— I have a close friend who’s lived in Knoxville for several years, and one of our favorite places in town is the print shop Yee-Haw Industries. I was happy to see it profiled in yesterday’s New York Times travel article 36 Hours in Knoxville, which describes Yee-Haw as “part gallery, part stationery shop, all handmade coolness.” They’re right on the money with this piece – the owners will, in fact, happily take you through the workshops showing off all the wonderful antique types and printing equipment they’ve collected, which is just what happened the first time I visited. I’m particularly taken with their greeting cards, especially Feathered Friends, which I’ve had framed as a set.
Oh, and my friend works at one of the restaurants mentioned in the article. She actually got to talk to the Times fact-checker, how cool is that? Unfortunately, they should have asked her how to spell y’all.
— Jeremy of Philobiblos has a great in-depth look at Robert Darnton’s recent NY Review of Books piece, discussing points where he agrees and disagrees with Darnton.
— Hang Fire Books is giving away ephemera! I have to say, that’s definitely the weirdest found note I’ve ever seen. The giveaway is going to be a regular feature, so keep your eyes open.
— At Book Patrol, Brian Cassidy chronicles his adventures with his new Kindle. I have similar mixed feelings about the Kindle, and while I think that it’s a great idea (especially for magazines,) they could have done more work on the design. (I’m a total Apple snob, what can I say?) I haven’t used one yet though, so it’s nice to read his initial impressions in the follow-up post.
— BibliOdyssey posts nice images from a newly digitized 1719 edition of Maria Sybilla Merian’s Metamorphosibus Insectorum Surinamensium.
— Notes for Bibliophiles, the blog of the Providence Public Library Special Collections Department, shares Heath’s Infallible Counterfeit Detector, at Sight.
— What may be Jane Austen’s hair is going up for auction on June 18.
— I’ve been following the on-going controversy over proposed age banding of children’s books by British publishers. Author Meg Rosoff seems to be the only voice in support of the plan, but I found her reasoning pretty insipid. Speaking from my experience as a kid who was reading adult books from a very young age, I can only say this is a bad idea. Even without age banding on books I still had trouble with the local librarians who, shooing me from the adult stacks, completely ignored my protestations that I’d already read all the good stuff in the children’s section. Fortunately, my parents were much more enlightened, and I’m definitely a better person for it. So three cheers for Philip Pullman!
Mr. Pullman told The Daily Telegraph: “I don’t mind anybody having an opinion about my books. I don’t mind a bookseller deciding they are for this age group or that, or a teacher giving one of my books to a child because they think it is appropriate.
“But I don’t want to see the book itself declaring officially, as if with my approval, that it is for readers of 11 and upwards or whatever. I write books for whoever is interested. When I write a book I don’t have an age group in mind.