Brooklyn Book Festival participant Kate Christensen (Photo: Jon Lewis).

Details of next month's Brooklyn Book Festival are starting to be announced. There's a stellar lineup of authors slated to participate in the free September 12th event, including many of the borough's best authors and some national and international recruits.

Some credulous Californians are suing Apple because its ad copy says "reading on iPad is just like reading a book," but it isn't—especially if you try to read an iPad in the sun.

Internet doomsayer Nicholas Carr reports that "our hyperactive online habits are damaging the mental faculties we need to process and understand lengthy textual information." So, does grazing the web's endless fields really make us unable to digest complex texts? Studies conclude: No duh. Reading books has apparently become such an arduous task that in Texas, lawbreakers can be sentenced to read rather than go to prison—we plea for Proust without parole.

At times we've succumbed to the "gentle madness" of book collecting, but have yet to match the Auburn, California man who has amassed a collection of seven hundred versions—annotated, palm-sized, illustrated and more—of the scintillating 1840 page-turner, Two Years Before the Mast, which has been praised as "one of the eighty seminal works of historic California." We can only imagine how great the other seventy-nine are.

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