Tag Archives: books

Netflix for Books?

AKIE BERMISS: Various times in the short history of this publication we’ve puzzled over the future of books and of reading and of literacy.  We’ve discussed the demise of Borders and the rise of eBooks and the changing lay of…

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In Briefs: Paper Books vs. eReaders

HOWARD MEGDAL: Behold: the Eric Carle app. http://myveryfirstapp.com/

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I don’t want to dislike that, but I do. Continue reading

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Keeping Books vs. Getting Rid of Books

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: This will surprise no one, but I HATE moving. Particularly because I have a lot of stuff, but most particularly because I have a ton of books. So many books. Books from childhood, books from college. Books…

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In Briefs: Snooki Writes a Book

NAVA BRAHE: And here’s something from the Bixarre-O-World….

LAURA ROBERTS: As someone who is REALLY working on a book, I’m offended by the idea that someone who’s never even READ a book is trying to WRITE one. Continue reading

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In Briefs: Highest-Paid Authors

JILLIAN LOWERY: This list of the best-paid authors makes me queasy.

DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP: Horrible, I agree. Especially as I think I’ve heard the name James Patterson, but certainly couldn’t tell you one of his big hits. At least Michael Crichton, for example, has written a load of crap people can identify.

Frankly, I would like to see a bestselling female author on this list who ISN’T writing lame-ass romance novels.

AKIE BERMISS: re: Bestselling Authors — i’m a scifi nut. so i’m not sure i really relate to this list. though i currently have four books lined up (in three different fantasy series), my most recent purchase was the first volume of the Shelby Foote Civil War books. which i intend to read through the fall… as i smoke cigars and admire the foliage. These names do make me cringe. did i ever post the link with the best selling books my metropolitan area? that’s more alarming, if you ask me.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Allow me to make the alternate argument.

While we may not like all the products being produced by the authors, they are writers making huge sums of money.

Is this not far better than living in a world where no one producing new written words can earn a ludicrously lavish sum of money for doing so? Continue reading

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Internet Addiction

AKIE BERMISS: I don’t consider myself an internet addict. Maybe that means I do have a problem and that there’s no escaping my crippling need to be in front a computer or hold a device with internet capabilities. I admit that I do certainly spend a fair amount of time on the internet. And it is usually the first thing I check in the morning (my emails, at least). And if I’m pressed for cash and I have to start dropping amenities at home, I’d lose quite a few things before I put internet on the table. I’m not sure what I’d think of my quality of life if I had no access to Hulu or Netflix or midnight access to my bank account. Still, I don’t think I count as an internet addict. I’m just an average joe.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Akie makes an excellent point that a lot of what makes the internet so great is its versatility and convenience; the way it helps you look stuff up and get stuff done and keep in touch with people so you know all about their stuff. These are just some of the things I love the internet for.

Continue reading

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Blogs as Books

JESSICA BADER: At first glance, the blog-as-book trend seems like a gigantic waste of money, a way of packaging and selling something that’s available for free online. But speaking from my own personal experience as a captive to my RSS reader who still loves physically picking up a book, when a blog is worthy of being captured in paper-and-binding form there’s something quite enjoyable about having it on your bookshelf.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: It’s become a little disheartening to note the frequency with which blogs have been leaping off our computer screens and onto our coffee tables. In a world in which ebooks are growing in popularity and people do more and more of their news and book reading either online or with digital readers, why take something that originally began its existence on the internet and transfer it to paper? Continue reading

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Bookstores: Independent, Used and Massive Chains

AKIE BERMISS: I love me some books. No I really do. When I walk into a bookstore, I expect to come back out significantly poorer than when I walked in. If there’s any one thing that I’m easily distracted by — its probably books. And, unlike many people, I’ll never enjoy buying them online. I don’t feel satisfaction when a graphic of a book goes into my “shopping-cart” and then a week later a box shows up in my mail. No joy.

I need to go to the store. I need to see them in their element. I need to pick them out. And I need to take them home with me.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Like Akie, I do acknowledge a love for the Big Box Bookstores. But to cast aside the many other ways to acquire books- yes, I share his obsession with all things bibliorific- is an astonishing limitation I simply do not share.

ZOË RICE: While I was away at college, Barnes & Noble opened its first Brooklyn store, four blocks from my parents’ house. Park Slope, Brooklyn, was decidedly not a chain store neighborhood–the Starbucks wouldn’t come until later, and no, I still haven’t recovered–and here was a massive store, two levels, popping up right in my backyard. We had independent stores: Community Bookstore (still living), Booklink (no longer with us) and Booklink II (the first to go). Park Slope was known for being quite literary, with loads of editors and artistic types. B&N would not do. But then I visited it. And I realized Park Slope needed a Barnes & Noble. Continue reading

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In Briefs: Writing in Books

AKIE BERMISS: When it comes to writing in books I’m at once a reverent love and a practical modernist. I feel like the sacred nature of books is a relic of ages past when a single book to quite some time to make. And getting a copy was pretty much impossible unless you were a person of great wealth or great importance. Nowadays, I can walking to a Barnes&Noble and buy four copies of Great Expectations faster than you could say “Who’s Charles Dickens?” So there’s really no need to be overly cautious about getting book marked up, or wet, or whatever.

ZOË RICE: I can’t say I understand treating a book like a revered object. In fact, I even marked up my own novel. I think I did so for my readings; I made notes and crossed out a passage or two that wouldn’t make sense without previous chapters. But I’ve always written in books. A note here and there about something I was thinking at the time, a star for a passage I particularly liked, perhaps a name of another book or a memory I recalled. And I love those notes. I love that I’ll be able to look back on them later in life and see what I was thinking years prior. The book is mine, and I’m certainly not erasing any part of it, so why not annotate here and there? Why not personalize?

HOWARD MEGDAL: I have now been through the process of publishing my own book. And let me tell you- it isn’t easy. You need to find an agent. You need to polish up a proposal. You need to find a publisher. You need to complete a manuscript in time. You need to go over edits, making certain that just because an editor didn’t know any vaguely Jewish terminology in a book about Jewish baseball players, that the entire point of the book isn’t obscured. You need to fight back against the idea that any joke that won’t be understood by a ten-year-old child should be excised from the book, reminding everyone involved that it is not, in fact, a children’s book. Continue reading

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The Kindle: God’s Gift to Readers/Irrational Love for Books


Ode to the Kindle

At ten point two ounces, so slim and sleek,

Your easy access library provides

Over two hundred thousand texts to seek–

Physical versions can be cast aside.

With a daily commute I dread the…

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