Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Best of 2012: BOOKS; Press Almost Closes, and Libraries Win

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Best of 2012: BOOKS; Press Almost Closes, and Libraries Win

Article excerpt

This week, arts and entertainment critics pick their years best. Post-Dispatch reviewers already did that, choosing 50 favorite books of the year for a story that ran this month.

So this week well look at some of the years biggest book-related news. Arranged loosely by importance, here are some of the St. Louis areas top book stories from 2012:

1. University of Missouri decides to close, then remake, then revive its press The University of Missouri system announced in late May that it was going to stop subsidizing its 54-year-old press and look for a new kind of publishing model. After a summer of negative commentary and protests from newspapers, academics and Facebook users, the pressure became too much. Editors were given a chance to keep their jobs, and the press was told to continue under the auspices of the universitys Columbia campus. Social media appeared to achieve a major victory, but the press future still may be a bit wobbly.

2. Central Library reopens and county system wins tax increase Libraries got some love this year as the historic St. Louis Public Library reopened after a beautiful, $70 million restoration. Paid for out of the library budget and bond issues, along with private donations, the 100-year-old building kept its lovely, historic rooms while remaking some gloomy storage areas and office space for 21st- century use. Meanwhile, the St. Louis County Library system won a tax increase to help renovate, or even replace, its buildings. Details of what will happen to its headquarters and branches will be discussed and finessed in the coming months.

3. Soft-core bondage bedazzles readers and Pulitzer Prize shuns finalists Even local libraries and bookstores couldnt keep the nations No. 1 best-seller on the shelves. The Fifty Shades of Grey romance by Brit E.L. James was by far the years biggest seller, with 35 million copies of the soft-core bondage series sold. …

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