Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Daily Links 1-1-14

Happy New Year! Here is a bookish roundup of links to start your new year off right.


This is surprising: through the first eight months of 2013, sales of e-books were only up slightly but sales of hardcover books were increasing by double digits.


Copyright news: a court ruled last week that the bulk of the Sherlock Holmes stories have now fallen into the public domain as the copyrights have expired in the United States. This will, of course, make it easier for the materials to be published here.


Scientific evidence that reading is good for you:

Being pulled into the world of a gripping novel can trigger actual, measurable changes in the brain that linger for at least five days after reading, scientists have said.
The new research, carried out at Emory University in the US, found that reading a good book may cause heightened connectivity in the brain and neurological changes that persist in a similar way to muscle memory.
The changes were registered in the left temporal cortex, an area of the brain associated with receptivity for language, as well as the the primary sensory motor region of the brain.
Neurons of this region have been associated with tricking the mind into thinking it is doing something it is not, a phenomenon known as grounded cognition - for example, just thinking about running, can activate the neurons associated with the physical act of running.
The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist,” said neuroscientist Professor Gregory Berns, lead author of the study.
“We already knew that good stories can put you in someone else’s shoes in a figurative sense. Now we’re seeing that something may also be happening biologically.”


Life lessons from Winnie-the Pooh:


A wonderful photo gallery of 62 of the world's most beautiful libraries.

Codrington Library, Oxford University, England

Finally, here's my favorite books I read in 2013.

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