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.

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“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?

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“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!

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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.

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“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.

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“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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