collection
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.
In his new book Beat Box: A Drum Machine Obsession, Joe Mansfield traces the history of the boxes, from their barebones analogue origins as machines designed for simple accompaniment, all the way to the microprocessor-loaded boxes sophisticated enough to serve as the central element in music. Read More >>

maths
When Did There Become Too Many Books to Read in One Lifetime?

We've all done it: stood in a library, looking around, we've been confronted by the fact that there are way, way too many books in existence for us to ever read. But when in history did that happen? Read More >>

collection
15 of the Weirdest Images in the British Library’s New Digital Trove

Digging through the archives of old libraries is a blast. Depending on the library, you'll find everything from dated architectural drawings to snippets of old children's books. You can just imagine the treasures to be found in the British Library's ancient archive. And, now, you don't even have to get your fingers dusty! Read More >>

art
Gorgeous New Posters From an Abandoned London Printing Press

The folks at Faber & Faber, an independent publishing house in London since 1929, recently found a forgotten hand press in their archives. Read More >>

design
Here's the Perfect Diary to Divulge How Much You Miss Your Game Boy

You remember that fateful Christmas many years ago, don't you? The whole family was over and your cousin was playing with your beloved Game Boy—until you heard the crash. Despite being in another room, you instantly recognised the sound. It was your Game Boy falling to its death. Technically, it still worked, but there were all those lines missing on the screen, and as far as you were concerned, your childhood friend was no more. You've never been able to express those feelings of loss, either. But now you can finally put them down on paper inside this lovely Game Boy-inspired notebook. Read More >>

history
Read These Three Unpublished JD Salinger Stories That Just Leaked Online

After showing up on an eBay auction, this trio of hitherto unpublished JD Salinger stories—The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls, Birthday Boy and Paula—have just been leaked online and uploaded as a PDF. It seems to have been scanned from an unauthorised book called, aptly enough, Three Stories. Get reading! Read More >>

design
How Braille Was Invented

Braille was invented by a nineteenth century man named Louis Braille, who was completely blind. Braille's story starts when he was three years old, and playing in his father's shop in Coupvray, France, where he somehow managed to injure his eye. Read More >>

space
My Breathtaking Ride From Earth to the International Space Station

The rumble of power just got stronger and more insistent as we heard the countdown in Russian through our headsets and then, "Pusk." Liftoff. Read More >>

history
This Infographic Shows that a Story Can Hit Big Without the Internet

Remember books? You know, the most distributed content delivery technology ever? Folios may be on their way out, and internet content may reach more people than ever, but it's pretty amazing to look at how widely our favorite narratives have been distributed. Read More >>

google
Google Wins the Right to Keep Scanning Millions of Books for Free

Nearly a decade after it started, the lawsuit between the Authors' Guild and Google over its book-scanning program has been thrown out. This means that Google can keep digitising millions of books for free distribution, and more importantly, that fair use is in the public's best interest. Read More >>

design
This Book Shows You What It's Like to Have Dyslexia

For people with dyslexia, relating their struggle with reading to the general population can be a seemingly impossible and frustrating task. Graphic designer (and dyslexic) Sam Barclay, though, hopes to finally bridge the gap between those with reading difficulties and those without using his new book—a visual experience of what dyslexia actually entails. Read More >>

architecture
A Mountain Range of Shelves Turns This Kids' Library Into a Playground

Learning to read is a massive adventure in itself, but discovering the library, a magical place where the stories are plentiful and the books are free, is downright mind blowing. In an effort to match the fun between the pages, the Mexican branding studio Anagrama transformed the interior of a local heritage site into Niños Conarte, a geometric mountain range of literature. Read More >>

design
Dutch Publishers Print Book in (Unsurprisingly Stinky) Squid Ink

Something smells fishy... Naar Inkt Vissen is a book of sailors' stories with a difference. Today Designers' 700-book run is bound with industrial fishing wire - and printed using a litre and a half of squid ink. Read More >>

ebooks
The Good News is Students are Reading Their Books; the Bad News is They're Pirating Loads of 'em

Research into the piracy of digital coursework books for students has found that levels of illegal sharing are ridiculously high, with nearly three-quarters of the educational ebooks researchers looked for easily discoverable on file-sharing networks. Read More >>

porn
Mass of Sick Self-Published Porn Pulled From Amazon, WHSmith and Kobo Book Stores

Publicity surrounding the discovery of stacks of sick self-published erotic novels has resulted in Amazon, WHSmith and Barnes & Nobles pulling a range of amateur sex ebooks, said to include horrific incest and rape porn fiction that was popping up in uncensored search listings. Read More >>

wtf
Del Boy Gets it on With Bridget Jones via Plonker Book Printing Error

Those after more whimsical fluff about pants and kissing from the new Bridget Jones novel may find it unexpectedly lunging back to the 1980s, thanks to a publishing error sticking pages from Only Fools and Horses star Sir David Jason's autobiography into the latest Jones novel. Read More >>

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