• July 25, 2014

    An interactive graph allows you to track the usage of particular words in New York Times articles over time. “Famously,” for example, appeared in five articles in 1966 and 1332 articles in 2012.

    Gawker lists the ten “worst New Yorker ‘longreads’”: among them, Adam Gopnik on baking bread; Tad Friend on apartment-hunting; Anthony Lane on Scarlett Johansson; Susan Orlean on walking; John Updike on losing his hat; Malcolm Gladwell on basketball; David Remnick, the boss of the magazine, on the Boss; and Janet Malcolm on Eileen Fisher. Seems a little unfair to put Malcolm on the list, but the Fisher isn’t her best, we agree. We’ll save you from temptation and not even link to the pieces.

    At the LRB, Jenny Diski—one of our personal-favorite reviewers—uses the occasion of a review of Cubed, Nikil Saval’s recent history of the office, for a glorious riff on the office’s “secret beating heart,” i.e. “the stationery cupboard.” Is there any more wondrous place? “It’s fully stocked with more than one of everything and plenty to spare. Sundries. In bulk. A dozen of; assorted; multi-buys; bumper bundles. Paper in quires and reams, flimsy, economy and letter quality, neatly contained in perfectly folded paper packets. Boxes of carbon paper. (Children, you interleave a crispy dark-blue onion skin between each sheet of paper, you align them bottom edge and long side, tapping the long and short sides sharply together on the surface of your desk, and if you type sharply you can get as many as six or eight copies, each slightly fainter than the one before.) Refills and spares. A cornucopia of everything you would never run out of. Paper glued into pads or notebooks. Lined and unlined. Spiral, perfect bound, reporter. Envelopes with and without windows. Ring binders. Snap binders. Box files. Sticky white circles to reinforce the holes made by paper punches. Paper punches. Green string tags to go through the holes. Labels. So many blank labels. White, coloured, all shapes and sizes. And a mechanical labeller with plastic tape to emboss. More than enough supplies so that if a thing is done wrongly, spoiled or not quite right, mistyped, misspelled, holes punched in the wrong place, pencil broken, you throw it away and get a fresh one from the stationery cupboard that never runs out because it is there always to provide more.” The piece concludes with another endless paragraph, an impressive 624 words long. Jerry Stahl coveredCubed for Bookforum.

    Lydia Davis has “translated” Bob, Son of Battle, an obscure British children’s book.

    With Reddit Live, anyone can create their own live blog.

    Google almost bought Spotify, and then decided that, at more than $10 billion, the online music service was slightly too expensive.

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