Sunday, December 28, 2008

Reading Rat December 2008

Also of interest:

(on Google Books)
By now the company has digitized at least seven million titles. Many are old enough to be in the public domain — no issue there — and many are new enough to be available in bookstores, but the vast majority, four million to five million, are books that had fallen into a kind of limbo: protected by copyright but out of print. Their publishers had given up on them. They existed at libraries and used booksellers but otherwise had left the playing field. --James Gleick

(on internet used book sellers)
Because of the sophistication of the software, automated pricing doesn’t necessarily lead to a race to the bottom. Still, many popular books can be found on Amazon for a penny ... The trick, according to a recent article in the trade magazine Fine Books & Collections, lies in the shipping allowance ($3.99 at Amazon), which lets an exceptionally efficient seller squeeze about 75 cents out of a transaction. --Mick Sussman

(by Kenneth Rexroth)
Both sides isolate the problem and treat the police as though they were members of a self-contained society — separate from the rest of us, like monks, professional soldiers, or the inmates of prisons and state hospitals. The problem is the functioning of the police as part of society, not as apart from it. Essential to any understanding is the definition of the roles that the police perform in the society in fact and the different roles which they are supposed to perform in theory, their own theories and those of their critics. --"The Heat"

(on reading online)
We must recognize that screen scanning is but one kind of reading, a lesser one, and that it conspires against certain intellectual habits requisite to liberal-arts learning. The inclination to read a huge Victorian novel, the capacity to untangle a metaphor in a line of verse, the desire to study and emulate a distant historical figure, the urge to ponder a concept such as Heidegger's ontic-ontological difference over and over and around and around until it breaks through as a transformative insight — those dispositions melt away with every 100 hours of browsing, blogging, IMing, Twittering, and Facebooking. --Mark Bauerlein
(via Arts & Letters Daily)

(on the book business)
Fifteen years ago, Philip Roth guessed there were at most 120,000 serious American readers—those who read every night—and that the number was dropping by half every decade. --Boris Kachka
(via Arts & Letters Daily)

1 comment:

  1. Nice! I stole three for next week's Spanning.