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Study Links Drop in Test Scores to a Decline in Time Spent Reading: NYT

Tuesday, Nov 20, 2007 at 8:16pm

Americans — particularly young Americans — appear to be reading less for fun, and as that happens, their reading test scores are declining. At the same time, performance in other academic disciplines like math and science is dipping for students whose access to books is limited, and employers are rating workers deficient in basic writing skills.

That is the message of a new report being released today by the National Endowment for the Arts, based on an analysis of data from about two dozen studies from the federal Education and Labor Departments and the Census Bureau as well as other academic, foundation and business surveys.

Categories: Discussions

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Taking Healthcare for Granted

Thursday, Nov 15, 2007 at 8:24am

Steven Brust facing Financial/Health problems

For many of us in Canada, the idea of losing your home to a minor health crisis is foreign. Not so in other parts of the world. Steven Brust, author of several fantasy series including the Vlad Taltos novels, has had a lien placed against his house by a hospital for unpaid medical bills.

Categories: Discussions, Authors, SciFi & Fantasy

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Of Bookselling, Books, and WalMart

Monday, Nov 05, 2007 at 3:44pm

WalMart Canada has made a big deal of the fact that they are going to sell books at US prices. Big gesture, small cost. They are of course a general merchandiser, so books are a sliver of their sales. And their head office and supply systems are in the US, so they can readily source their inventory where the real price really is American.

No such luck for Canadian booksellers. Pretty much all we sell is books, and pretty much everything we buy is in Canada.

Categories: Discussions, Store News, Publishing News

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COFFEE TALK SILENCED IN IRAN'S BOOKSTORES

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2007 at 11:09am

"Four bookshops in Tehran this week closed their coffee shops after receiving a 72-hour ultimatum from Amaken-e Omoomi, a state body governing the retail trade." Amazken claims the demand is designed to put an end to illegal "mixing of the trades," but Tait notes that not all bookstore-cafes are being targetted for closure: "-e Ghalam, a bookstore linked to the culture and Islamic guidance ministry," was allowed to keep its cafe, meaning that the cafe crackdown is more likely an attempt to prevent gatherings of intellectuals, academics and others tempted to air contrary views.

Categories: Discussions

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Book prices are not in crisis

Monday, Oct 01, 2007 at 4:19pm

Current book pricing in Canada is actually a huge good news story for readers.

The exchange rate is raising a lot of hackles, and booksellers are at least as angry as book buyers. Not only are we taking flak from customers because prices are not dropping fast enough, we’re enduring revenue deflation as prices do fall.

And they are falling. Long term, the news on pricing is actually wonderful for Canadian readers and, by extension, for the literate culture we like to think we’re promulgating here in Canada.

Categories: Discussions, Publishing News

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