Some news from the literary world that you may have missed in the past weeks:
A book club is making the difference for patients and doctors alike: "Neelon, now medical director for the Rice Diet Program, felt the literature discussions had been beneficial to his medical work. ... "A patient comes to see you, and they are going to tell you a story," he explained. ... "The doctor must understand it as a narrative. Reading literature, discussing poetry, hones your skills, makes you see the narrative thread. It deepens your understanding."
Now that you've turned your CD collection in to MP3 files, you can go ahead and easily turn you "traditional" books into ebooks: "Called the Book Saver, it's a large frame into which you place an open book. Tap the Scan button and the spread is digitised and dropped onto an SD card, ready to be transferred to your computer. Each page is saved separately, thanks to the unit's two flash-equipped cameras."
"Why are some women writers reluctant to acknowledge that they are women writers?" "In the 70s and 80s, many women found the female in literature inspiring but then Nathalie Sarraute snarled in an interview: "When I write I am neither man nor woman nor dog nor cat." To her, the notion of female or male writing – écriture féminine ou masculine – was totally void of meaning. Moi finds that since then the discussion has gone nowhere. "To make women second rate citizens of the world of literature is to say that the female experience of the world carries less value than the male."
"But the lack of interest in the written word, Diaz added, was only one aspect that posed a problem to a writer in the USA. Changing belief systems about the pursuit of humanities, he added, was the other bigger challenge that writers like him faced. "There's an entire belief in the USA about the utter uselessness of art in the material world. That's what keeps me going. My attempt is to convert at least a few persons in that space,'' he added. "
That's why I pick books printed using German Gothic: "A study by Princeton University found that a significant number of those tested could recall more information when it was presented in unusual typefaces rarely used in textbooks.
The research suggests that introducing 'disfluency' - by making information superficially harder to understand - deepens the process of learning and encourages better retention.
The psychologists said information which has to be actively generated rather than 'passively acquired' from simple text is remembered longer and more accurately.
'When we see a font that is easy to read we're able to process that in a mindless way, but when we see an unfamiliar font, one full of weird squiggles, we have to work a little bit harder.
'That extra effort is a signal to the brain that this might be something worth remembering.'"