Books

Jessica Pressman on Electronic Literature

The literature and reading scholar tells us about the profound effect that the rise of electronic literature has had on authors, the publishing industry and the nature of the book.

Five Books Interview at The Browser

Amazon finds its books ain’t welcome at many bookstores

Earlier this year the two companies signed a licensing agreement whereby Amazon Publishing acquires, edits, markets and publicizes books that are then distributed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s sales force, according to Alexandra Woodworth, a publicist for Amazon/New Harvest. The partnership was an effort to woo bookstores into stocking Amazon-published books. But many booksellers are balking.

“Amazon has not been a very cooperative fellow bookseller in any fashion,” LaFramboise said. “They pretty much want nothing more than our demise.”

SCOTUS shows concern for libraries

Supreme Court seeks a way around "perpetual copyright" on foreign goods
"If you were the lawyer for the Toyota distributor, [or] if you were the lawyer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or you are the lawyer for a university library," said Breyer. "Your client comes to you and says, 'My God, I just read the Supreme Court opinion. It says that we can't start selling these old books, or lending them, or putting them in our word processor, or reselling the Toyota, [or] displaying the Picasso without the permission of the copyright holder.' What, as their lawyer, do you tell them? Do you tell them, 'hey, no problem?' Or, do you tell them, 'you might become a law violator?' Or, do you tell them, 'I better litigate this?' What do you tell them?"

Notably, Olson didn't back away from the more extreme consequences of his client's win at the 2nd Circuit. If Wiley wins, he said, institutions like museums and libraries might need to get licenses from copyright owners for their activities.

Book Within a Book: Stick Hamlet Between Your Pages

Maybe The Second Best Bookmark I've seen... Thanks to advances in printing technology, artists and designers have the flexibility to create printed works of exceptional variety and detail, enabling an explosion in craft and quality that opens up new horizons of printed expression. Like making a bookmark that is also a book.

Of course the Best Bookmark I've seen ;-)

The past and future of book accessibility

"I wonder if the 20th century will actually be seen as the high point of the accessibility of books, with near universal literacy in wealthy countries, public libraries, and cheap books. Literacy doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, but I can all too easily imagine a dystopian future history of book accessibility, written maybe only 50 years from now..."
A rather scary dystopian future history of (e)books.

Libraries, Copyright and Fair Use

"I bet you don’t know that librarians have, right from the start, been at the forefront of the digital information age. Librarians recognized the potential for providing even more information-based services with the advent of Internet based hypermedia. Libraries and librarians have also been stalwart in protecting the intellectual property of content creators and at the same advocating for ‘fair use’ of information all kinds. I’m pretty sure that a very important court decision slipped under your radar this week. So you’re hearing it first on Carpe Librum."

Self-published books triple in production since 2006

Self-published books make up 43 percent of the print titles released in 2011 and helped to drive the first growth in print production since 2007, according to a new study from Bowker.

What happens to all these self-published books, one may wonder? Do they mostly end up in boxes in the authors' garages? Not necessarily.

iPads set to take over from books in school libraries, principal says

Seems Like A Bad Idea...

Principal of Madison Park Primary David Lawton said books would become a "thing of the past".

"The day has arrived - iPads are here ... look out books," Mr Lawton told the News Review Messenger.

"School library budgets are being lowered and our budgets for technology are higher, so it's only a matter of time before technology takes over from the traditional way of teaching.

Steal My Book!

Why I’m abetting a rogue translation of my novel

"Of course, I wish one of Russia’s two major ebook publishers had given me a couple thousand dollars for the rights, but neither did. Like many novelists I know, I’m just happy to have people reading my work, whether they’re paying me for it or not. I’m also heartened that Russians care enough about reading to sustain a robust literary black market. In the U.S., you get the feeling that hardly anyone is creating pirated ebooks because—well, who’d buy such a thing?"

It's Genre. Not That There’s Anything Wrong With It!

It’s Genre. Not That There’s Anything Wrong With It! Read more
"What I’m trying to say is that “genre” is not a bad word, although perhaps the better word for novels that taxonomically register as genre is simply “commercial.” Born to sell, these novels stick to the trite-and-true, relying on stock characters whose thoughts spool out in Lifetime platitudes. There will be exceptions, as there are in every field, but, for the most part, the standard genre or commercial novel isn’t going to break the sea frozen inside us. If this sounds condescending, so be it. Commercial novels, in general, whether they’re thrillers or romance or science fiction, employ language that is at best undistinguished and at worst characterized by a jejune mentality and a tendency to state the obvious. Which is not to say that some literary novels, as more than a few readers pointed out to me, do not contain a surfeit of decorative description, elaborate psychologizing, and gleams of self-conscious irony. To which I say: so what? "

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