NBCC Awards & Other Links of This Nature

by Patrick on January 25, 2010

A lot happened over the weekend (and not just to Brett Favre).  Here’s a quick primer to get you caught up so you can get back to that collating you were doing.

  • At The Millions, Max Magee  interviews a “book pirate.” “One thing that will definitely not change anyone’s mind or inspire [pirates] to stop are polemics from people like Mark Helprin and Harlan Ellison – attitudes like that ensure that all of their works are available online all of the time.”
  • This piece by Emily Bazelon at Slate is interesting for a number of reasons.  It’s a parenting article about why she and her husband don’t allow their children to receive birthday presents from their friends and instead set up a book swap in which each child leaves with a book to read.  While I’m all in favor of the book swap idea, what I find interesting about the article lies in this quote:  “Paul quietly explained that this was our family’s way of drawing a line against consumption and excess.”  The idea here is that books are outside the culture of consumption and excess.  While I think I agree with this, I’m not entirely sure it’s true.  Certainly not all books are outside consumer culture, are they?
  • I’m only about partway through this NY Times Magazine article about James Patterson, but I highly recommend it.  It’s a glimpse into the atypical world of an author who breaks many of publishing’s rules (for instance, don’t publish too many books) and sells books at a rate that none can rival.
  • Lastly, why sell the books when you can give them away for free and become a “bestseller?”  This strategy works, of course, when there’s a physical object to sell.  Give away digital downloads to sell physical books.  What if the physical book went away?  What then?  I still don’t see a solution there.