Notes: Books as Stimuli; Phone Etiquette?
Cool idea of the Day: Redbery Books, Cable, Wis., recently began using the tagline: Books: The Ultimate Stimulus Package.
Barnes & Noble.com has begun selling subscriptions to more than 1,000 magazines in both digital and print format and will offer digital versions of more than 12,000 back issues of hundreds of magazines. The company is working with Zinio for digital fulfillment and M2 Media Group for print magazine fulfillment.
Can you love books just a little too much? According to the Guardian,
the "baron of bibliomania" was Sir Thomas Phillipps, a 19th century
collector in whose house were "stored the fruits of his acquisitional
forays at home and abroad: a process already out of hand when he was at
Oxford, and rampant forever after. Mostly bought with money he had not
got: bills were left unpaid for years--at least one unfortunate
bookseller went bankrupt because of it."
A bookseller showed up in yesterday's nationally syndicated "Hints from Heloise" column (via the Houston Chronicle): "Dear Heloise: I work in a small bookstore, and is there anything called telephone etiquette anymore?" Well, is there?
Is the declarative sentence becoming "a cultural antique?" Voice of America reported that "American teens admit to writing more, studying the craft of writing less, and thinking of what they're tapping out on their electronic gadgets as something completely different from writing. As for sentences, it's clear that in the teen world, that basic unit of human thought is little more than a relic of musty, fussy times gone by."
Ian Fleming birth centenary update. The Guardian suggesteded that it may be little more than "literary snobbery" to dismiss the creator of James Bond "as a calculatingly commercial author of absurd misogynistic fantasies," who was once described by his wife "as 'hammering out pornography' when he spent his disciplined three hours a day writing the books in their Jamaican home."
The article concluded that "Fleming also has perhaps the greatest benchmark of writerly talent in spades: unputdownability."
"Each evening, headscarf-shrouded women seeking romantic advice gather
at book stalls lining a rush-hour intersection in Nigeria's Islamic
heartland," noted the Associated Press in a report (via the Age)
on the growing market for books "that address issues confronting women
in a Shariah society: courtship, polygamy and the meaning of love."
The Man Booker Prize is already celebrating its 40th birthday with a contest this spring "to determine the best Booker-winning title of the past four decades," according to Paper Cuts, the New York Times book blog. Although official Booker voting is closed, AbeBooks.com has been conducting a Best of the Booker customer poll to predict the winner. The top five thus far on AbeBooks's list:
- Life of Pi by Yann Martel (12.4%)
- Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie (10.5%)
- The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (8.8%)
- The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (8.5%)
- The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (6.9%)
Book packager and literary agency LifeTime Media is beginning a publishing program that will be distributed in North America by Perseus Distribution. Its first book, Pressure Is a Privilege: Lessons I've Learned from Life and the Battle of the Sexes by Billie Jean King, appears in August.
Starting in January, LifeTime will publish one original title a month. "We want to publish titles that inspire, educate and entertain," president Jacqueline Grace said in a statement.