Words

Amazon: Hachette Dispute Is About Lower Prices And More Money To Authors

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“Books compete against mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more,” Amazon said in the statement, which was posted on the forum for its Kindle ebook reader. “If we want a healthy reading culture, we have to work hard to be sure books actually are competitive against these other media types, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less expensive.”

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Poetry? There’s An App For That – Five Of Them, In Fact

poetry apps

The Times‘s app critic (yes, it has one) looks at an encyclopedic offering from the Poetry Foundation for discovering new poems; a Shakespeare app that includes all the sonnets and plays; two packages, for writing haiku and for longer verse; and an app devoted entirely to Eliot’s The Waste Land. (includes video)

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Amazon Makes Hachette A Public Offer: Price E-Books At $9.99 And We’ll Make Peace

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“In a post on its website, Amazon made the argument for lower e-book prices and outlined that it would be willing to continue accepting 30 percent of e-book sales, its current take, if Hachette stopped pricing titles at $12.99 and $14.99. The company did not suggest that Hachette lower all e-books to $9.99, leaving room for exceptions for specialized titles that warrant higher prices.”

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What Happens When Archives Aren’t On Paper Anymore?

rishdie digital

When Salman Rushdie donated his archives to Emory Univeristy, he didn’t mean only his papers: the collection includes four of his old computers (and will include all his later digital effects). How do archivists go about making the material on these old pieces of technology available to the public?

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Poetry Is Made For Twitter – Yes, Really

twitter poetry

“What’s on Twitter are not diseased firings of glitchy minds. They’re epigrams, aphorisms, maxims, dictums, taglines, headlines, captions, slogans and adages. Some are art, some are commercial; these are forms with integrity.”

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A History Of Literary Censorship

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“A more legitimate literary objection to censorship is its implicit portrayal of a reader as the sort of person who jumps off a cliff when asked. Notions such as “obscenity” or “abasement before the west” make literary language a tool of subversion and ascribe to the novelist the hypnotist’s capacity for making a previously obedient or prudish member of the public throw stones or unzip.”

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NYC Mayor Fires Eight Board Members Of Queens Library System

queens library

“The board members were removed after they voted in April against firing Thomas W. Galante, director of the Queens library system, who has been under investigation for using money earmarked for library improvements for renovations to his personal office and for steering contracts for the work to a friend.”

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What We Lose Of Books In E-Readers

Kindle on a bookshelf

“Regardless of their printed contents, books tell their own alternative stories, whether this be from smudges on the pages, or edges crinkled from a spilt drink; corners curled or margins dotted with sneaky annotations. Before self-service check-out systems, you could always tell how popular a library book was by how many pages were glued to the inside page, stamped with a list of past loan due dates.”

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Why Don’t We Have Alternative “Director’s Cut” Versions Of Books?

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“While the film industry eventually embraced the notion of a director’s cut and ran with it – ran, in fact, with the idea of releasing multiple versions of films, each definitive in its own, idiosyncratic way –publishing did not. Despite a few exceptions, there seems to be very little enthusiasm today for multiple editions of the same contemporary book.”

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The Great English Novel Is Being Reinvented

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“Fiction isn’t dying – but it is changing. The delivery mechanisms might change but we cannot get on without stories, especially not in an age and time when all the old certainties of God and State and Family and Capital are collapsing around us.”

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Why Do Writers Have To Sound So Constipated When They Read Their Poetry?

Gregory Orr

“Poet Voice,” is the pejorative, informal name given to this soft, airy reading style that many poets use for reasons that are unclear to me. The voice flattens the musicality and tonal drama inherent within the language of the poem, and it also sounds overly stuffy and learned. In this way, Poet Voice does a disservice to the poem, the poet and poetry. It must be stopped.”

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When Brigham Young Got A Mormon Alphabet

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“In 1853, after [George D.] Watt taught shorthand to Brigham Young, the Mormon leader commissioned the British clerk to create a 38-character ‘Deseret alphabet.’ The phonetic alphabet was meant to simplify the spelling of English words. Watt said … ‘An alphabet should contain just as many letters as there are simple-pure atoms of sound.’”

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The Dream Of Speed-Reading (And What It Does To Our Brains)

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“It is much more difficult to gather ideas of any complexity at all using Spritz than it is in ordinary reading. Complex ideas, like those routinely presented in philosophy or literary fiction, require a lot of rereading as you go. Also, when the sentence begins in a Spritz display, you can’t tell how long it’s going to be: a terrific drawback for comprehension.”

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