Curiosities

Wednesday Links

By posted at 8:17 pm on January 9, 2008 1
  • We’ve heard about the weak dollar making things tough on Canadian readers, but the pain is being felt by Canadian publishers as well, as profit margins diminish. The latest casualty is publisher Raincoast Books.
  • Philip Agee died today. His Inside the Company in 1973 may have created a modern day genre, one that would be contributed to by many former agents, the CIA tell-all.
  • The Atlantic reaches deep into the archives to bring us “The History of Children’s Books,” from 1888:

    It is hard to imagine a world without books for children. There have been children’s stories and folk-tales ever since man first learned to speak. “Many of them,” in Thackeray’s words, “have been narrated, almost in their present shape, for thousands of years since, to little copper-colored Sanscrit children. The very same tale has been heard by the Northmen Vikings, as they lay on their shields on deck; and by the Arabs, couched under the stars in the Syrian plains, when the flocks were gathered in, and the mares were picketed by the tents.” Children’s books, however, are a late growth of literature. Miss Yonge says, “Up to the Georgian era there were no books at all for children or the poor, excepting the class-books containing old ballads, such as Chevy Chase, and short tales, such as The King and the Cobbler, Whittington and his Cat.” We shall nevertheless see that there were English books for children (and it is with no others that we have to deal) long before this time.

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One Response to “Wednesday Links”

  1. Bruce from the Bookshop Blog
    at 10:10 pm on January 12, 2008

    Just a note about the rise of the Canadian Dollar and its effect on the small independent bookseller.
    Owwww!
    Owning a small bookshop in Montreal I can tell you that the CAD$ being strong is not fun. About half of our online sales were to the US and online sales accounts for half of our business. The volume of American sales has slowed to a trickle, maybe only 10% of sales. ya…ow is right!

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