Thursday, January 31, 2013

Write the Book You Want To Read

Edward Tufte on "Real Things"

This is a great article by Tufte where he deconstructs touchscreens and encourages the reader to "give more time for doing physical things in the real world and less time staring at the glowing flat rectangle . . . Plant a plant, walk the dog, READ A REAL BOOK."

http://www.edwardtufte.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=0003qM

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Libraries Reinvent the Town Square

 As librarians across the nation struggle with the task of redefining their roles and responsibilities in a digital age, many public libraries are seeing an opportunity to fill the void created by the loss of traditional bookstores. They are increasingly adapting their collections and services based on the demands of library patrons, whom they now call customers. 

Today’s libraries are reinventing themselves as vibrant town squares, showcasing the latest best sellers, lending Kindles loaded with e-books, and offering grass-roots technology training centers.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/28/us/libraries-try-to-update-the-bookstore-model.html

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Revival of Indie Bookstores

This is a beautiful interview with a successful author who opened an indie bookstore.  She didn't open it for the money, but the changing dynamics of publishing and retail have made her store successful and profitable.

It is a really great example of how digital and physical books can co-exist.

"The book is not dead."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18256087

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Books in a Digital Age

Even in this age of rapid technological evolution, book publishing remains one of our greatest cultural achievements.  The diversity of information and ideas represented in books, whether print or digital, continues to fuel the growth and change of how we view ourselves and also how we interact with the world around us.

The book itself will survive, but the question for those of us employed in the publishing industry is whether our markets will evolve in ways that allow us to survive or make us a relic.  For the wider audience of readers, the question is whether the consolidation of development, production, marketing and distribution will limit their access to new ideas and information that could improve their lives.

While there is no inherent reason to believe that the today's publishing houses will survive, I sure hope that the best of them are able to adapt and flourish.  It is an existential question that we can only answer in the context of the competitive marketplace, and I have confidence that some of us can answer this question.

Regardless, books will continue.