By September 7, 2007 0 Comments Read More →

End-of-the-Week Wrapup

Whew–a lot of interesting stuff this week. I’ll try to wrap it up with a roundup.

In the Guardian (“Node idea“), John Sutherland (any relation to Joan?) finds William Gibson in the google clouds:

I have seen the future of literary criticism – and, as John Reed said – ‘it works’. Works better, in fact, than Reed’s beloved Soviet Union ever worked. And it will work, I believe, for other humanities disciplines. Science I’m not so sure about. But perhaps there too.

In the Columbia Journalism Review (“Goodbye to All That“), Steve Wasserman (any relation to Wendy?) takes a long hard look at the disappearing newspaper book review:

That book coverage is disappearing is not news. What is news is the current pace of the erosion in coverage, as well as the fear that an unbearable cultural threshold has been crossed: whether the book beat should exist at all is now, apparently, a legitimate question.

In the L.A. Times (“Reclusive writers leave their words at face value“), Scott Timberg explores the reasons why some writers shun the limelight:

The reclusion may even have an effect on critical assessments: Can it be a coincidence that of the four American novelists whom influential critic Harold Bloom calls the greatest of our age, two (Pynchon and McCarthy) are flat-out recluses and the other two (DeLillo and Philip Roth) are former recluses recently warmed up to merely “press shy”? (DeLillo used to carry cards saying, “I don’t want to talk about it.”) And Alice Munro, perhaps the best-regarded living short-story writer, lives in near-seclusion in small-town Ontario, Canada.

In the Globe and Mail (“A book launch by way of Facebook“), Mathew Ingram (any relation to James?) asks novelist Michael Winter about his decision to annotate his novel, The Architects Are Here, on Facebook–before it published.

"I look at the whole book-publishing and promotion-of-books process as pretty boring," the British-born author says with a laugh from his home in Newfoundland. "And I’m always game to do anything different to promote the book."

And in the New York Times (“Envisioning the Next Chapter for Electronic Books“), Brad Stone asks us to comtemplate yet another e-book reader, the Kindle. My two cents? With all the news about how difficult it is to get people to shell out full cover price for a hardback, what makes anyone think that readers will put down $400 to $500 up front to read e-books? It’s a proven fact that people will spend up to 10 times that amount on a kick-ass TV–which makes them want to read even less. Still, maybe the fact that the books appear on a screen will hold some appeal.

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 5 – Technology evangelists have predicted the emergence of electronic books for as long as they have envisioned flying cars and video phones. It is an idea that has never caught on with mainstream book buyers.

Two new offerings this fall are set to test whether consumers really want to replace a technology that has reliably served humankind for hundreds of years: the paper book.



About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

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