10 Distinctive American Libraries That Give Books A Good Home

Hey, let's all take a quick minute right now to acknowledge those brilliant beacons of books—free books, for goodness sake!—that dot towns across the country. The Public Library, a new hardback by photographer Robert Dawson, offers a poignant look at the incredible architectural range of these community hubs. » 4/08/14 9:00am 4/08/14 9:00am

A Compact Toolbox That Camouflages Itself As a Book On Your Shelf

Hunting down your toolbox and finding the right tool for a quick fix is never really 'quick' enough. And it usually leads to an ever-growing to-do list of things to fix around the house. Here's a better solution: Strelka's ToolBook lets you hide a basic set of screwdrivers and hex wrenches on a bookshelf, so they're… » 4/01/14 10:20am 4/01/14 10:20am

A Collection Of Nine Flipbooks Celebrating Disney's Greatest Animators

Before Walt Disney came along, animation was seen as just for kids. But through the release of a series of now iconic animated films, he was able to turn 'cartoons' into a serious art form, paving the way for blockbusters like The Lion King and Frozen. However, he couldn't have done it without the help of nine… » 3/31/14 5:00pm 3/31/14 5:00pm

How to Buy Ebooks From Anywhere and Still Read Them All in One Place

Most ebook sellers try to lock you into a particular ecosystem. If you don't mind buying from the same company every time, this isn't too bad, but you lose the ability to comparison shop, as well as making it difficult to switch apps. Fortunately, there's a way around this problem. » 3/28/14 10:20am 3/28/14 10:20am

A Pregnancy Diary That Grows With an Expectant Mother

If you've never kept a diary or journal before, a pregnancy is probably a great time to start. Not only because of all the new experiences, but it will also probably come in really handy if and when you decide to have a second child. And what better place to document your thoughts than in a journal that's growing right … » 3/17/14 9:44am 3/17/14 9:44am

Does anybody read books the right way any more?

And I'm not talking about paper versus digital. I'm talking about curling up with a good book, for hours. Sitting in a hammock, or in a chair by the fire, just totally pulled into a book. Is the long, totally focused book-reading session a thing of the past — and does this mean we're getting less immersed in our… » 3/03/14 6:39pm 3/03/14 6:39pm

The Worst Blunders People Make in Inventing Fictional Alien Worlds

We love stories that take us to alien planets and let us explore whole new environments. But not every alien planet is totally realistic, especially given how much we've learned about exoplanets lately. So we asked six experts to tell us the biggest mistakes they see in fictional habitable worlds — and here's what they … » 2/20/14 5:40pm 2/20/14 5:40pm

This incredibly touching ad is better than most movies

This moving commercial about Bell's whisky does more in two minutes than most movies do in two hours. Give it a try. I went in expecting nothing—I mean, it's a commercial!—and walked away gently holding my heart. It's definitely better than any commercial that aired during the Super Bowl and probably more heartwarming… » 2/08/14 12:33pm 2/08/14 12:33pm

This Transforming Medieval Text Is Actually Six Books in One

With a literacy rate hovering around an estimated 5 to 10 percent of the population during the Middle Ages, only a select few of society's upper echelons and religious castes had use for books. So who would have use for a sextuplet of stories bound by a single, multi-hinged cover like this? Some seriously busy scholar. » 1/24/14 4:20pm 1/24/14 4:20pm

Rediscovering Acres of Forgotten Books In a Grand Old Albany Basement

Amidst endless stories about the death of the printed word and the closing of America's libraries, another issue remains unresolved: What's to be done with all the leftover books? In Albany, administrators at the former State Library are embroiled in a debate over the value of books—and what's "too precious" to throw… » 1/24/14 9:40am 1/24/14 9:40am

Will Your Novel Be a Best Seller? Ask This Super Accurate Algorithm

It's tough for humans to predict how well a book will sell until after it's published—it's something of a gamble. But now, a new algorithm can tell if a book will be a commercial success or not long before it hits the shelves—with a staggering 84 percent accuracy. » 1/09/14 10:00am 1/09/14 10:00am

Read to Win the War: 13 Vintage Posters Promoting American Libraries

Ever since the internet came along, our relationship to libraries has changed dramatically. But recent studies show that these institutions—pillars of the OG sharing economy—are still viewed as essential to American communities. So it's fascinating to take a look through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's … » 12/27/13 9:00am 12/27/13 9:00am

7 Groundbreaking Drum Machines That Changed Music As We Know It

When the first drum machines hit the market in the 1950s, they must have felt like the future. Imagine that—a robotic drummer that does exactly what you tell him to, and doesn't get loaded after the show. Of course, the human drummer never quite went out of style, but drum machines changed music forever. » 12/19/13 9:05am 12/19/13 9:05am