The Age of Shorter Books

In this blog post Ezra Klein suggests that in the digital age, much shorter (or smaller as he calls them) books will become more acceptable - and a better option for long drawn out works of non-fiction that contain too much filler or are hardly better than the shorter essays on which they are based. Klein writes "The length of the average book reflects the economics of the print trade and educated guesses as to what book-buyers will actually pay for, much more than it does the actual intellectual content of the book itself...All this may be changing as we move towards an electronic book publishing system. The economics of electronic text production are not the same as the economics of book production (as best as I understand either), and there aren’t the same pressures towards standardization of length. I suspect that people who would feel cheated if they paid ‘book’ price for a long essay (say around 20,000 words or so) will feel less so if they buy an electronic version." Read more at: http://crookedtimber.org/2010/02/09/towards-a-world-of-smaller-books/

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