It's Not 'Doomsday for Books' But A Bright Note for the English Language

From the embattled frontline of the Anglo-American books world there seems to be nothing but bad news. Borders has fallen. Waterstone's, once a mighty citadel, is beseiged. Well-known literary agents are scurrying round town in search of life-saving mergers. Advances have hit rock bottom. The celebrity memoir is going the way of the dodo. The ebook is the future. Libraries, comprehensively digitised by Google, have become mausoleums of an ossifying tradition.

But in his column in Guardian UK, columnist Robert McCrum finds the upside of publishing in 2010. He tells us that all is not lost; that the magic of the English language has gone beyond all those locations where the sun never sets and has completely encircled and embraced the globe. The emergence of English as a global communications phenomenon with a supra-national momentum that gives it an independence from its Anglo-American roots is at once thrilling and decisive.

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Borders

>Borders has fallen.

Isn't that a good thing? Isn't Borders an evil BIG BOX STORE

>Well-known literary agents are scurrying round town in search of life-saving mergers.

Good the entire profession of literary agent does not need to exist. Literary agents are leeches that suck away needed money for authors. They create nothing yet they take 20% of the authors money. 2-3% would be a reasonable amount but most do such useless work that they don't deserve that.

> Advances have hit rock bottom.

Advances should be small they are payment for work authors HAVE NOT DONE YET. Finish the book then you get paid in full.

>The celebrity memoir is going the way of the dodo.

Oh no. There goes western civilization.

>The ebook is the future.

In the future there will be an ebook that looks exactly like a hardcover book. The ebook will be bound flexible pages that are capable of displaying e-ink. The cover with have a touch screen like the i-pod touch. Using the touch screen you will be able to select a book and the bound pages will become the book you select. You will be able to flip pages and read it just like any other paper book. All the advantages of a book with all the advantages of an ebook.

>Libraries, comprehensively digitised by Google, have become mausoleums of an ossifying tradition.

Good point if it was not wrong. Copyright will keep Google from displaying everything. Even under the Google book settlement if an author wants their book removed Google has to do it. Google will never have all the books.

About That Book Advance ...

Essay in the New York Times

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