Book Depository Blog

RSS

 

  • Too many books?

    Fri, 12 Dec 2008 06:24

    0972819657.jpg Back in 2004, Lindsay Waters wrote Enemies of Promise: Publishing, Perishing, and the Eclipse of Scholarship. Waters is "one of the most important and innovative editors in the humanities and social sciences" and, as the executive editor for the Humanities at Harvard University Press, people rightly listen to what he has to say about publishing, particularly academic publishing. Recently, as reported on the useful Distributed Presses blog, Antonio Goncalves Filho reviewed Waters' Enemies of Promise and interviewed the author in Estadao, a Brazilian newspaper
  • More diverse judges

    Fri, 12 Dec 2008 06:24

    According to a report in The Times: "Too many reviewers adopt a reverential tone for books that barely deserve a review, let alone recommendation, the chairman of the 2007 Man Booker Prize [Sir Howard Davies] said last night." Sir Howard also called for "more diversity in the sort of people who review novels". Well, quite obviously, Sir Howard hasn't been reading the blogs! It is the blogosphere, now, where you should go to find honest criticism by bibliophiles with no axes to grind or backs to scratch. And a more diverse set of reviewers you couldn't hope to find anywhere else. Whilst the cultural gatekeepers in the Broadsheets review the same books by the same writers, the bloggers (and the e-bibliophiles on Library Thing and Shelfari) are getting on with the important task of talking about whole libraries of books that never get mentioned in the newspapers. Literary blogger Stephen Mitchelmore says:
    Let's also have more diversity in people who judge literary prizes. In this particular case, how about a group of people who have the slightest clue about literature?
    Quite right too! The bloggers need to be welcomed onto the panels of the major literary prizes as soon as possible. I'm sure that the actress Imogen Stubbs, one of this year's judges, knows heaps about books -- indeed, she has a first in English from Oxford -- but still I bet you she doesn't know as much as, say, Lynne "Dovegreyreader" Hatwell or Mrs Book World. So, if Sir Howard wants these prizes to fairer, to make better and more unusual choices, and if he reckons "... a little more distance, and critical scepticism, is required by our reviewers, together with greater readiness to notice new names" then let the bloggers choose!
  • Free e-Bookers?

    Fri, 12 Dec 2008 06:24

    booker.png I had agreed with Martyn Daniels that the news that the Man Booker Prize was in "negotiations with the British Council and publishers over digitizing the [six shortlisted] novels and making them available for all to read online for free" was hugely exciting. And I had further agreed with Martyn that the timing of this news was lousy: surely this exciting -- indeed groundbreaking -- possibility should have been released before the Prize announcement: "Think of the impact if it had been announced before the result and was there [the digital books, that is] ready to go, the minute the result was declared." Think of the impact indeed. It would have been wonderful to see the six Booker titles available: a wonderful act of faith in technological innovations -- e-Books, online content -- which, whether publishers like it or not, have already changed the nature of their business. Disappointingly, however, according to a report in The Book Standard, the Booker shortlist will not be being made available for free download. What a huge letdown!
    The British Council has moved to clarify its position on electronic editions of Man Booker Prize shortlisted novels following a report in the Times this morning. The newspaper reported that the Man Booker Prize hopes to place all six of its shortlisted novels online for free. But the British Council said that while it is in negotiations with publishers to create an online collection of literature, this would be for sale rather than free.
    "[A]n online collection of literature" might be a useful thing, but it lacks the brave impact of simply putting the six shortlisted titles up online and seeing what happens. It could have been one of the most exciting and important experiments within the publishing industry in recent times. It could have answered a lot of questions about the impact of freeing up content. But it looks like cowardice has won out. What a terrible shame.
  • Reading revolution

    Fri, 12 Dec 2008 06:24

    According to the BBC News, England's Schools Secretary, Ed Balls, says there needs to be "a national revolution". Yay! Down with the Government! Dancing in the streets! Free love! Oh. Sorry. I've got carried away. Balls is calling for a "a national revolution" in children's reading at school and at home not "a national revolution" per se!
    A book at bedtime should be as much a part of the daily routine as brushing a child's teeth, Mr Balls said. Just 10 minutes of reading a day could make a difference to a child's future by instilling a love of books, he said.
    Balls said all this as he was launching the National Year of Reading 2008:
    The National Literacy Trust and The Reading Agency are leading a consortium of organisations committed to promoting reading to manage the National Year of Reading 2008 (NYR) on behalf of the DCSF.
    For more information you can read the press release:
    A decade after the first National Year of Reading in 1998, the National Year of Reading 2008 aims to put reading at the top of everyone's agenda. It will run from January to December 2008. A national challenge to schools, business, arts, sport and local services to join in the National Year of Reading will be launched in January, public activity will begin in April.
    Very odd that "public activity" will begin with a quarter of the National Year of Reading already gone, but there it is! Regardless, reading is always at the top of
  • Sony Reader problems

    Fri, 12 Dec 2008 06:24

    Martyn Daniels gets it right here with just one of the problems of the new PRS505 Sony e-book Reader:
    It's a one trick pony. At a time when convergence is the word, Sony want us to buy a single use device. The price is still not attractive enough to make this a worthwhile gamble and who wants to be a the cutting edge when you know its not the answer.
  • Showing 61 to 65 of 121 results < Previous 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Next >
  • Can't find what you're looking for? Try our below.

Book Depository Team
Publisher Blogs