Tuesday News: Simon & Schuster, saving books, productivity, and awkward engagement photos
Milo Yiannopolous Book Deal with S&S Generates Backlash – Oh, Simon & Schuster. The only thing sadder than giving Yiannopolous a $250K book deal is trying to justify it as advocacy of “free speech.” Sure, MY is free to say a lot of the crap he says, but publishing is about money, and we all know this is a money move for the publisher that has f*** all to do with free speech. Because the whole idea behind the concept in the US is that it is supposed to strengthen democracy by protecting minority viewpoints and assuring that we have a robust “marketplace of ideas.” If Yiannopolous actually cared about any of these things, I could respect S&S’s argument. And if you are not familiar with Yiannopolous (and missed the whole Twitter-banning episode), I highly recommend this essay as one of the best character summaries I have seen. Of course, the free speech defense goes both ways, and the Chicago Review of Books will not review any 2017 S&S titles in protest. Some bookstores are balking, as well:
While the book has risen up the charts at Amazon, at least one independent bookseller said her store will not be stocking the book. “The books my staff and I choose to place on our shelves is a reflection of our community,” said Kate Rattenborg, owner of Dragonfly Books in Decorah, Iowa. “Our community is not a community of hate, and I will not provide shelf space for a book where the author has risen to notoriety based on his discriminatory harassment, online bullying, and striking fear in others.”
After being reached for comment, S&S stated: . . . “While we are cognizant that many may disagree vehemently with the books we publish, we note that the opinions therein belong to our authors, and do not reflect either a corporate viewpoint or the views of our employees, and request that readers withhold judgment until they have had a chance to read the actual contents of the book.” – Publishers Weekly
To save books, librarians create fake ‘reader’ to check out titles – Claiming that the library will save money by keeping titles in circulation that will eventually become popular again (thus saving them from being pulled and later repurchased), two Florida library employees created a fake patron who checked out more than 2,000 books in less than a year. An investigation uncovered the unlawful scheme, which also uncovered some of the problems inherent in a library system that aims to provide a community service and yet makes its component libraries compete for funding.
The goal behind the creation of “Chuck Finley” was to make sure certain books stayed on the shelves — books that aren’t used for a long period can be discarded and removed from the library system.
George Dore, the library’s branch supervisor who was put on administrative leave for his part in the episode, said he wanted to avoid having to later repurchase books purged from the shelf. He said the same thing is being done at other libraries, too.
If true, that could be a problem.
That’s because nine city-run libraries that are part of the Lake County library system and receive a percentage of their funding based on circulation levels. The system is a cooperative with centralized cataloging and check-out privileges for residents at any library, among other benefits. – Orlando Sentinel
3 books to read for a more productive 2017 – What drew my eye to this one was the mention of Charles Duhigg, who wrote one of my favorite books, The Power of Habit. He has written a new book on productivity (Smarter, Faster, Better), which I’m sure is no hard-hitting scientific study, but is likely an entertaining and informative read (or listen). I don’t know anything about the other two books (Cal Newport’s Deep Work and Gabriele Oettingen’s Rethinking Positive Thinking), but you can check out summaries in the above-linked article. – TreeHugger
From an upside down kiss to a VERY steamy toilet embrace, are these the most cringeworthy engagement photos EVER? – Brought to you by Awkward Family Photos, these are engagement photos are definitely memorable. – Daily Mail