Monday, 6 January 2014

News: Books, Buses, And Hidden Snark

Is the corporatisation of book publishing threatening the industry? Seems that way, according to the late Andre Schiffrin, an indie publisher, who was not keen on the profit-driven model for book publishing.

"Whereas before, the average annual profit for a publishing house stood around 3 to 4 percent, now every imprint in a publishing house had to turn 10 to 15 percent profit per year or face closure. This pressure to meet targets, Schiffrin believed, "profoundly altered the output of the major publishing houses.'"

On a slightly related note, there's a study out there that says good fiction "enhances connectivity" in the brain. Until this study is debunked, we now have a compelling reason for the proper screening of manuscripts and publication of good books.

But not everybody agrees that great lit can change your life radically for the better. Nor should it.

"Reading Faulkner doesn’t make me a better person, nor does it teach me much, aside from the realization that Faulkner was a marvelous storyteller," writes Malcolm Jones in The Daily Beast. He adds that "The mid-century novelist Junichiro Tanizaki's women aren't much like my mother and my aunts, but when I read The Makioka Sisters, my family, or at least that sisterly dynamic, snapped into focus like never before. I don't think the pleasure I take from such awakenings will get me into heaven, but it’s enough for me."

All right, moving along:


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