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50% of college students read E-books

As written up in the Chronicle of Higher Ed, this finding is described as Survey Finds That Only Half of College Students Use E-Books. But the fact that 50% of college students spend some time each week reading E-books, and almost 25% spend 1 hour/week or more strikes me as pretty high. After all, the 2006 NEA report To Read or Not to Read shows pretty low levels of reading overall. From the NEA report: a 2007 AP poll of adults found only 73% had read a book at all in the past year. According to the National Survey of Student Engagement, only 54% of college seniors are spending 11 hours/week or more "studying, reading, writing, doing homework". So, 23% spending 1 hour/week or more reading E-books seems pretty high to me.

Desert Island Reading (Spring 2008)

Resource Guide for PWR 1:Desert Island Reading (Gabrielle Moyer, Spring 2008)

Librarian: Rose Harrington,

The Resource Guide is organized to reflect the process of research methodology. Most research on a new topic begins with a general understanding of the subject. Reference material offers the opportunity to do background reading. Among the benefits of using the reference collections, are they will inform you of key concepts, capture important historical moments, and offer biographical, historical, and geographical information. Bibliographies that include circulating volumes and articles on your subject are in the reference collections. There are three reference collections in Green Library:Information Center, HASRC,and the SSRC. Each branch library and the Coordinate Libraries have has their own reference collection.
Starting Point:Guide for PWR Students. The guide combines links to the Catalog, Databases, Refworks, Maps, Images, how to get help, etc., all on one easy page.

The Research Quick Start Guides and Research Subjects A-Z also link to recommended reference material and resources within Green Library. These guides direct you to sources for articles, books and reference materials on specific subjects. Those below might be helpful for your topic:

  • Guide for PWR students
  • Literary Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

    An example of one search I did to find reference materials: I entered American literature into the everything box (EB) of Socrates' Combined Search.I limited the Green Location to Information Center. I repeated the Combined Search again and limited it to the HASRC.
    Reference works in the IC and HASRC are listed below:

    • American women writers : a critical reference guide : from colonial times to the present 2nd ed. PS147 .A42 2000

    • The Blackwell companion to philosophy B72 .B565 2003

    • Cassell's chronology of world history : dates, events and ideas that made history HASRC D11 .W635 2005

    • Encyclopedia of Human Behavior BF31.E5
    • Encyclopedia of Psychology BF31.E52
    • Encyclopedia of rhetoric and composition :communication from ancient times to the information age PN172 .E53 1996

    • The imaginary voyage in prose fiction : a history of its criticism and a guide for its study, with an annotated check list of 215 imaginary voyages from 1700 to 1800 HASRC PN3432 .G6 1941

    • The Oxford companion to twentieth-century literature in English PR471 .O94 1996

    • The Oxford companion to African American literature PS153 .N5 O96 1997

    • The Oxford encyclopedia of American literature PS21 .O94


    Having reviewed the research guides and developed a broader understanding of your topic, reading reference sources, continue to the second step in narrowing your subject, by searching Socrates’ Combined Search for circulating volumes and perhaps DVD's and videos. Socrates does not search for articles. Socrates searches all campus libraries, unless you limit your search to a specific branch or Coordinate Library.

    Another search that I conducted was typing (literature or novel) (lonely or lonliness or solitude or isolat$) into the Everything Box (EB) and limiting language to English and Format to books. The EB is a keyword search which searches all the fields in the catalogue record. Socrates will retrieve records that have either one or both keywords: literature or novel with one or all of the keywords: lonely or lonliness or solitude or isolat$. $: retrieves all terms beginning with the same root. In this example, Socrates searches for the words isolate, isolated, isolating, isolation, etc. For further explanation of truncation and Boolean operators review Socrates' HELP menu. I chose the Details option of records that seemed relevant to learn the subject terms. Next, I narrowed my research by performing subject(S) searches. When searching by subject, Socrates only searches for Library of Congress Subject Terms in the catalogue record's subject field. I honed further by selecting format. You can repeat the keyword (everything box) and subject (S) searches and limit to the various branch libraries or Stanford's Coordinate Libraries.

