Is The E-Book Coming To An End?

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“Ebooks have just left euphoria and are caught halfway between anxiety and decline and if nothing changes they may soon go the way of Betamax, Bebo and the Sinclair C5.”

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NY Public Library Looks To Reinvent

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“The library hasn’t selected an architect for the project, which will include traditional reading rooms and bookshelves. But officials said they also want to create fun, collaborative spaces, stocked with tools for creative projects. It hasn’t been decided whether these spaces would be located in the Schwarzman building, the branch across the street, or both.”

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Why Root Against Amazon In Hachette Dispute? It’s Publishers Who Have Been Anti-Consumer

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“As a number of authors have pointed out, including Hugh Howey, the biggest competitive threat in the book business isn’t the electronic retailer, it’s the Big Five publishers. They’re the ones who have tried desperately to keep book prices high — especially ebook prices — and yet continue to pay their authors a fraction of what Amazon does.”

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You Thought García Márquez’s Novels Were Great? Check Out His Journalism

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“[He] is known in the English-speaking world for his lyrical, densely descriptive novels, but as a journalist he was acerbically funny, charming, and slightly bizarre. The young García Márquez devoured what surrounded him. Everything was raw material for his newspaper columns – film adaptations of Faulkner, nudism, dancing bears, the letter X, a woman he saw in an ice cream parlor who may have been the ‘ugliest I’ve ever seen in my life, or, on the contrary, the most disconcertingly beautiful’.”

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Crossing The Nabokov-vs.-Roth Divide

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Joshua Ferris: “In book after book, Nabokov creates idiosyncratic, heightened, elaborately constructed worlds; Roth’s one book investigates and exhausts his world, the given world. When I was younger, I preferred Nabokov. … But you can’t choose what kind of writer you become; aesthetics is handmaiden to temperament. By dint of nativity, or culture, or epoch, or perspective, I was more temperamentally aligned with Roth.”

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Making The Case For Rap As Poetry

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“Rap is indeed “real” poetry. It rhymes, often even internally. Its authors work hard on the lyrics. The subject matter is certainly artistically heightened, occasioning long-standing debates over whether the depictions of violence and misogyny in some of it are sincere. Rap, considered as a literature rather than its top-selling hits, addresses a wide-range of topics, even including science fiction. Rap is now decades old, having evolved over time and being increasingly curated by experts. In what sense is this not a “real” anything?”

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Hans Christian Andersen, Innocence, And The Truth

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“Hans Christian Andersen believed in an untouched innocence at the core of every person. … Innocence could be hidden and emerge, or it could be apparent and then corrupted. .. To be wholly innocent was rare. To be wholly innocent, for Andersen, meant to be wholly yourself. It meant that you were free from the distorted reality of the devil’s mirror.”

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New Wave Of African Writers Making An International Noise

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“Black literary writers with African roots (though some grew up elsewhere), mostly young cosmopolitans who write in English, are making a splash in the book world, especially in the United States. They are on best-seller lists, garner high profile reviews and win major awards, in America and in Britain.”

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Who Owns A Story? The Writer Or The Person Who Lived It?

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“Do I have the right to write about a firefight in Falluja, if I wasn’t there? Does it demonstrate respect and admiration for the soldiers, and show evidence of their importance in our culture? Or does it insult those who risked their lives, if I take literary possession of that experience?”

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Barnes and Noble To Split, Spinning Off Nook

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“Barnes & Noble unveiled plans Wednesday to break apart into two companies, separating its retail unit from its struggling Nook Media business. The bookstore operator said it plans to complete the separation by the end of the first quarter of 2015.”

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Inside The USSR’s Secret Hoard Of Erotica

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“It was the kinkiest secret in the Soviet Union: Across from the Kremlin, the country’s main library held a pornographic treasure trove. Founded by the Bolsheviks as a repository for aristocrats’ erotica, the collection eventually grew to house 12,000 items from around the world, ranging from 18th-century Japanese engravings to Nixon-era romance novels.”

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Hachette Buys Perseus Book Group

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“The Perseus Books Group, founded by the late Frank Pearl in 1996, is being sold to the Hachette Book Group. Through the deal, Hachette will then sell Perseus’ distribution business to Ingram [Publisher Services].”

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German Publishers File Antitrust Charges Against Amazon

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“German book publishers have filed a complaint with the country’s antitrust authority against Amazon, accusing it of violating competition laws and asking the government to investigate. The complaint, filed last week, was announced on Tuesday, nearly two months after Amazon began delaying shipments of books from [German publishing group] Bonnier.”

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A Debate About Reading On EBooks Versus Paper

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“There is some evidence that reading on screen can result in less comprehension and even affect sleep patterns. But the research here is complex and inconclusive and, in any case, it is actually doing something far more interesting than telling us which medium is superior. It’s making us think more about what it means to read.”

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