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How best to come calling at Downton Abbey?

Highclere Castle has become quite famous due to the success of Downton Abbey. As a result, the castle is open to ticketed tourists on particular days over the year, mostly the summer. Now, this is all well and good, but for folks visiting from across the Atlantic, a loaded question arises: Given that Highclere in and of itself is a very small village, which of the surrounding cities would serve best as a base of visiting operations for a day or two? [more inside]
posted by grabbingsand on Jan 10, 2013 - 12 answers

Toooo maaany booooks

How do you decide what books to read? Recommendations? Reviews? Go to the bookstore and read a chapter? I often find myself overwhelmed with the zillions of choices. How do you narrow it down?
posted by SampleSize on Jan 9, 2013 - 40 answers

Documentaries and other films about writers, libraries and books wanted!

I'm especially interested in films about writers of color and writers from the global south. Any kind of film is fine - need not be a documentary. But a progressive/radical/critical outlook is appreciated! Particularly looking for films that will appeal to an intelligent but not super-theorized audience - ie, that documentary about Derrida is not what we're looking for, and even the recent one about Zizek is an edge case. [more inside]
posted by Frowner on Jan 9, 2013 - 4 answers

Help me find my long lost book.

Finding a long lost book with a grey cover and very sparse details. [more inside]
posted by trogdole on Dec 27, 2012 - 8 answers

Reading Aloud Allowed?

What are the legal rights and obligations of someone reading aloud in public from a published book? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 24, 2012 - 5 answers

Year in long reading 2012

I have an ~18 hour flight ahead of me and I am compiling a DIY ebook of longform journalism/non-fiction for my Kindle to get me through it. So, what is the best thing you read this year? [more inside]
posted by AceRock on Dec 21, 2012 - 11 answers

Non-fiction recs SVP

I am a reader of fiction. I read a lot, and I read all sorts of fiction genres. I do not, however, read non-fiction because the couple of times I tried to I found them desperately dull. I am sure that can’t be the reality for all non-fiction books… right? Teach me something interesting and make me learn to like non-fiction please. Specific requests inside... [more inside]
posted by PuppetMcSockerson on Dec 18, 2012 - 83 answers

Help me decide which Stephen King book to read first.

I want to get to know Stephen King! Which book should I read first? [more inside]
posted by bookmammal on Dec 16, 2012 - 42 answers

Work to get in, work to get out.

Labor of death much like the labor of being born? [more inside]
posted by itsacover on Dec 16, 2012 - 5 answers

Help me find my Fringe Reading Companion

I just started watching Fringe. I'm only about three-quarters of the way through Season 2, so please no spoilers. What I'm looking for is companion reading material. [more inside]
posted by duckus on Dec 14, 2012 - 14 answers

Blind me with science.

Help me discover recent 'Best Seller' scientific journal articles to read in 2013. [more inside]
posted by deludingmyself on Dec 10, 2012 - 5 answers

Books about fighting.

Looking for good, critical books and resources on martial arts and fighting. I prefer them to be academic enough to have survived peer review, but will take what I can get. Anything martial arts related would do, I'm interested in understanding martial arts and fighting in a more general sense. [more inside]
posted by Stagger Lee on Dec 8, 2012 - 10 answers

High School Book Club Recommendations

I'm looking for specific book recommendations for high school exchange students. [more inside]
posted by trueluk on Dec 4, 2012 - 3 answers

What should i pack and what should i do - India/Yoga edition

Going to a retreat in Kerala in Jan 2013. What do i need to take with me so i'm not the ill-equipped and inappropriate lady everyone rolls their eyes at? (Daytime is yoga and ayuverda therapy, weekends off for sightseeing, eating out down the beach or in the local town in the evening) Also, any recommendations of sightseeing and anything interesting to read beforehand? [more inside]
posted by moreteaplease on Dec 3, 2012 - 4 answers

28 and having cognitive issues

Has anyone gone through a period of time where their memories and concept of time has been really off. Sometimes it feels like my memory for things is really off but it is so subtle that I don't notice it. The other part of this that when I read something (even the newspaper) I don't retain what I'm reading. I'll read through an article and not have the gist of what was written. I can go back but all I see are details rather than how it makes up a cohesive whole. I think that I may have problems with abstract thinking. Has anyone had issues like this and if so how do you navigate around this? Any insight would be greatly appreciated. By the way I am in my late twenties so Alzheimer's disease is very unlikely.
posted by anonymous on Nov 25, 2012 - 10 answers

Recommended reading

If you like Terry Pratchett, you'll love... ? (You are 10.) [more inside]
posted by latkes on Nov 22, 2012 - 65 answers

Any one know of a one handed book stand?

