Books

Books

Amazon\'s used book sales

Some folks that make and sell books are none too happy about Amazon\'s new used book sales. CNET has a story Here and there is a letter to Jeff Bezos Here from the Authors Guild and Association of American Publishers.

\"If your aggressive promotion of used book sales becomes popular among Amazon\'s customers, this service will cut significantly into sales of new titles, directly harming authors and publishers,\"

Slashdot has a Discussion as well.

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Biography of a Bookstore

Lee Hadden sent in this one.
The Washingtonpost has a Story on the Politics & Prose bookstore. Independent stores continue to struggle against the big chains.

\"I am filled with shelves; the shelves are filled with books; the books are filled with ideas. Of all stripes: liberal, conservative, kooky, kinky, cogent, cautious, cockamamie.\"

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What of Old Books?

Here\'s a short but sweet Story from Feedmag on our love / hate relationship with \"Old Books\". They call the LOC plan to digitize all it\'s books a \"fit of visionary enthusiasm\", and raise some interesting questions on the rush to digitize everything.

\"How much difference is there, really, between revering old books simply because they\'re old and ignoring them for the same reason?\"

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Freedom from choice

Bob Cox sent in This Story from Salon on all those \"best of\" books. You know the ones, \"Best Short Stories\", \"Best Long Stories\", \"Best Boring Stories\".....


\"Preselection is one of those organizing principles -- like Oedipal conflict or right-wing conspiracy -- that seem, the minute you hear them, to make disparate phenomena fall into an understandable pattern. Oprah\'s Book Club, for instance, has had more influence on American literature than Lionel Trilling and Ralph Waldo Emerson combined. It\'s so popular because Winfrey is saying, \"This is a good book. Go and read it.\" \"

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Best Books Of 2000

One of my favorite things at the end of the year is all the lists. This One comes from the The LA Times and is made up of their best books of the year.

The list includes The Best Children\'s Books of 2000 and the The Best Nonfiction of 2000

Don\'t worry, Harry Potter is on there.

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Our Great Addiction

It\'s not as sexy as Herion, as much fun as crack or as trendy as X...
The Detroit Metro Times calls book buying a \"great addiction\". I think more than a few of us suffer from this addiction, and This Article takes a look at it.

If you or someone you love suffers with this addiction, Don\'t miss the Tips for compulsive book collectors

“When I go into a bookstore, the smell of a bookstore, or a library, really gets to me,” says Joy, a 30-something Wayne State English student. “I get excited about the idea of something new to read.”

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Gutenberg goes Webby

The British Library has put the The Gutenberg Bible online digital facsimile. If you\'ve never seen the real thing, check this virtual copy out. They say there are only 48 left and The British Library has two complete copies. They discovered 3 interesting things while producing The digital images.

1.It was first envisaged that rubrics should be printed in red. This was soon abandoned, perhaps to save time.

2.It was decided to increase the number of lines per page, presumably to save paper.

3.It was decided to increase the print-run, but as some sheets had already been printed in the number first envisaged, these pages had to be printed again. This is the best explanation for why a number of the pages exist in two different versions.

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Bring out the Reading Mobile

The Baltimore Sun has this story about a bookmobile that promotes reading by find those that don\'t go to the library.

\"Harford County Public Library officials have rolled out their latest effort to reach children sometimes left on the sidelines when it comes to library use, launching a $135,000 vehicle dubbed \"Rolling Reader\" and packed with computers, Internet connections and more than 3,000 books.\"

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The National Book Award winners

Publishers Weekly has the The National Book Award winners.

They include
In America by Susan Sontag
and In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick.

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Antiquarian bookstores try to survive

Bob Cox sent in this HREF=\"http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c
hronicle/archive/2000/10/21/BU112177.DTL\">Story
from SF Gate
on antiquarian bookstores in San Francisco. They
interview store owners on the effects of the internet, and
the crazy real estate market in SF and how things in the
old book market are going.

\"It\'s not the quantity
of books sold, it\'s the quality. We\'re not about turnover.
\"

The internet is driving them out of business
indirectly, due to high rent prices.

