Critical Linking: April 22nd, 2014


In an annual rite of National Library Week, the American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom this week released its Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books, this year led by children’s book series Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey.

Man, there are a lot of dumb reasons to challenge a book on this list. For example, that people challenge a book because of “homosexuality” is one of those things my grandchildren aren’t going to believe.


If paperbacks were going to succeed in America, they would need a new model. De Graff, for his part, was well acquainted with the economics of books. He knew that printing costs were high because volumes were low—an average hardcover print run of 10,000 might cost 40 cents per copy. With only 500 bookstores in the U.S., most located in major cities, low demand was baked into the equation.

Awesome overview of the invention of the paperback. (side note: only 500 bookstores in the US in 1939.)


This is an interesting moment for used books. People are paying more and more for special ones. In just the last year, the average price for rare books at auction jumped 7%, according to the Americana Exchange.

That’s a significant jump.


Hundreds of Meridian, Idaho, high school students signed a protest petition when their local school board banned Sherman Alexie’s young adult novel “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian’ from their 10th-grade curriculum. But a private fund-raising drive, organized by two Washington women, has now raised enough money to buy a copy of the novel for every one of the 350 students who protested the curriculum ban.

These are the two best book people in the country this week. And it’s going to take an effort to take the 2014 crown from them.


Critical Linking is sponsored by Warby Parker. Affordable, stylish, vintage-inspired glasses delivered to your door.

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