So, I would like to start reading some books lying down in my bed at night. The biggest problem I have with it is holding the book properly. I usually hold it in one hand using my fingers to constantly to hold the pages from collapsing or applying pressure to sides of the book to keep it open. It is super annoying as some of you traditional book readers must have faced. I am not sure if this is a problem for e-book readers but I can imagine it to be lot more convenient. So I am looking for a small light weight book stand that is operated with ONE HAND. Please suggest any. Thanks!
posted by SoltanG on Nov 20, 2012 - 13 answers

Book Binger

I love to read. I love to watch t.v. I don't love binge reading and binge t.v. watching. How do I stop this? [more inside]
posted by Sassyfras on Nov 15, 2012 - 9 answers

Can someone recommend me a good philosophy book please.

Can someone recommend me a good philosophy book please. [more inside]
posted by sockpim on Nov 5, 2012 - 14 answers

What's some of the best, most illuminating, and most entertaining writing about conservation bio on the net?

What are some of the best technical blogs out there in conservation biology, biogeography, evolutionary biology, and ecology? [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Oct 29, 2012 - 4 answers

Beach reading for 2012

Beach reading. 2012 edition. Difficulty - Must be available for purchase for Kindle in Australia. [more inside]
posted by arha on Oct 28, 2012 - 15 answers

Help with focus when reading dull, dry, and lengthy scientific papers or texts please. Yet another attention deficit question.

How do I maintain my focus and make sure my comprehension is maximized when reading (required) heavy or something I don't find terribly interesting? [more inside]
posted by Che boludo! on Oct 18, 2012 - 26 answers

A portable device for reading and drawing.

Please recommend a device (or devices) for two activities: reading and drawing. And by reading, I don't just mean plain English text. I also have some special demands regarding drawing. [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on Oct 15, 2012 - 7 answers

the reading rainbow

I used to like reading until about fourth grade. That's when books started getting more intricate with more characters and multiple plotlines etc. I'm pretty sure I have ADD and/or a terrible capacity for that kind of thing. What books might I enjoy now? (I'm 21/F) [more inside]
posted by lhude sing cuccu on Sep 28, 2012 - 34 answers

Exciting unpredictable thrillers with intelligent characters?

I just finished Gone Girl the other day and am looking for similar reads. Without spoiling anything this book features intelligent and unpredictable characters with twisty plotting, including a significant script flip halfway through. Would love similar page turners that keep you guessing without being too formulaic or lowest common denominator!
posted by yellowbinder on Sep 24, 2012 - 26 answers

Feed my Kindle

What are your favorite reads from, say, the last 30 years? [more inside]
posted by sprezzy on Sep 21, 2012 - 60 answers

I could make each student role-play shouty/weird Steve Jobs anecdotes

Anyone have good ideas for undergrad class discussion exercises? [more inside]
posted by zresearch on Sep 11, 2012 - 9 answers

What should my grandfather read?

Can you recommend books for my recently-widowed grandfather? [more inside]
posted by christinetheslp on Sep 7, 2012 - 17 answers

Background reading for Thomas Pynchon's Against the Day

Another book recommendation question. I'm looking for a few general history books to read as preparation for diving into Thomas Pynchon's "Against the Day". [more inside]
posted by Lorin on Sep 4, 2012 - 9 answers

What is the most effective way to improve your vocabulary (e.g. softare, book, method)?

What is the most effective way to increase your vocabulary (e.g. book, softare, method)?
posted by denverco on Sep 1, 2012 - 22 answers

They thought they were just here to do something vaguely sciencey. UNTIL EVERYTHING WENT HORRIBLY WRONG. Also there's a hurricane or something.

