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Book Blog - Likely Stories, by Keir Graff - Booklist Online

Likely Stories

A Booklist Blog
Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

Archive for the 'Electric Libraryland' Category

Tue, September 30th, 2008
A Good Reason to Visit the White House
Posted by: Keir Graff

Warm congratulations to the good people at the Kansas City Public Library (“Kansas City Public Library wins 2008 National Medal for Museum and Library Services,” by Joe Robertson, Kansas City Star): The creative partners behind the Kansas City Public Library know they have been on a roll. And now they have the nation’s highest honor […]


Thu, September 4th, 2008
Quickly: Meanie, Medina, Authoritarianism, Wao!
Posted by: Keir Graff

For authors and would-be authors, a valuable reminder that, when basing your characters on real-life people, you should change more than just the names. Like their gender, for instance. Or your mean-spirited worldview. (“Director: Library Diaries Author Invaded Patrons’ Privacy,” American Libraries) Sherry Jones’ The Jewel of Medina will be published after all, in Britain […]


Thu, September 4th, 2008
Interesting Timing
Posted by: Keir Graff

In Time (“Mayor Palin: A Rough Record“), Nathan Thornburgh’s examination of Sarah Palin’s political past turns up a noteworthy allegation: Stein says that as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. “She asked the library how she could go about banning books,” he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language […]


Thu, August 7th, 2008
Many Voices, Much Singing
Posted by: Keir Graff

I had kind of been congratulating myself for my bravery in singing a few bars at the Booklist Forum, but after watching the recap of the Many Voices, Many Nations program, I’m in awe. Surely that was the year’s most musical discussion of books, writing, literacy, librarianship, and the fundamental unity of the global human […]


Mon, August 4th, 2008
I’m Sorry, That Format Is Not Recognized
Posted by: Keir Graff

Remember when people thought that putting newspapers on microform meant that they would be preserved forever? This kind of makes me think of that (“At Libraries, Taking the (Really) Long View,” by Andy Guess). But as libraries shift more of their resources to holdings that either originate as digital or become digital through scanning, it’s […]


Mon, August 4th, 2008
Judging Books by an Extremely Narrow Portion of Their Covers
Posted by: Keir Graff

Over at Under the Covers, Lisa Chellman takes a look at a rarely discussed aspect of book design: the spine. She makes an excellent point that publishers would do well to heed: In libraries and bookstores, where face-out shelving is at a premium, readers’ first impression of a book isn’t the cover. It’s the spine.


Tue, July 29th, 2008
Looking Back on the Pre-Post-Apocalypse
Posted by: Keir Graff

With post-apocalyptic tales capturing our imaginations of late, it seems high time to revisit an earlier take on the subject. (Would that make it a pre-post-apocalyptic work? Or am I getting ahead of myself?) It’s Tomes and Talismans, a LibraryVenture! (Thanks, Carlos, for reminding me about this!)


Mon, July 14th, 2008
Dastardly Plan Foiled by Librarians
Posted by: Keir Graff

I don’t know why, but this made me think of Michael Gruber’s excellent Book of Air and Shadows. Oh, wait, I know why. (Although this is more Donald Westlake than Gruber.) New tag: Life Imitates Art. (Although we know where Art gets his ideas.) From the Guardian (“Man held over theft of Shakespeare first folio,” by […]


Tue, June 24th, 2008
Why stop there? Why not have the computers read the books they recommend for us?
Posted by: Keir Graff

I’ve been meaning to take a look at BookLamp for awhile, a site that describes itself as being like Pandora for books. Where LibraryThing helps readers find books based on similarity of taste, BookLamp takes a more technical approach, scanning the books and, well, here it is in their words: So the first thing that we did […]


Wed, June 4th, 2008
“But I need the stupid things.”
Posted by: Keir Graff

Just read a terrific essay by Luc Sante about his personal library (“The Book Collection That Devoured My Life,” the Wall Street Journal): I’m not a snob about books, but I’m probably a show-off — as who isn’t? My showing-off is of a pretty low-key if not completely abstruse sort, though. No one has ever […]





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