Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Future of the Book



There are a couple of publications that I subscribe to that are not part of the usual list of periodicals and publications that the general public seems to hear about. I thought I would tell you about two of my favorites.

Wilson Quarterly's major story this month is on "The Future of the Book". Thought provoking. With the increase of people reading on the internet along with the decline of people reading at all, it is an upward climb. I can't imagine not reading books and magazines, but there ARE those who never do. I often wonder about that. Wilson Quarterly is published by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. It covers so many intersting topics. For instance, In Essence, is a section in the magazine that has a compilation of articles from other journals and magazines. There is always a section on Current Books which I find extremely helpful in deciding if or what I'll buy.

Two articles of interest to me this month was one on the prelude to the Berlin Wall coming down and another on the proposal for high speed rail in the USA. I enjoy magazines that take me out of my comfort zone and cause me to think about the problems and possible solutions. They remind me of how little I know! Here is the website if you want to learn more about this magazine,

Saudi Aramco World is a publication that can be received for free. It has been published for sixty years. Initially it was started as an information pamphlet for ex-pats who worked for Saudi Aramco but it has become so much more. It is published in Houston. I have learned so much about the Middle East and Central Asia in the articles about the peoples and customs of that area. It has a teacher's section in the magazine for use for educational purposes. It is stellar.
And, the good news is the publication can be read online if you don't want a subscription. Go to I haven't gone to the website because I receive the magazine, but I'm sure you can subscribe on the website.

They include a calendar each year in the publication. Last year's calendar was photographs of all the beautiful textiles from the various countries such as Kilims from Turkey; Suzani needlework from Uzbekistan; and, last but not least, Kashmir shawls. I'll never get rid of this calendar. The photos are exquisite. It reminds me of the beauty of the people and not of the hostility of their governments. Again, this publication reminds me in each issue of the inaccuracies we read about these peoples and how little I know and how much more I need to read.
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Bob Mrotek said...

You are fantastic! This is a real winner :)

Shukran ("Thank you" in Arabic)

Tancho said...

I often wonder what all this Twitter and Facebook stuff will evolve to?
I guess the "on the go" crowd enjoys not sitting down, relaxing and reading.
It is paramount in my day to be able to do just that. Maybe the hesitation is because many people nowadays never got the basic skills or appreciation of reading. You don't get history on an Twitter page.

Cynthia said...

My husband and I were discussing the Kindle yesterday and I just read on Nancy's "Count Down to Mexico" blog that she has one and loves it.

I've decided that if we move to San Miguel full time, I would really enjoy one, but since I'm here (Houston) so much of the time, I love the feel of a book. I love the cover. Same with magazines.

I find in San Miguel that the costs of these "imports" are high. Perhaps in Mexico, I could give up the book for an electronic device that brought me what I want to read.

Babs said...

Thanks Bob - now how the heck do you know Arabic? Tell the story.
Tancho, one of the few things I miss in Mexico is the Sunday paper - I used to make a whole day of it....
Cynthia - all of us exchange books down here. I haven't bought a book since I moved here, oops have bought two in 9 years. And, the Bibliotecha is fantastic. You'll be delighted.

Charles said...

I love the smell and feel of glossy print - and the crispness of the pages of a new hardback - I don't think a "kindle" could ever give me the same comfort.

Have a good week!

Billie Mercer said...

Although I haven't made any, I've read a lot about and looked at a lot of handmade books/artist books. They are so sensuous to hold and read. Book design is an art. I think I could be okay with reading a novel on a kindle but not any books about photography or art. reading one newspaper article on the computer is about all I can take. I can barely make it through the lead story in the NY Times magazine. I just can't keep my concentration on the screen that long.

BTW Cynthia, it isn't too bad to bring in books to SMA. There isn't duty on books and the mail service charges charges a reasonable fee based on weight to bring them to SMA. But the biblioteca has lots of English books, and there are groups of people who do book exchanges so it might not be too difficult to keep a supply of books.

Unknown said...

And Billie, not just the art of the book's design, but the art and craft of writing the book, all the decisions of style in the telling of the story.

books, cats, men....if you don't like them, it just leaves more for me to love.

Dana J