More Gloom and Doom 03/03/2009
Here's another succinct summary of the Crisis in Publishing, this one from the London Review of Books, by Colin Robinson, a Brit who lost his job at New York publisher in last December's Black Wednesday. Some of it is particular to the publishing world in Britain, but there's a lot about American publishing, including a very lucid explanation of the medieval system of returns, by which publishers have agreed since the 1930s to take back unsold copies from booksellers at full price. Also some prescriptions about What Should Be Done, about which I will have more to say later, when I have the time.
Another One Bites the Dust 02/28/2009
Just this morning, driving down the Drag in Austin, I saw that Intellectual Property, the one remaining general interest bookstore within walking distance of the University of Texas, is closing. Turns out their last day is March 15, and right now they're selling off their complete stock at 50% off. It's not quite an independent—it's owned by Follett's, the textbook store chain—and it's not quite the loss that the closing of Shaman Drum would be, but it's another sign of doom for the old way of selling books.
O, Brave New World 02/27/2009
It seems like most of my recent posts have had to do with yet another cataclysmic, epoch-ending moment in the world of books and literature—books themselves evanescing into pixels, John Updike evanescing into who-knows-what?—so maybe I should write about something else—another post about Bigfoot and UFOs, perhaps? King Zor, anyone?
In which I mostly write about books, movies, and TV. An all-purpose spoiler alert: Sometimes I will talk about these works on the assumption that the reader's already read or seen them, so if you haven't, be forewarned.
About Last Night