Bookish news on the web this week - 18 July 2015

Imprisoned books

Chain, Chest, Curse: Combating Book Theft In Medieval Times
Erik Kwakkel
“Do you leave your e-reader or iPad on the table in Starbucks when you are called to pick up your cup of Joe? You’re probably not inclined to do this, because the object in question might be stolen. The medieval reader would nod his head approvingly, because book theft happened in his day too. In medieval times, however, the loss was much greater, given that the average price of a book – when purchased by an individual or community – was much higher. In fact, a more appropriate question would be whether you would leave the keys in the ignition of your car with the engine running when you enter Starbucks to order a coffee. Fortunately, the medieval reader had various strategies to combat book theft. Some of these appear a bit over the top to our modern eyes, while others seem not effective at all.”


The Top TenBooks Disowned By Their Authors
John Rentoul for the Independent
Just what the title says.

Behind Many Classics There Lurks A Brilliant Editor
Sameer Rahim for the Telegraph
“As Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman shows, writers often need editors to coax out their best”

Over to You – Comment and Share!

  • Lorna says:

    With regard to your first article, when we visited the Bodleian Library recently, we heard that the filming of Harry Potter got some historical detail wrong as they chained the book to the spine but it should have been chained to the front cover.

    22 Jul 2015 12:26:09

  • Clare says:

    I’ve never been to the Bodleian Library – would love to, though (not just because of Harry Potter!).

    22 Jul 2015 14:29:27

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