Stupid Lit Tricks

Clearly the book world is in trouble.  Why else would publishers, electronic and otherwise, feel the need to resort to idiotic stunts like firing guns into books? (almost worth it for the headline: “See Jonathan Franzen Get Shot”, which must have garnered about a quarter of a million hits.  Or release a significant anniversary issue as a box-shaped head that contains, among other things, Michael Chabon’s supposedly wrecked novel?

While there is no way you are going to make it out the other side of 2011 without having read something on a tablet pc or e-reader, the fact remains that packaging matters–and by packaging, I include metaphorical packaging like “buzz”, which as far as I can tell is to today what “the ether” was to yesteryear.

-Ed Scripsi

Published in: on January 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Actually, I plan to end this year without having bought a tablet, and also to continue to buy my own books that I will then read and proudly display in their mis-matched glory.

    The quote about building making coffee table legs out of books, to display the tablet, cracked me up. Fin de siecle, anyone?

  2. I got an iPad by accident over the holidays (longish story) and I’m loving it. I resisted e-reading for years and there’s nothing quite like a physical book, but the readability and easy of carrying a whole library in your hand is hard to beat.

  3. Right on, Troy. When you get mad at a physical book because it lacks a “search” feature, your conversion will be complete.

  4. Kudos to you… I really don’t see what’s all that different about the tablets they’re now pushing. Doesn’t everybody and their brother already own a smart phone and or a laptop? The paperback: now there’s portable technology at its finest.

  5. Old timey books have search features called “indexes”, powered by brains, which is pretty high tech and/or freaky.

  6. While some (but by no means all) old timey non-fiction books have indices, old timey works of fiction typically do not.

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