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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 20, 2010 10 Elul, 5770

Battle of the Bookists

By Suzanne Fields




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | We're going to seduce them with our square footage, and our discounts, and our deep armchairs, and our cappuccino. They're going hate us at the beginning. . . . But we'll get 'em in the end because we're going to sell them cheap books and legal addictive stimulants. We'll just put up a big sign: "Coming soon: a FoxBooks superstore and the end of civilization as you know it.

Such were the sentiments of the 1998 movie comedy "You've Got Mail," spoken by Joe Fox (portrayed by Tom Hanks) articulating the strategy of a big chain bookstore. FoxBooks was a fictional representation of Barnes and Noble, the biggest of the big book chains, which at last count had 720 big stores and 637 college bookstores. The movie was made in 1998 after the super chains had been on the move for more than a decade, bulldozers scooping up every small independent bookstore in their path.

Many of us lament the loss of the neighborhood bookstore, where we enjoyed engaging the owner in conversation, but losing that was a small price (if not so small for the bookshop proprietor) to pay for the luxury of more impersonal service for less money. We still inhabited the Age of Gutenberg, where the printed word on paper was dear to both head and heart, and where we could buy the morning newspaper and a magazine. Soon we carried our laptops into their coffee cafes, too.

Now, Barnes and Noble is up for sale and Amazon.com is seducing us with the Kindle (without coffee), and we have to wait at least two weeks if we want to buy an Apple iPad, with free or cheap "apps" to deliver just about everything but the cappuccino.

I spent a few summer days at the beach reading books on a borrowed Kindle. I had to be dragged to the small screen — but when I visited an urban bookstore a few days later to browse, I discovered that I preferred the novels as e-books, to read them at half the price of paper-and-ink books. I could easily change the size of the type, and the package was smaller and lighter than any novel I could carry in a shopping bag.

While the technology required mentoring from a 14-year-old, I imagined that I was staying in touch with the future. I waxed nostalgic over a memory of my mother telling me how as a young girl in a small town in Canada, hers was the first family to get a telephone. When her daddy called, she puzzled over how he could make himself tiny enough to fit into the phone box on the wall.

I never thought the generation gap in my lifetime would be that dramatic, but the generation after mine makes it clear that help is required for old folks challenged by electronics.

The e-book certainly represents the accelerating future. Amazon sells more e-books than books on paper. Most (but not all) of my fellow troglodyte friends are buying them for travel because "of the lighter weight only." But from small acorns great oaks grow. Luxury hotels are adding e-books as a perk along with spas and gourmet vegetarian dishes.

After Gutenberg invented moveable type, replacing illuminated manuscripts inscribed by monks, the production of cheap books followed, but hundreds of years later. These books were typically published in small quantities on corkscrew hand presses, with the pages folded, stitched and bound by hand.

The Industrial Revolution eventually begot the high-tech revolution for mass produced books, and production took off in the 19th century. Critics then fretted over the harmful changes in reading patterns and feared a decline in the quality of writing and reading, just as we worry today over short attention spans spawned in a digital age. (But before we celebrate our own era with shouts and fireworks, we should take note that the quality of contemporary reading and writing often suffers by comparison to earlier times.)

As early as 1704, Jonathan Swift satirized a "battle of the books" in the duel for prominence in the king's library between classical authors such as Homer and Aristotle, whom Swift considered the sources of light, and the popular modernists, who merely reflected light. He leaves it to the reader to decide the winner.

It's much too early to measure the full impact of e-reading on the way we "process" ideas. Denis Diderot, famous for the encyclopedia he edited in the 18th century, was skeptical of the benefits of technological progress, and wondered who would ultimately be the master of content, the reader or the writer. That question remains to be answered — maybe on paper, and maybe on the tiny screen.

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