working with filmmakers, dancers, actors, musicians and visual artists to widen their appeal, presenting what it hopes will be a creative new platform for publishers and authors to promote their books and “stand out in a crowded marketplace”.

Continue @ The Bookseller

You Can Enter To Win A Collection Of 100 Of America’s Most-Loved Books

Calling all book lovers — or anyone who just wants to read more. Now through Aug. 31, Penguin House is giving you a chance to win an entire collection of 100 of America’s most-loved books.

Yup, we’re talking everything from classics like George Orwell’s “1984” or more recent favorites like “Fifty Shades of Grey.” And, of course, everything in between. All you have to do for a chance to win is enter the Great American Reads Sweeps. No purchase is necessary, and the entry will subscribe you to Penguin House’s free newsletter.

Continue @ Simplemost