A week after Barnes & Noble made the v1.2 software update, featuring Nook apps, available to all Nook Color owners (Shelf Awareness
, April 26, 2011), more than one million apps had been downloaded, according to B&N. The top five paid apps were Angry Birds, Drawing Pad, Solitaire, Aces Jewel Hunt and Astraware Mahjong. Among the top five free apps were Fliq Calendar, Fliq Notes, Pulse, NOOK Word of the Day and Fliq Tasks. Engadget
--which headlined its coverage with "Barnes & Noble logs 1m Nook app downloads in first week, people are probably playing Angry Birds instead of reading"--noted that it "would seem we can glean two stunningly obvious things from this tidbit: one, the addition of features through software updates makes people happy. Two: you people really feel the need to play Angry Birds on every device you own, don't you?"
---D.S.K.: Les Secrets d’un Présidentiable
(D.S.K.: The Secrets of a Presidential Contender
) is currently climbing bestseller charts in France in the wake of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn's highly-publicized arrest on sexual assault charges in New York City last weekend.
The New Yorker
's Book Bench
blog reported that the book "by a writer calling herself Cassandre," suddenly rose to number 10 in the Politique Française category on Amazon.fr
"and for good reason. When the book was released last year, the stir it caused in France was nearly on par with the one caused by the current scandale de Dodo (as D.S.K. is (un)affectionately known), though whether this one will have the effect of ruining his career, as some thought the release of Les Secrets
would, remains to be seen."
The publication of the book, which accused Strauss-Kahn of being a serial womanizer, "was met both with disbelief (cries then, as now, that it must be part of a 'campaign' or 'plot' to ruin D.S.K.'s presidential bid), and with renewed interest in some old stories that had been floating around, without, it seems, anyone doing much about them," Book Bench wrote.
Another proposal to give Amazon a sales tax exemption in South Carolina is expected to come up in the House Wednesday. WIS-TV
reported that "while the company said it was pulling out of South Carolina, the construction site in Lexington County tells a different story. The building is so big, it's hard to get it all on camera. You almost have be there in person to get a sense of the scope of what Amazon was creating near Cayce."
"I think people now realize that Amazon wasn't bluffing," said Lexington Mayor and chamber of commerce head Randy Halfacre. "They left, and this is an effort to try to ask them to reconsider. It doesn't mean, if the General Assembly passes this next week or this week, whether they'll come back or not. We have every confidence that they will."
Cool idea of the day: this
Thursday at 7 p.m., R.J. Julia Booksellers
, Madison, Conn., is hosting a
presentation by Europa Editions editor-in-chief Michael Reynolds of
highlights from the house's summer and fall lists. Owner Roxanne Coady
wrote that Reynolds "will be bringing lots of titles you haven't seen
anywhere else for you to peruse... For all of you who want to find
diamonds in the rough, needles in the haystack... this is sure to be a
great night for you."
By the way, Europa is publishing its 100th book this month. Congratulations!
The Wall Street Journal
profiled Van Alen Books
in New York City, a recently opened bookstore devoted to architecture that "isn't really, or only, a store. It's also an 'installation.' There are books on shelves, to be sure. But the bulk of the modest space, no more than 20 feet by 30, is dominated by a bright yellow staircase leading nowhere. It's anchored to the floor with bolts and suspended from the ceiling with steel cables. And the individual stairs are made from stacks of doors stuck together."
Olympia Kazi, the executive director of the Van Alen Institute--the bookstore's parent organization--said, "New York doesn't have a specified architecture bookstore anymore. The only bookstores that exist are within museums."
expressed surprise that architects, "for all their passion for high-tech, the next and the new, apparently remain devoted to the physical book. Who knew? 'They're books junkies, no matter how many Nooks and iPads,' Ms. Kazi observed. 'They still love their print, the hard copy. And there is a beauty with the accidental encounter with a book. It was sad New York didn't have that opportunity anymore.' "
magazine, Erika Morphy offered four reasons why Amazon's new $114 Kindle with ads, which currently tops the company's bestselling electronics list
, "is an interesting data point for the e-commerce industry and online advertisers":
- Consumers don’t mind online ads, even in e-books, if they are transparent.
