Monday, 2 July 2012

News: Bibliotheca Buzz, Publishing and Reviewers

Library things
More than half of Americans don't know about e-lending at libraries. I bet some publishers would like it that way, but that's just sticking their heads in the sand.

Meanwhile, across the pond, authors and poets are urging a halt to book pulping at the Manchester Central Library. Seems pulping is how they deal with unwanted books. Google should be salivating at the thought of all these volumes, ripe for digitisation.

I'll agree that there's one thing physical books are better at than e-books: as heirlooms. Not much ceremony in copying or moving a directry of files.... Here are some of Lev Grossman's collection of rare (and not very rare) books.

In Bangalore, publishers reportedly exploit policy loopholes to sell books - lots of books - to Karnataka's libraries. The Indian state is noted for its high literacy rates. And there's a textbook controversy in Manipur... OMG, is that CARLOS SANTANA on the cover? And Ashoka's lions rising from the Colosseum?

Publishing not dead - maybe
E-books arrived earlier than most people think, says Andrew Shaffer in a brief takedown of some "moron" who blogs about the death of publishing. A whole blog about the "death of publishing"? Talk about big shoulder chips and bonnet-dwelling bees.

Lots of people have sung similar dirges, but I suspect that they're just gobbling schadenfreude pie over how smaller, independent publishers are eating at the market share that was once the reserve of the big guys - or trying to sell something. I think it's still too early to tell; some big publishers can still avoid the iceberg that will be their oblivion with a few changes to their MO. Who needs a whole blog to drive that message home?

And here's Julian Barnes shares his life as a bibliophile. Doesn't sound like he feels the sense of an ending in the traditional book industry.

Reviewing reviewers
A review of John Hughes's "The Remnants" seem to suggest that experimental, niche writing is risky. Meanwhile, some book reviewers get reviewed - kind of. Also reviewing reviewers is the guest blogger (same dude) at Scott Pack's wonders if publishers are cherry-picking book reviews to boost sales.

Graphic novel
From novels, memoir, cookbook, various non-fiction pieces and TV shows, Tony Bourdain takes a leap into the graphic novel pool with Get Jiro!

In this Bourdainesque dystopian world where chefs are practically kingpins, Jiro is an independent sushi chef caught in a turf war between two chefs representing the fusion-dabbling international empire-builder and earth-warrior locavore philosophies.

If you're the kind who's tickled by an enraged sushi chef decapitating a customer who asked for California Rolls, etc, get Jiro. I have a feeling it'll be a fun production.


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