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Plant Sprouts Tomorrow

The fourth part of the serial novel \"The Plant\" will
be posted on HREF=\"http://www.stephenking.com/\">King\'s Web
site Monday. Further installments up to part 8 will be
available for $2 each, but the whole thing will still cost
you $13.00. He had said he would stop with the last
installment if people paying for the download dropped
below 75 percent. Anyone out there read it? Is it any
good?

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The conglomeration of American publishing

Feedmag has an Interview with André Schiffrin, Dave Eggers, and John Donatich on the state of publishing, and the impact emerging technologies might have upon it. They talk about how Amazon.com, ebooks, and print-on-demand will change the role of the editor, and if large corporations will change fundamentally the way we read and what books are available to us.

\"More people are literate, college educated, and book buying than ever before. We have a greater number of publishers in business, and stats released just last week revealed that independent presses produce seventy percent of the books in a U.S. market that generates more than forty billion dollars in sales annually. \"

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Book Can Survive in Electronic Age

The world\'s largest book fair is going on in Frankfurt, Germany, and in an Interview in Upside German Publishers and Booksellers Association President Roland Ulmer said the printed word will be just fine.

\"Gutenberg\'s printed paper book will continue to hold its own, .... \"But when it comes to fiction, buyers and readers are more inclined to hold back and over the coming years, we will continue to read our novels and short stories in printed versions,\"

Of course being president of a booksellers assoc. might just give him a slanted view on this.

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Literary Magazines Take on the Book Publishing Industry

The Village Voice has an interesting Story on several literary magazines that have optimistically expanded into a new arena: book publishing. The alternative presses continue to grow.

\"The literary magazine presses seem like nothing so much as a return to Epstein\'s cottage industry; in both their structure and their sense of responsibility to the writer, there is something profoundly nostalgic about these publishing projects, while their attempts to draw around them a creative community seem haunted by memories of other, now extinct New York bohemias.\"

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Do Open-Source Books Work?

Ben Crowell has written an excellent article on Open Source Books.

How will the internet change book publishing? This article examines a new crop of math and science textbooks that are available for free over the internet, and discusses what they have to tell us about whether the open-source software model can be translated into book publishing.

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Mom buys books for prision

Here is an interesting article from the New Press. A mother of a prisioned man has bought 50 books for a section of the jail that is without them.

\"Rocky Graziano, a spokesman for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, said mentally ill inmates are kept out of the jail’s general population for safety reasons.

Unfortunately, isolation meant to protect them also keeps those inmates out of the jail’s library, said Bette Scruggs, an education program coordinator at the jail.\"

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Book Ratings?!

Here is an interesting article from SF Gate. School trustees may want to put ratings on required reading, which will inform parents about their contents.

\" Several trustees say they want to do a better job of alerting parents to content that they might find inappropriate for their children. They are also reviewing how the Fairfield- Suisun school district selects required reading and responds to community challenges to books on the list.\"

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Banned in the USA

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has this article on Banned Books Week (September 23-30).

\"Harry Potter made the list. So did \'\'The Catcher in the Rye\'\' and \'\'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.\'\' The most popular children\'s books? No. The ones adults most wanted removed from library shelves in the 1990s.\"

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Leisure reading on the decline, say surveys

The Straits Times of Singapore reports that various sources show books may be losing out to videos. One factoid about the US says that \"in 1998, the number of videos rented each day was double the number of library books checked out.\" Well, sure -- it takes more than 90 minutes to read a book.

\"Research into reading habits in Japan shows children are reading fewer books each year. In the US, people are twice as likely to [rent] a video than borrow a book from the library.\"

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Dead authors write to Amazon

Bob Cox suggested this.
The Register has a spooky Story on long dead authors leaving comments on their books.

\"Einstein has revealed that he got it wrong about quantum mechanics and God does play with dice. And Fyodor Dostoyevskywrites that he still likes his work even though he\'s dead.\"

They call them \"an amusing fake author posting\", I think they are real! The dead speak to us through the web.

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