Click Here —> or go to the Amazon website in your country and type B00JXNCMVU into the search box.

If you like psychology, you’ll love this scrapbook of facts, photos and trivia. Containing a collection of the author’s favorite snippets of information it includes illustrations, historical references, pioneering psychologists and landmark studies. 

Perfect for flicking your way through when you’ve have some time to kill and you want something interesting to read, you’ll find things that make you think, things that you make you laugh and things that make you curious to find out more.

Although digital platforms for written content have recently “exploded,” author Ben Mezrich warns that websites like Amazon could spell the demise of traditional book publishing as we know it.

Considering the very clear stakes for publishers in Amazon’s current dispute with Hachette Book Group regarding the flexibility of e-book prices, how do authors fit into the puzzle?

“Writing just books is very hard now. Making a living writing books has changed dramatically,” he told HuffPost Live host Josh Zepps. “That battle going on right now is terrifying for authors because the bottom line is if you commodify books, to the degree that it’s just like a lawnmower or just like something else, what is the value of a book? And nobody really has an answer to that question.”

But the struggle isn’t so black and white. While writers may not directly benefit from Amazon’s low e-book prices, the website, which is one of the biggest book retailers, is invaluable in reaching a mass audience that publishers no longer effectively target.

“Amazon, when it works, is a phenomenal thing for writers,” Mezrich said. “Writers make more money off their Kindle sales than they do off their books right now… The question is, what happens if that price [per Kindle sale] goes all the way down to 99 cents?”

Watch the full HuffPost live interview with Ben Mezrich here.

Your paper brain and your Kindle brain aren’t the same thing

Photo: A commuter reads on a Kindle e-reader while riding the subway in Cambridge, Mass. Neuroscience says the way his brain treats reading on the Kindle is different than the way the brain processes the newspaper next to him.

Would you like paper or plasma? That’s the question book lovers face now that e-reading has gone mainstream. And, as it turns out, our brains process digital reading very differently.

Manoush Zomorodi, managing editor and host of WNYC’s New Tech City, recalls a conversation with the Washington Post’s Mike Rosenwald, who’s researched the effects of reading on a screen. “He found, like I did, that when he sat down to read a book his brain was jumping around on the page. He was skimming and he couldn’t just settle down. He was treating a book like he was treating his Twitter feed,” she says.

Neuroscience, in fact, has revealed that humans use different parts of the brain when reading from a piece of paper or from a screen. So the more you read on screens, the more your mind shifts towards “non-linear” reading — a practice that involves things like skimming a screen or having your eyes dart around a web page.

“They call it a ‘bi-literate’ brain,” Zoromodi says. “The problem is that many of us have adapted to reading online just too well. And if you don’t use the deep reading part of your brain, you lose the deep reading part of your brain.”

So what’s deep reading? It’s the concentrated kind we do when we want to “immerse ourselves in a novel or read a mortgage document,” Zoromodi says. And that uses the kind of long-established linear reading you don’t typically do on a computer. “Dense text that we really want to understand requires deep reading, and on the internet we don’t do that.”

Linear reading and digital distractions have caught the attention of academics like Maryanne Wolf, director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University.

“I don’t worry that we’ll become dumb because of the Internet,” Wolf says, “but I worry we will not use our most preciously acquired deep reading processes because we’re just given too much stimulation. That’s, I think, the nub of the problem.”

To keep the deep reading part of the brain alive and kicking, Zomorodi says that researchers like Wolf recommend setting aside some time each day to deep read on paper.

And now that children are seemingly growing up with a digital screen in each hand, Wolf says it’s also important that teachers and parents make sure kids are taking some time away from scattered reading. Adults need to ensure that children also practice the deeper, slow reading that we associate with books on paper.

“I think the evidence someday will be able to show us that what we’re after is a discerning ‘bi-literate’ brain,” Wolf says. “That’s going to take some wisdom on our part.”

The new Kindle Voyage e-reader is shockingly good
It’s hard not to fall immediately in love with Amazon’s new top-of-the-line e-reader. It’s called the Kindle Voyage and it ticks off virtually every single hardware complaint I’ve had about the Kindle Paperwhite. Available for preorder now and shipping in October, it’s selling for $199 and will sit alongside the Paperwhite and a new low-end Kindle — which gives Amazon a full lineup of three touchscreen e-readers (a GSM 3G version will be available for $60 more).

From Chuck Wendig’s blog: a hilarious and oh-so-true list of what to NEVER say to a writer.

My favorites:

“You Know, I Wanna Write A Book Someday.”

"Gosh, I wish I had time to write."

"Hey! You can write my idea."

"You should write my life story."

Are you a writer? Read his post to see the appropriate response (click on the title of this post & it will magically take you there).


In case anyone was wondering, you can get a FREE copy of the Complete Works of Shakespeare for the Kindle from Project Gutenberg. It’s already been formatted and everything! So don’t let Amazon trick you into thinking you have to pay for it or download the plays individually.

Here’s the link!

Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kindle)

Once you’ve downloaded the file (in .mobi format), just email it to your Send-to-Kindle e-mail address

It might take a few hours to index, but who cares? Free complete works!