For a long-range perspective on the question of the future of the book, check out Steve Leveen's Well-Read Life blog, where he is currently writing a series called "Why we're entering the Golden Age of Books."
A couple intriguing paragraphs from the current entry:
"Since books are ideas before they are things, they seem to morph into whatever technology is available. Like life forms, they evolve to fill newly available habitats.
"A hundred years ago, this morphing began to accelerate, most significantly into movies, then television, and, in the last quarter of the 20th century, into audiobooks. These new art forms may not be called books, but they contain the same kinds of ideas as books and can result in similar benefits. Then can teach and entertain and fill one with dread or inspiration. They, like traditional printed books, are art. And in some cases, the new art can eclipse our traditional printed form of a book."
[Many thanks to Mim Harrison, editor at Levenger Press, for steering us to the e-pages of this blog.]
Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum, the brains and boys behind Unshelved, have just finished the first of three rounds of BookExpo America giveaways to librarians and educators. Prizes include an appearance in the Unshelved comic strip, coffee at BEA with Bill and Gene, tickets to the Lewis Black benefit on Saturday night, tickets to book & author breakfasts and more. To be eligible for prizes, register for BEA through unshelved.com/hosted/bea2008.
Also on the site, details about some of Unshelved's library-oriented programming at BEA, including the Publisher Book Slam, a kind of speed-dating event between librarians and publishers; Library Confessions; and Bill and Gene drawing a comic strip live, with audience suggestions. Also don't miss the pair's 14-page comic book, What Would Dewey Do @ BEA?, downloadable at the site.
To help accommodate a growth in sales of overstock DVDs, Daedalus Books and Music, Columbia, Md., has added a DVD section to its online store.
Since adding movies to its mix of books and CDs in 2005, Daedalus has done well "across a wide range of genres, from studio blockbusters and independent art house films to the hottest network and cable TV programming," the company said.
In the Telegraph,
Jolyon Attwooll came to the defense of Lonely Planet as well as her
former colleague, Thomas Kohnstamm, who created a furor last week (Shelf Awareness, April 15, 2008) when he seemed to suggest that some of the details in travel guides he contributed to were "made up."
question mark over guidebook integrity affects me directly," Attwooll
wrote, "as I co-authored the current Lonely Planet edition of Chile
with Thomas. If the recent media hype is right, I must have been on a
pretty good gig. Surely I spent my time drinking free champagne at
boutique hotels and canoodling with Lonely Planet groupies? Sadly, no."
Ultimately, Attwooll wrote, "guidebooks are not--as they are sometimes dubbed--bibles. They are simply guides."
A man walks into a bookstore to buy a "woman's book . . ." NPR's Bryant Park Project listener Seth Bate talks about his strange experience purchasing a copy of Aryn Kyle's The God of Animals.
in business are looking for something that speaks to their own
experience," Will Weisser, associate publisher of Portfolio, Penguin's
business imprint, told Time magazine in an article featuring a selection of new books published specifically for women.
Yvette Romero has joined Bloomberg Press as director of marketing and sales. She has held various marketing and publicity positions at Kaplan Publishing, Prentice Hall Press, Random House Value, Scholastic and Monteiro & Co.