Uncategorized

That Was Fast

Image representing Amazon Kindle as depicted i...
Amazon Says E-Books Now Top Hardcover Sales: “Monday was a day for the history books — if those will even exist in the future. Amazon.com, one of the nation’s largest booksellers, announced Monday that for the last three months, sales of books for its e-reader, the Kindle, outnumbered sales of hardcover books.In that time, Amazon said, it sold 143 Kindle books for every 100 hardcover books, including hardcovers for which there is no Kindle edition.” (NYTimes.com)
Uncategorized

Philip Pullman creates a darker Christ in new assault on the church

Philip Pullman

‘In the bestselling His Dark Materials books, author Philip Pullman depicted the church as a corrupt and murderous bureaucracy and God as senile, frail and impotent. And, despite condemnation by the Christian right, Pullman has now taken on the Gospels directly. In his new story, he writes that Jesus had a manipulative twin brother, Christ, who tempted him in the wilderness and betrayed him to the authorities.’ (Guardian.UK)

Uncategorized

How the E-Book Will Change the Way We Read and Write

50-dollar-ebook

“I knew then that the book’s migration to the digital realm would not be a simple matter of trading ink for pixels, but would likely change the way we read, write and sell books in profound ways. It will make it easier for us to buy books, but at the same time make it easier to stop reading them. It will expand the universe of books at our fingertips, and transform the solitary act of reading into something far more social. It will give writers and publishers the chance to sell more obscure books, but it may well end up undermining some of the core attributes that we have associated with book reading for more than 500 years.” — Steven Johnson (WSJ).

Uncategorized

“When women stop reading the novel will be dead” — McEwan

Slowworm, photo taken in Sweden

‘ “Page Turners“, according to the research, are avid readers – 48% of the women surveyed fell into this category, while only 26% of men showed equal enthusiasm. In contrast, 32% of men were burdened with the “Slow Worm” label accorded to those who read only one or two books a year, while only 18% of women fell into that category. The research further labels some readers (or rather, book buyers) as “Serial Shelvers” – people who buy books because they look fetching in their lounges, not because they have any intention of reading them, and “Double Bookers”, who are either great multi-taskers or in possession of short attention spans, as they always have more than one book on the go at a time (they’re identifiable by the precarious stacks on their bedside tables). Gender didn’t play a significant role in these last two categories – with equal percentages of men and women being Double Bookers, it indicates there is gender equality when it comes to greedy readers, at least.’ via Guardian.UK Books.

Uncategorized

The Last Whole Earth Catalog

Fall 1969 cover

The Last Whole Earth Catalog, from June 1971, has been scanned in and is available for electronic browsing pleasure. I was a devotee of the mindset of these folks and a charter subscriber to the quarterly spin-off from the catalogs, known at different times as Whole Earth Review and Coevolutionary Quarterly. I visited them in Sausalito at one point, and had the pleasure of being the next-door neighbor in New Haven of their graphics editor for awhile. (My across-the-street neighbor at the time was the New Haven Zen Center. Nice neighborhood.) In many ways, they were all about hacking the world and your life long before there was electronic hacking. Their closest online literary heir is Kevin Kelly.

//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/ba/Kk-2003.jpg/75px-Kk-2003.jpg' cannot be displayed]

Uncategorized

Where the Wild Things Are on the Screen

Where the Wild Things Are

“Spike Jonze is about to make the movie of a lifetime in my opinion. The music/movie director will be releasing my (maybe everyone’s) favorite childhood book Where the Wild Things Are onto the big screen. Just look at these shots, they’re golden, and I just want to see more. Rumors around the web say that there will be no effects just large puppets, I think as a fan I couldn’t of asked for more.”

via ISO50 Blog.

Uncategorized

Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong

Sherlock Holmes in

“Cultural gadfly Pierre Bayard returns to the genre of “detective criticism,” which he invented fifteen years ago (in his rereading of Agatha Christie’s Who Killed Roger Ackroyd), and immerses himself in Arthur Conan Doyle’s imaginary universe. The result is a new, startling way to think about one of Sherlock Holmes’s most famous cases.”

via Very Short List.

Uncategorized

Has sci-fi got a future?

Taken during the Spook Country promotional tou...William Gibson

“These days, science can be stranger than science fiction, and mainstream literature is increasingly futuristic and speculative. So are the genre’s days numbered? We asked six leading writers for their thoughts on the future of science fiction, including Margaret Atwood, William Gibson and Kim Stanley Robinson.”

via New Scientist

Uncategorized

Google Book Search Settlement Agreement

‘Groundbreaking’ agreement with authors and publishers: “Three years ago, the Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers and a handful of authors and publishers filed a class action lawsuit against Google Book Search.

Today we’re delighted to announce that we’ve settled that lawsuit and will be working closely with these industry partners to bring even more of the world’s books online. Together we’ll accomplish far more than any of us could have individually, to the enduring benefit of authors, publishers, researchers and readers alike.

It will take some time for this agreement to be approved and finalized by the Court. For now, here’s a peek at the changes we hope you’ll soon see.”

Uncategorized

Why Do Retirees Buy Such Big Houses?

…and Other Riddles From The Economic Naturalist: “The Cornell economics professor Robert Frank begins a semester by asking his students to ask and answer a real-world economics question in 500 words or less. He has now compiled these essays in a book called The Economic Naturalist. It is a great deal of fun, and interesting. Below are some excerpts, including the illustrations by Mick Stevens…”

(Freakonomics via walker)