    A final example of a Socrates’ Combined Search:
    Into the (EB) I entered the keywords: narrative or storytelling or fiction or novel. In the S box, I typed:Psychology Imagination. In this search, Socrates matches all records within the subject field. Within those retrieved records one, two, three, or all of of the keywords must be in the catalogue's record. Again, these searches could be narrowed by language, format or library.

    Library of Congress Subjects might appear on the right of the retrieved options. These could offer additional search terms or research ideas.

    Search a title that is listed below to learn its subject headings. Remember the linkable Nearby Items on Shelf option that is listed above Holds and Location at the bottom of the catalogue record. By clicking this link, you can browse the library’s collection by call number to find material that your search terms might not have retrieved.

    Below are materials discovered searching Socrates’ Combined Search.

    Books and Reading and Civilization

    • Books known to the English, 597-1066 Z6602 .O35

    • Great books : my adventures with Homer, Rousseau, Woolf, and other indestructible writers of the Western world CB245 .D44 1996

    • The pilgrim and the bee : reading rituals and book culture in early New England Z1003.3 .N4 B76 2007

    • Twelve books that changed the world Z1003 .B695 2006

    Books and Reading-Literacy and Power

    • The constitution of literature : literacy, democracy, and early English literary criticism PR63 .M67 2008

    • The emergence of African American literacy traditions : family and community efforts in the nineteenth century Cubberley Education Library LC2741 .B45 2004

    • Every book its reader : the power of the printed word to stir the world Z1035.A1 .B15 2005

    • Print and power in France and England, 1500-1800 Z305 .P69 2006

    • Women in print : essays on the print culture of American women from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Z473 .W68 2006

    • The wonder of it all : when literature and literacy intersect Cubberley Education Library LB1573 .J565 2007

    Literature or Novel and Isolation

    • An imaginary England : nation, landscape and literature, 1840-1920 PR468 .N293 E23 2005

    • Dramas of solitude : narratives of retreat in American nature writing PS163 .R66 1998

    • Fictional realities : the uses of literary imagination PN56 .R32 M66 1993

    • Identity and story : creating self in narrative BF697 .I3492 2006

    • Isolated cases : the anxieties of autonomy in enlightenment philosophy and romantic literature PR457 .Y68 2004

    • The politics of solitude : alienation in the literatures of the Americas PQ7081 .N47 1989A

    • An uneasy solitude : individual and society in the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson PS1642.S58 G66 1987

    Psychology and (Imagination or Inspiration)

    • Beyond understanding : appeals to the imagination, passions, and will in mid-nineteenth-century American women's fiction PS374 .W6 H44 1996

    • Curiosity, imagination, and play : on the development of spontaneous cognitive and motivational processes BF723.C8 C87 1986

    • Dreaming by the book 2 Copies Green Library and Bender Room PN56 .I45 S38 1999

    • The fictive and the imaginary : charting literary anthropology PN3347 .I7413 1993

    • Longing : narratives of nostalgia in the British novel, 1740-1890 PR868 .N67 W34 2004

    • Mental images and their transformations BF367 .S55

    • 21st century psychology : a reference handbook 2 Volumes BF131 .A15 2008

    • The world of the imagination : sum and substance B105 .I49 B72 1991

    Reading or Literature and Social Aspects

    • Books : their history, art, power, glory, infamy and suffering according to their creators, friends and enemies Z1003 .D68

    • Literacy : writing, reading and social organization P91 .O9

    • Printing the written word : the social history of books, circa 1450-1520 Z126 .P73 1991

    • Reading in America : literature & social history Z1003.2 .R424 1989

    • Social texts and context : literature and social psychology PR830 .P75 P67 1984

    • Trauma and memory : reading, healing, and making law RC552 .P67 T744 2007

    Other Suggestions: Browse Periodicals In Green Current Periodicals (CPR) Peer-reviewed journals and magazine titles are arranged alphabetically in Green CPR and its IC Display area. In Current Periodicals, the call number is on the face of the box to locate previous years in Green stacks or to page from the SAL facilities. Current Periodicals and IC Display issues do not circulate.

