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Around the Web: Women in Rare Books, Literary Fiction, and More

Hello again everyone and happy Friday! Once more it’s time for Around the Web, so settle in for some reading or get ready to bookmark some pages for later because I’ve got lots to share with you this week.

Women in the Rare Book Trade

The rare book trade is largely made up of old white men, says a recent piece in the Paris Review by Diane Mehta. But women have been making progress in this space, especially when it comes to acquiring and preserving texts by women.

If you like old bookstores or are interested in feminism and literature, I think you’ll enjoy Mehta’s examination of women in the rare book trade.

Stacks of books in a bookstore

The Disenchantment of Literary Fiction

What is “literary” fiction? And why does it get a different critical reception than “genre” fiction? Todd Dillard asks these question while recalling his own experiences as a shopper and bookstore employee in an essay on Midnight Breakfast. If you’ve ever been frustrated by seemingly arbitrary fiction categories, you may sympathize with Dillard’s argument that it may be time to give up the “literary” as a genre term. (Bonus for Neil Gaiman fans: this essay also features encounters with the author.)

A Case Against Following Writing Advice I’ve provided links to writing advice in Around the Web posts before, but here’s something a little different. Helping Writers Become Authors recently shared a post called “Don’t Let Anybody Tell You How to Write (or 8 Tips for Learning Responsibly).” The author, K.M. Weiland, argues that there are pitfalls to following writing advice religiously before going on to explain ways to avoid such pitfalls when learning about writing.

A woman writes in a notebook with a laptop in front of her at a table

Supporting Authors Here’s a quicker read from Canadian author Amy Stuart: “How to Support an Author (Like Me!).” This is an easy list of things you can do to support authors when their books come out. You may have seen posts like this before (we’ve been vocal about how much we appreciate reviews), but it’s always good to remind yourself that there are other ways to support authors besides simply buying their books.

Build Your Stack

Lastly, I thought I’d share a new initiative from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Build Your Stack is an initiative focused on helping teachers “build their book knowledge and their classroom libraries.” It includes sessions at the NCTE Annual Convention in Houston Texas, curated book lists and recommendations, and professional development opportunities across the U.S. If any of our American readers are teachers, perhaps this might be a resource worth looking into.

A stack of books against a white background

That’s it for this week. Be sure to share links to anything interesting you’ve found Around the Web this week. Sharing is caring!

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