Stories from around the web that found our fancy

At Paper Planes, we love to read — and we’re consistently drawn to great stories centred around design, books and culture. With ‘Things to Read’, we share with you the best stories, from around the web, that we’ve read recently. Enjoy.

The Em Dash Divides
An alluring alternative to the comma, colon, semicolon and full stop, the em dash — this one right here — has been known to be a writer’s vice and “the bad boy, or cool girl, of punctuation.” Here, The New York Times charts the debate around the em dash, its versatile uses, and its proper usage (don’t overdo it). Read it here.

How Clothes Became Waterproof
The rains may be receding but can you imagine a world without the appropriate gear to deal with a downpour? From seal and whale intestines used by the Inuit to the iconic Mackintosh, this quick read in 1843, an ideas, culture and lifestyle magazine by The Economist, highlights the origins of the impervious material, and the epochal moments that have embedded them into our cultural history. Read it here.

Writing the Impossible Grief of Very Young Widowhood
In this arresting personal account on Literary Hub, Kelsey Ronan writes about her gruelling grief, alluding to the books, movies and TV shows that reflected her experience back to her, and about finding the right words. Read it here.

Anxiously Seeking the Perfect Anti-Anxiety App
Over the last few years, a host of anti-anxiety and mindfulness apps have surfaced. But how well do they actually work and how long does the magic last before you’re back on the app store? These are some questions this Wired story asks. Read it here.

On How Climate Change Continues to Turn Fiction into Reality
In this interview in The Creative Independent, published by Kickstarter, writer Amitav Ghosh talks about addressing the realities of climate change in literature, blurring the distinction between fiction and non-fiction, and figuring out how to make a living through his creative work. Read it here.