1) Finally, there’s evidence to support what I’ve always known: reading fiction is good for you! The New York Times Sunday Review published an article by Annie Murphy Paul entitled “Your Brain on Fiction,” which looks at how neuro-imagery (such as fMRI scans) is being used to study which parts of the brain are activated by reading. It turns out that when you read about a scent, the olfactory center of your brain lights up; when you read about character performing a motion, the same area of your brain is activated as if you yourself were moving. Exposure to fiction may also affect our social skills — our ability to figure out others’ intentions and feelings, known as “theory of mind.” So go ahead, read that novel you’ve been putting off — it’s good for your brain.
2) Lloyd Shepard, author of The English Monster, wrote an article for The Guardian about his interaction with someone who wanted to pirate his book, and more broadly about the issue of e-book piracy itself. The article is worth reading, as are many of the thoughtful and/or informative reader comments. (Be forewarned, though; some of the comments are neither thoughtful nor informative – or even polite.)