- We’ll probably see more of the user’s choice ad model.
- People don’t mind online ads if they get something in return... and if the ad is unobtrusive.
- Emboldened by user and advertiser support, Amazon may be more inclined to go a little crazy with the supposed tablet it is developing.
Here's a tour we'd like to join, for at least a round or two.
June, with the help of the Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma, Calif.,
Algonquin Books is taking three authors on the road on the Free Beer
Tour. The events will include beer tastings, "pairing great books with
great beer." The authors (and their beer pairing) are Pete Nelson,
author of I Thought You Were Dead (Lagunitas New DogTown Pale Ale); Josh Wilker, author of Cardboard Gods: An All American Tale (Lagunitas Czech Style Pilsner); and David Anthony, author of Something for Nothing (Lagunitas Censored Rich Copper Ale).
Free Beer Tour will slosh into Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, Ill.,
Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis., DIESEL Books, Oakland, Calif.,
Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, Mass., and Book People, Austin, Tex.
More information at algonquinbooksblog.com/freebeertour. Check out the Free Beer Tour poster, designed by Shelf Awareness's own Alex Baker!
"We have too many poets in Iraq," Dr. Saad Iskander, director of the country's National Library, told the Telegraph during the British Council’s International Literature Festival in Erbil, northern Iraq. "Everyone wants to be a poet, but we need writers who archive, who use facts and primary sources." Iskander estimated that 60% of the country’s written archive has been lost during the occupation. "You can read a great poem and still remain ignorant of your own history."
Ursula K. Le Guin's favorite science fiction author is Virginia Woolf. To celebrate the opening of the British Library's science fiction exhibition Out of this World, the Guardian asked leading SF writers to choose their favorite novel or author in the genre.
J.K. Rowling revealed her favorite character from the Harry Potter series in an interview with the Guardian, where she noted that her choice of Harry might seem obvious, but "I believe I am unusual in this, Ron is generally more popular (I love him too, though). Now that I have finished writing the books, the character I would most like to meet for dinner is Dumbledore. We would have a lot to discuss, and I would love his advice; I think that everyone would like a Dumbledore in their lives."
Her U.K. publisher Bloomsbury is asking fans to vote online for their own favorite character in a poll that opened yesterday and will close August 26, with the winner unveiled August 30.
Citing the words of Harper Lee ("Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.") as inspiration, Breathing Books features an often breathtaking array of bookish photos.
Ooligan lives! Earlier this spring we reported that Ooligan Press--an independent, nonprofit publishing house operating in conjunction with Portland State University's graduate writing program--was struggling for survival (Shelf Awareness, March 22, 2011) as PSU grappled with a shrinking budget. In addition, program director Dennis Stovall is retiring in December, and there is no plan to hire a replacement.
But the publisher's website now notes that the "wonderful support of the book world has given us confidence that the publishing program and Ooligan Press will survive." English Department Chair Jennifer Ruth wrote that the department "made an explicit decision that, were we to need to make cuts in the next few months, we would not consider closing the publishing program or Ooligan Press."
Flavorwire recommended 10 Uplifting Books for Lonely Souls.
Noting that book jacket designers "can generate as many as 50 covers for high-profile books, though a half-dozen or so is more typical," the New York Times Book Review showcased "some killed covers whose creators couldn't quite let them rest in peace."
Listened to any good books lately? Although that question is usually reserved for audiobooks, Grathio Labs went a step further and used hollowed-out books to conceal an amplified speaker with two inputs for an iPod and laptop: "I took a quick trip to the local thrift store to find some more-or-less attractive books that I wouldn't feel bad about gutting. (They're Reader's Digest compilations. No harm done. Seriously. And the outhouse is now supplied with paper for the next couple years.) Though a book on audio or music theory would have been an appropriate choice too."
Effective June 1, Taylor & Francis Publishing, which
recently bought the publishing assets of Earthscan, will distribute Earthscan
titles in the U.S. The last day for order processing of Earthscan books at
Stylus Publishing will be May 31. At that time, all Earthscan backorders will
go to T&F.
Earthscan publishes titles on climate change, sustainable
development and environmental technology.