In need of some guilty pleasure sci-fi thriller books à la Michael Crichton. [more inside]
posted by phunniemee on Aug 31, 2012 - 35 answers

My name is Christopher John Francis Boone

Please recommend books that are similar to 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' (not just ones about autism). [more inside]
posted by fix on Aug 29, 2012 - 22 answers

Help me decide how to spend 15 to 30 minutes a day of reading time.

Help me decide how to spend 15 to 30 minutes a day of reading time. [more inside]
posted by hought20 on Aug 22, 2012 - 13 answers

Spanish reading for the beginner?

Recommendations for beginning Spanish reading? [more inside]
posted by empath on Aug 15, 2012 - 16 answers

Looking for a book recommendation that combines art and philosophy

Students of art, lovers of philosophy, can you recommend a book I can buy as a gift for a friend? [more inside]
posted by Chichibio on Jul 25, 2012 - 17 answers

Standalone fantasy novels?

Looking for standalone fantasy novels or duologies. [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Jul 24, 2012 - 29 answers

Historical Fiction

I need some historical fiction book recommendations. [more inside]
posted by Sassyfras on Jul 23, 2012 - 37 answers

Need good ideas for a Group Reading

Looking for ideas of Books that would be relatively fast reads and entertaining for group readings. I got the opportunity to participate in a reading of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas this past weekend in Aspen in celebration of the Good Doctor's 75th. It was a blast and would love to recreate that without doing the same book, but that book is perfect. A friend recommended my favorite book Confederacy of Dunces, but I think that book works because of the Character of Ignatius which may be hard to pull off in an aloud reading. But anyways, any ideas?
posted by kenaldo on Jul 18, 2012 - 11 answers

Help Feed My Reading Elephant's Kindle

Can you recommend something to read from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library? I have trawled through there for ages this month and last month and I'm having trouble finding something good that I haven't read before. [more inside]
posted by dragonplayer on Jul 5, 2012 - 18 answers

Looking for some heavy summer reading.

I have a week at my parent's cottage coming up, and I'd like to get some recommendations on some comprehensive introductions to the classics, mythology, psychology and a few other subjects. [more inside]
posted by chrillsicka on Jul 4, 2012 - 11 answers

I need suggestions for library books

Help me pick out what books to check out from the library next. (Snowflake details inside.) [more inside]
posted by emilynoa on Jul 2, 2012 - 18 answers

How can I teach myself feng shui? Any books worth recommending?

How can I teach myself feng shui? Any books worth recommending? [more inside]
posted by jpritcha on Jun 30, 2012 - 3 answers

I'm nonplussed by GoT, what now?

How to phrase my feelings about Game of Thrones? [more inside]
posted by knz on Jun 30, 2012 - 51 answers

If only literary inference was axiomatic...

How do I get better at reading literature? Looking for books, lectures, and your perspective. [more inside]
posted by dragonfruit on Jun 25, 2012 - 23 answers

Listening is not the same as reading.

Should I strongly encourage my 12-year-old daughter to read a book that she needs to have completed before the start of the next school year, or since she'll be on a lot of buses travelling with a lot of time on her hands this summer, let her listen to the audiobook? Some other details inside... [more inside]
posted by teg4rvn on Jun 21, 2012 - 47 answers

Not that I don't love LaVar...

Everyone remembers Reading Rainbow, but what about other reading TV shows in the 1980s? [more inside]
posted by lodie6 on Jun 20, 2012 - 16 answers

Books to read in my hammock

Please help me find decently-written, really gripping books to read this summer in my hammock. [more inside]
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl on Jun 11, 2012 - 44 answers

Why does having a non-editable preview make writing on a computer so awesome?

When leaving a comment on mefi, does looking at that "live preview" window below the edit box make you a better writer too? What's up with that? [more inside]
posted by tempythethird on Jun 10, 2012 - 6 answers

Midlander-born and raised, former resident of Greater Appalachia and New Amsterdam, current resident of the Left Coast, seeks definitive historical theory to explain his life experiences

What are the major criticisms of Colin Woodard's book American Nations? [more inside]
posted by Afroblanco on Jun 6, 2012 - 1 answer

Of course, sir. I'll take care of it.

Help me find historical fiction starring the kinds of people described in this awesome comment. [more inside]
posted by The demon that lives in the air on Jun 1, 2012 - 8 answers

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