12-17-2007 07:49 PM - edited 12-19-2007 12:02 PM
Part of what I try to do each week is to demystify the process of how certain books get attention, get into your hands and then ask you to try to describe the magic that occurs when you find a great book –- and what makes you want to tell someone to Just Read It!
Besides all the books I read for work (as the editorial director of the Literary Ventures Fund) and for pure pleasure (as a civilian) I also read a steady stream of newspapers, magazines, blogs, newsletters and other publishing trade publications. Unless you tell me it bores you to death I will continue to include items from my readings that either provide some happy insight into what’s going on in the world of books or make me want to pull my hair out – or both.
The common thread in my reading about the industry these days: It’s a jungle out there. No big literary blockbusters this year. Oprah and Starbucks move books better than anyone. Disappearing print book reviews. Publishers running around like chickens without heads trying to figure out which format readers want in the increasingly fragmented media environment. Or as John Freeman, president of the National Book Critics Circle, said in the LA Times: “Bookselling is becoming a winner-take-all game, with the lion's share of promotion going to a few bestselling authors, leaving the rest to fend for themselves in an ever-more-crowded publishing environment.” The same article noted that “roughly 200,000 titles were published this year.” So that means that you’ll get to hear about very few of those books. Not good. Do you agree? Disagree?
Speaking of formats, I ask you to consider this item, sent by Harvard Nieman fellow Andrew Quinn. I’m speechless.
“More than half of the top-selling fiction books in Japan for the first half of this year were written on a cell phone. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, mobile phone novels (called keitai shousetsu) have become a publishing phenomenon in the country. One book, Koizora (Love Sky), which is about a high-school girl who is bullied and gang-raped and then becomes pregnant, has sold more than 1.2 million copies since being published. The average sales numbers are around 400,000”
How about that? I’d love to know what you think about this. I don’t mind the front end of this delivery system, but I can tell you this: I won’t be reading books, chapters or even copyright pages on my cell phone anytime soon.
If this topic is way too complex for your brain that has been overloaded via your own effective delivery system with holiday sugar, fats and who knows what else I leave you with a recommendation of music to read by. It’s a Nat King Cole time of year and while these songs aren’t holiday-themed, they are chestnuts nonethess. This is what has been playing in my house: a recently released CD (on the Collector’s Choice label) that pairs two Nat King Cole vinyl albums “Welcome to the Club” and “Tell Me All About Yourself.”
Do you listen to music when you read? Does it have to match the book's theme? Instrumentals only? In the background or via headphones/ear buds?
Happy holidays to all!
Message Edited by ande on 12-19-2007 12:02 PM
12-17-2007 10:08 PM
As a professional violinist with the Boston Symphony, I am hypersensitively aware of any music... my audio-radar goes into high alert whenever and wherever ANY kind of music is played. My attention zeroes in on the music, and all my other senses go into sleep-mode.
So when I read, I prefer no music at all... which is why I envy people who can relax and read in coffeeshops with blaring music ....
"I am a part of everything that I have read."
12-18-2007 09:56 AM
I'll bet as a professional musicians you have vast and wonderful knowledge. Even though you can't listen to music while you're reading, would you consider making some recommendations?
12-24-2007 12:32 AM
12-24-2007 10:41 AM
12-28-2007 12:21 AM - edited 12-28-2007 12:23 AM
I play acoustic guitar (my school has a course for it!) and piano (mostly Evanescence and Nine Inch Nails songs), but nothing professional like some others here. That's impressive, IBIS! I love the violin. A couple of my friends play, and I'd like to learn, but I don't have the money. Kiss Kiss and Final Fantasy are some good artists that use violins in their music. I also love the remix of "Another Version of the Truth" on Nine Inch Nails' recent album Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D that takes an originally slow piano instrumental and turns it into a haunting violin piece.
Message Edited by ashen_rain on 12-28-2007 12:22 AM
Message Edited by ashen_rain on 12-28-2007 12:23 AM
01-05-2008 10:45 PM
01-07-2008 10:02 AM