Posts Tagged ‘microsoft’

Book Links 5-9-13

May 9, 2013

Stuck in an elevator with Rushdie (and a host of of other interesting people)

Barnes & Noble is considering selling Nook to Microsoft. I think this is B&N getting ahead of the curve here, actually.  It’d be nice if they could keep getting some sort of share of sales of ereaders, but I don’t think there is a huge future in them. With tablets becoming more ubiquitous and more powerful, and the screens getting better, needing a dedicated reading device is going to become more and more unnecessary. At that point, does B&N have the infrastructure to be a player on the global tablet market against the likes of Apples, the various PC tablet makers, and Amazon? I don’t think so, and I’m guessing they are seeing that writing on the wall. They have been able to use Nook to keep afloat, to weather the storm of the initial push into the digital age, and now they need to find a way to establish themselves as booksellers in this market rather than technology sellers.

It’s at this point that finding some sort of partnership with MS makes a lot of sense. MS is big enough to run with the hardware end, and the software end comes naturally.  Also, B&N can become a bit of  a gateway to content for MS, depending on where B&N wants to take itself I’m a bit under the weather and my head is still pretty cloudy from lack of sleep, sickness, overmedication, and coffee, so it is a bit difficult to get my thoughts organized about this. However, it seems MS wants the next xbox to be even more of a media hub. Part of that is print – books, magazines, whatever. B&N seems to be a natural gateway for that. If they can find a way to scratch eachother’s needs, it could be hugely beneficial to them.

Haruki Murakami translated The Great Gatsby into Japanese, and here is something he wrote about it. I’m a Murakami fan and a Gatsby fan, so this was pretty much up my alley. A good read.

Okay, I don’t have as much to talk about as I thought, so I think I’m ending it here.



Book Links 10-4-12

October 4, 2012

EContent has a good article about YA publishing and its ability to cross barriers to bigger audiences.  I’ve tried, but I just can’t find YA lit overly interesting. I know this is going to sound disparaging, but I’ve tried Hunger Games, I’ve tried Potter, etc. and I just don’t feel engaged by it. Still, if you’re looking for a place to write and make money in, YA definitely seems like the destination to be.
Over at BookRiot there is an article about the Musashino University Library in Tokyo. Not much to say, just a neat library to look at. They need to fill more of those shelves, though!

On a similar note, here’s a collection of home libraries from dornob. I thought my wife and I had a lot of books, but these folks put us to shame. Check it out, be envious.

Microsoft and B&N complete Nook Media. I will admit that I’m not entirely sure where this is going to go, but I find it interesting none the less. while Amazon and Apple have an all-in-one thing going with their own devices and stores, B&N and Microsoft have teamed up to (apparently) provide a similar service. Considering my distaste for Amazon, and my too thin wallet for Apple, I’m probably on MS/B&N’s side here. I prefer the Nook ereaders to the Kindles, and I really like the idea behind the surface tablets (though the possible price tags for the “pro” edition are a bit of a stumble for me).

Book Links 9-7-2012

September 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.