Critical Linking: January 24, 2015

4. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, meld likely came from a combination of melt and weld in the 1930s. Vulcan mind-melding came along some 30 years later.

I love a good portmanteaux, don’t you?


The annoying slideshow format is totally worth it for how to achieve a stylish look based on your favorite children’s book character.


In 1935, a new innovation in publishing began to change everything: the Penguin paperback book. English publisher Allen Lane found himself waiting on a train platform, where he found little to read beyond magazines and poor-quality reprinted novels. He believed that there would be a market for a line of high quality paperback novels and nonfiction, sold in places where books weren’t typically sold. Once he returned home, he and his partners began to plan out a new imprint to publish paperbacks. They hit the streets, looking to sell their product to the unconventional locations, eventually landing a contract with Woolworth’s, a major department store. As Kenneth Davis notes in his work Two Bit Culture: The Paperbacking of America, “there had been numerous paper-covered books produced in England, going back as far as a series called British Poets, published by John Bell in the 1700s.” What set Lane’s Penguin books apart was different from the style of cover: It was the price and distribution that ultimately allowed his books to sell in vast numbers. The line grew immensely, allowing Penguin Books to become even more successful, and the low cost of the paperbacks required Lane to print in huge volumes—hundreds of thousands of copies. As World War II began to restrict paper supplies in England, Penguin was granted larger paper rations and managed to survive as its competitors floundered, unable to meet demand or compete. After surviving the war, Penguin thrived well into the second half of the 20th century.

A fascinating look at the rise and growth of the paperback novel.


Soooo…which children’s book are you?


From tyrannical Smaug to charming Falkor, dragons have entranced readers for centuries. Literary dragons are so popular, in fact, that author Donita K. Paul launched “Appreciate a Dragon Day” in 2004 to celebrate the mythical creatures.

Do you have a favorite dragon from literature? Here are ten of the best.


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