Book Links 9-7-2012

Not a pure book/literary link, but The New Yorker  talks about Bill Clinton’s spontaneous riffing during his speech at the DNC. I think it’s a great article, and really shows how amazing Clinton is at giving speeches. But I think it also gives some good points on creating good dialog. All of those folky things Clinton throws into his speech as he goes, all of the little asides he makes to pull the listener in…that’s not just an incredible speech maker, it’s awesome story telling.  There’s also a link in the The  New Yorker article for someone who took the original speech and compared it to the one given.

Judge Cote okayed the settlement between the DOJ and three publishers, and now Bob Kohn has filed a motion to stay the settlement because of the harm it would do to the industry.

Lastly, Fast Company has an article about Amazon’s serial publishing about how authors could take data mined by Amazon about how people react to different elements of one part of the serial so that the author can tailor future parts to fit what’s going over the best in the current part.  I hate this idea. No offense to readers, but we’re often idiots and what we like doesn’t necessarily point to what makes something good. And because a reader, or group of readers, doesn’t get why something is happening right now doesn’t mean they’ll hate what it leads to. I’m sure there will be some money to be made off of this, but tailoring a piece of work to reader’s most immediate desires just seems like an idea whose time should never come.
On a related note, I’m kind of downbeat about admitting I like the Kindle Paperwhite.  I don’t like it enough to pay for it, but I think it’s neater than the traditional e-ink displays. Still, I just can’t find enough justification for a device that does so little. Also, such things still force eliterature to behave in the same way as traditional print literature. If we’re going to start reading in a digital medium, all of the benefits of the medium should be taken advantage of. So maybe literature should (or at least could) have some video or audio components, some graphs, still photos, something. With that said, I just don’t like tablets yet. They aren’t functional enough. the closest things that I really really like are the ultraportable laptops like the macair. I think Lenovo has something, or has something coming out, where the screen and keyboard can either be attached or run separately, which is neat. I’m really looking forward to the MS Surface tablet. Something I’m wondering, though, is what you do with the keyboard/cover when you don’t want to use it. Does it fold over and clip to the back somehow? Do you just stuff it in your bag? A bit off-topic,but that’s what I’m wondering right now.

 

edit: alright, just as I posted this, PC Mag put up this blistering article about the Kindles and Amazon’s putting ads on them to subsidize their costs (and then charging a good bundle to take them off).  I’m not a fan of it, but I think they’ve been doing it for awhile and I don’t know why anyone would buy a kindle without knowing this. All the more reason to buy a Nook, imo, and support a real book store.

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