Friday, March 28, 2008

British Book News, In Brief

Anne Frank's Diary and the works of C.S. Lewis rank in the Top 10 Favorite Reads of 11-14 Year Olds in England. Of course, the rest of the list is Harry Potter books and tabloid magazines, but why focus on the negative, right? Via The Guardian UK: Predictably, the most loathed read is homework. It is followed by Shakespeare, books of over 100 pages and stories about skinny celebrities in magazines.

Also embarrassing the English is a report that finds 1 in 10 Brits skipping classic literature in favor of feature film adaptations. Even more cringe-inducing is this pitch for the classics' relevancy in the modern day, via The Guardian UK: But despite one-third of adults admitting they never read the classics, there are those who think modern life is imitating the traditional. Dickensian Britain has been reborn in the modern binge-drinking culture, according to 54% of those surveyed. And 47% believe that many young people are suffering from Peter Pan syndrome, unwilling to grow up just as in JM Barrie's classic novel. There is also evidence that the "wag" culture may not be such a new phenomenon - 30% believe that trying to find a rich husband mirrors the themes of Jane Austen's novels.

Bonus! Former Colonies News Item:

But will they waive the late fees? Via The Times of India: An ancient library dating back to 300 years was reopened after a gap of 40 years at the historical monument Water Mill in Aurangabad, sources said. The library housing manuscripts and other precious and rare books like the Holy Quran written by the last Mughal emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir, was thrown open recently to the public.