    Searching for articles is the final part of finding and evaluating research material for your paper. Articles are usually the most specific research resource. Search databases to find magazine and peer-reviewed articles. Most databases are subject specific but a few are general/interdisciplinary databases.

    • ABELL

    • Arts and Humanities Citation Index

    • ATLA

    • America: History and Life and Historical Abstracts – Find abstracts of books, book reviews, dissertations and journal articles, many full-text, on world history.

    • Academic Search Premier - Find articles on topics in all disciplines, many full-text. Interdisciplinary/general database

    • Book Review Digest

    • Book Review Index

    • Expanded Academic ASAP - As above, another general database, with both popular and scholarly articles. Interdisciplinary/general database

    • JSTOR

    • MLA International Bibliography – Database for resources about language and literature; includes both articles and book chapters and is international in scope.

    • PsychInfo – Find journal articles, abstracts of books, and other literature in psychology, including material on persuasion/advertising.

    • New York Times Historical

    • Readers Guide Retrospective

    • Social Sciences and Humanities Index

    • Sociological Abstracts – Resources about social change, social problems, popular culture, with many full-text articles.

    Another option for selecting databases: From Stanford's Databases webpage, select the link by Subject: British and Commonwealth Literary Studies

  • Rhetoric of Reading in the 21st Century (Spring 2008)

    The Rhetoric of Reading in the 21st Century (PWR 1) Winter 2008
    Librarians: ShinJoung Yeo. shyeo AT stanford DOT edu

    IMPORTANT NOTE: This is not just a Research Guide; it is a Research Strategy Guide. Your research topic may not fit the general description of your course. Therefore, pay close attention to the steps for conducting your research. The examples of resources may not fit your topic, but the strategy for finding resources on your topic will be the same.

    1. Identify your topic of interest
    2. Think about the significant terms, concepts, and keywords that describe your topic. These terms will become the key for searching for information about your subject in library catalogs, online databases, and other resources.
    3. Utilize a variety of sources

      Information can come from anywhere. The type of information you need will change depending on the research question you are trying to answer but you DO want to use various sources in order to conduct a comprehensive research.

    4. Start Searching!


    • Find Background Information

    Utilize reference books like encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, indexes etc. Reference books provide overviews of a topic, usually include bibliographies for further reading so they can be very helpful when you are selecting a topic, or when you need background information.

    To find Reference books:

    Use Reference Universe: a database you can search to find subject encyclopedias on any topic. Be sure to click the "Restrict Search to Titles in your Library" checkbox to see what we own at Stanford. Click on the open book icon to get the Stanford call number and location.

    Note: You can also find reference books for specific topics by using Socrates (library online catalog) or by consulting a librarian at Information Center.

    Here is a sample of some of the Reference books we have to get you started. These are all located in Information Center on the first floor of Green Library.

    Doris Lessing Blames Internet for Decline in Reading

    From the Chronicle of Higher Education:

    In the speech she [Doris Lessing] prepared to accept this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature, she describes regularly visiting rich schools and even universities where she is told that some students don’t read books at all, and that the library is half-used.

    “We are in a fragmenting culture,” she wrote, “where our certainties of even a few decades ago are questioned and where it is common for young men and women who have had years of education to know nothing about the world, to have read nothing, knowing only some speciality or other, for instance, computers.”

    She goes on to lay the blame on the Internet, which she said “has seduced a whole generation into its inanities so that even quite reasonable people will confess that once they are hooked, it is hard to cut free, and they may find a whole day has passed in blogging and blugging etc.”

    Be sure to read the comments after the article as well.

    Lessing's full speech, courtesy of Guardian Unlimited.

    Books Aren't Dead

    "Books Aren't Dead ... (They're Just Going Digital)" proclaims the November 26 Newsweek cover story. The article provides an overview of the future (and history) of reading and of books, including an interview with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and a review of Amazon's new Kindle e-book reader.

    The promise of the "always-on" book sounds intriguing, and I love the idea of toting around over 200 books in a single device. But, I admit that when I went to read the Newsweek article, I bypassed the online version and went straight to Green's current periodicals section to read it the old-fashioned way.

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