Critical Linking: March 7, 2011

“Once they register for a MyJSTOR account, users can access a maximum of three full text articles at a time, each of which must remain “on their shelf” for a minimum of 14 days before it can be swapped out for a new item.”

This is a big deal. JSTOR is one of the largest academic databases and a coveted research tool. Even capped free access is noteworthy.


“It showed that those who had ambient noise in the background (70 decibels, the level that you’d hear in a bustling cafe) scored higher in objective word-association tests and their answers were rated more creative by other participants.”

So, it’s the background noise that makes working in a coffee shop so much better. I thought it was the abated loneliness. Who knew?


“People I care about are readers…particularly serious readers and writers, these are my people. And we do not like to yak about ourselves.”

I always forget how calm and silent writers are about themselves. Thanks for the reminder,  Johnny!


According to Amazon’s great Text Stats feature, the median length for all books is about 64,000 words. The figure was found through looking at a number of books’ text stats, until Brave New World‘s 64,531 word count landed in the exact center of all books–50% of books have fewer words and 50% of books have more words.

Weird. Meaningless, but weird.


“Here’s what Kindle Singles actually are: probably the best reason to buy an e-reader in the first place. They’re works of long-form journalism that seek out that sweet spot between magazine articles and hardcover books. Amazon calls them “compelling ideas expressed at their natural length.” If I didn’t loathe the word “compelling,” I’d think that wasn’t a half-bad slogan.”

These really are great. Next thing I want: a way to buy articles out of magazines a la carte.


“So-called ‘clit lit’ – saucy fiction for women – is on the up, especially in the e-world. Mills and Boon says its electronic downloads doubled in 2010, and in the past few years mainstream publishers such as Random House, Penguin and Simon & Schuster have all inaugurated erotica imprints.”

Is it impossible to have a trend in fiction for women without giving it a patronizing name? What’s wrong with erotica?


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