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Posts Tagged ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

“Because the world is radically new, the ideal encyclopedia should be radical, too”*…

The current edition of The Encyclopaedia Britannica runs to 32 volumes of about 1,375,000 words per volume– 44 million words in all.  Wikipedia currently contains 2,537 million words across 4.3 million articles, the equivalent of over 1,900 volumes of Britannica.

 click here for larger (and constantly-updated) version

* Charles Van Doren (1962)

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As we appreciate the prescience of Douglas Adams, we might send well-organized birthday greetings to Arnold Neustadter; he was born on this date in 1910.  A businessman with a flare for invention, Neustadter created the Autodex, a spring-operated phone directory that automatically opened to the selected letter, Swivodex, an inkwell that did not spill, Punchodex, a paper hole puncher, and Clipodex, a transcription aid that attached to a stenographer’s knee.  But his masterwork, created in 1956 with Hildaur Neilsen, was the rotary contact file, the Rolodex.

 source

“So many books, so little time”*…

What’s a reader to do?  The disciplined Matt Kahn has a plan:  he’s reading– and reviewing– every one of the novels that reached the number one spot on Publishers Weekly annual bestsellers list, starting in 1913. All 94 of them.

Check out the list, and follow Matt’s progress at Kahn’s Corner.

On a related note, readers who followed last year’s Tournament of Books, might want to check in on this year’s.

* Frank Zappa

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As we renew our library cards, we might send wistful birthday greetings to Douglas Noel Adams; he was born on this date in 1952.  A writer and dramatist best remembered as the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Adams surely, by merit, belonged on Kahn’s list.  That will never be; Adams passed away in 2001.  Still, one can honor his memory in a couple of month’s time by celebrating Towel Day.

[bookshelves photo sourced here; Douglas Adams, here]

Written by LW

March 11, 2013 at 1:01 am

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