Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Oscar + me = BFF

Here's a great thought about the ways in which we spend our free time:

It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it. — Oscar Wilde

I guess that explains my inner fifteen-year-old girl!

Getting ready to celebrate,

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The continuing relevance of booksellers

Clearly acknowledging that he knows nothing of the longer history of publishing and bookselling, Michael Edwards, CEO of US-based book giant Borders, recently said, "the onus is on booksellers to prove their continued relevance in the digital age. If they continue to innovate in the services and experiences they offer and the ways they engage the community, consumers will continue to make bookstores a vital part of their lives. If they fail to adapt to changing market conditions and consumer needs, they'll deserve the empty aisles -- and cash registers -- that result. The next chapter is up to them."

Ah, that's clear. But what's with the us and them rhetoric? Isn't Borders ... a bookstore?

In the last year there has been a noticeable shift in the book industry's panic. Now, with the rise of e-books and e-readers, it's not the book that's dead; it's the bookstore. Consumers don't want to be troubled with the hassle of shopping among other people when they can buy from the sanctity of their homes, and they don't want to have to wait for a physical book when they have so many other screen-based entertainment options available instantly, on a whim. Doesn't help when leaders of the book industry talk junk in the press, though.

Maybe if we stopped insisting on market dominance and started contemplating market stability, market sustenance, we could put an end to the panic. But that's not the way the invisible hand of the market works, is it?

This business of publishing has endured so much over the centuries, and booksellers have been part of the business for most of that time. What if — shockingly — we tried to work together? This crazy idea worked for centuries; it could work again.

Wednesday thoughts

Ah, Wednesday. The mid-way point in the treadmill of the week. So much better when Wednesday represents Friday, no?

And now to the commonplace book:

The absence of the Witch does not
Invalidate the spell —

— Emily Dickinson


Monday, June 21, 2010

Me 'n' Jesus used to hang

Note to copyeditors: Quotations within quotations or speech are important. Omitting the interior quotation marks can change the meaning of both expressions.

For example, note the significant difference in meaning in these sentences:

Reverend Warren said, "Jesus said I am the resurrection and the life." (wrong, and now Reverend Warren seems like he's boasting)

Reverend Warren said, "Jesus said, 'I am the resurrection and the life.'" (right)

Just something to consider, anonymous-copyeditor-of-book-I-am-currently-reading. Something to consider.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

From the other side

"Oh, with a mind that renders everything sensitive
What chance do I have here?"

— Kate Bush