Saturday, April 24, 2010

why there is currently money in used books

Taking a Second Look at the Nook - PCWorld: "One example of how e-reading could be a lot better: Every major e-reader on every platform remains surprisingly text-centric. Images are an afterthought when they're there at all, which means that a substantial percentage of the world's most interesting dead-tree books can't yet be replicated in electronic form form. The first e-reading software that fixes that is going to have a major competitive advantage for a while."

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bunch Of Phonies Mourn J.D. Salinger | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

The Onion had a nice Salinger send off...

Bunch Of Phonies Mourn J.D. Salinger | The Onion - America's Finest News Source:

January 28, 2010 | Issue 46•04

"CORNISH, NH—In this big dramatic production that didn't do anyone any good (and was pretty embarrassing, really, if you think about it), thousands upon thousands of phonies across the country mourned the death of author J.D. Salinger, who was 91 years old for crying out loud. 'He had a real impact on the literary world and on millions of readers,' said hot-shot English professor David Clarke, who is just like the rest of them, and even works at one of those crumby schools that rich people send their kids to so they don't have to look at them for four years. 'There will never be another voice like his.' Which is exactly the lousy kind of goddamn thing that people say, because really it could mean lots of things, or nothing at all even, and it's just a perfect example of why you should never tell anybody anything."

Friday, January 29, 2010

What's in Salinger's safe? - Yahoo! News

The full Yahoo News story follows, but the thought inspires a story idea...

book collector/ bookseller goes in search of papers, copies of the papers... mysteries ensue... the big score

rights, digital rights, book piracy.

chain of custody

burglary theft

What's in Salinger's safe? - Yahoo! News

NEW YORK – So what about the safe?

By HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer Hillel Italie, Ap National Writer 30 mins ago

The death this week of J.D. Salinger ends one of literature's most mysterious lives and intensifies one of its greatest mysteries: Was the author of "The Catcher in the Rye" keeping a stack of finished, unpublished manuscripts in a safe in his house in Cornish, N.H? Are they masterpieces, curiosities or random scribbles?

And if there are publishable works, will the author's estate release them?

The Salinger camp isn't talking.

No comment, says his literary representative, Phyllis Westberg, of Harold Ober Associates Inc.

No plans for any new Salinger books, reports his publisher, Little, Brown & Co.

Marcia B. Paul, an attorney for Salinger when the author sued last year to stop publication of a "Catcher" sequel, would not get on the phone Thursday.

His son, Matt Salinger, referred questions about the safe to Westberg.

Stories about a possible Salinger trove have been around for a long time. In 1999, New Hampshire neighbor Jerry Burt said the author had told him years earlier that he had written at least 15 unpublished books kept locked in a safe at his home. A year earlier, author and former Salinger girlfriend Joyce Maynard had written that Salinger used to write daily and had at least two novels stored away.

Salinger, who died Wednesday at age 91, began publishing short stories in the 1940s and became a sensation in the 1950s after the release of "Catcher," a novel that helped drive the already wary author into near-total seclusion. His last book, "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour," came out in 1963 and his last published work of any kind, the short story "Hapworth 16, 1924," appeared in The New Yorker in 1965.

Jay McInerney, a young star in the 1980s thanks to the novel "Bright Lights, Big City," is not a fan of Hapworth and skeptical about the contents of the safe.

"I think there's probably a lot in there, but I'm not sure if it's necessarily what we hope it is," McInerney said Thursday. "`Hapworth' was not a traditional or terribly satisfying work of fiction. It was an insane epistolary monologue, virtually shapeless and formless. I have a feeling that his later work is in that vein."

Author-editor Gordon Lish, who in the 1970s wrote an anonymous story that convinced some readers it was a Salinger original, said he was "certain" that good work was locked up in Cornish. Novelist Curtis Sittenfeld, frequently compared to Salinger because of her novel "Prep," was simply enjoying the adventure.

"I can't wait to find out!" she said. "In our age of shameless self-promotion, it's extraordinary, and kind of great, to think of someone really and truly writing for writing's sake."

Some of the great works of literature have been published after the author's death, and even against the author's will, including such Franz Kafka novels as "The Trial" and "The Castle," which Kafka had requested be destroyed.

Because so little is known about what Salinger was doing, it's so easy to guess. McInernay said he has an old girlfriend who met Salinger and was told that the author was mostly writing about health and nutrition. Lish said Salinger told him back in the 1960s that he was still writing about the Glass family, featured in much of Salinger's work.

But the Salinger papers might exist only in our dreams, like the second volume of Nikolai Gogol's "Dead Souls," which the Russian author burned near the end of his life. The Salinger safe also could turn into a version of Henry James' novella "The Aspern Papers," in which the narrator's pursuit of a late poet's letters ends with his being told that they were destroyed.

Margaret Salinger, the author's daughter, wrote in a memoir published in 2000 that J.D. Salinger had a precise filing system for his papers: A red mark meant the book could be released "as is," should the author die. A blue mark meant that the manuscript had to be edited.

"There is a marvelous peace in not publishing," J.D. Salinger told The New York Times in 1974. "Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure."

J. D. Salinger archive -- Contrariwise: Literary Tattoos

J. D. Salinger archive -- Contrariwise: Literary Tattoos

Salinger passed. I wrote this on facebook earlier:

.... I heard it from you first before work. A sad day in the book world - I was the only one in the megabookstore who seemed aware today of his or of Howard Zinn's passing - made it all the sadder, but ironic and fitting at the same time.

"People never notice anything."

I mentioned it to my son when I got home and he asked if it "was a big day of mourning, all sad in the bookstore..."....

"hrmphf. no."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Listverse list of the top 10 American Short Story Writers

10 Greatest American Short Story Writers - Listverse:

"I must confess, as much as I love British writers, the ones that I always come back to are American. America really has dominated modern English literature – not just in the pulp fiction arena but in serious literature as well. From the moment that America found its voice in the world of writing, it has had an incredibly significant presence. This list looks at ten of the masters of the short story genre from the USA.

Chuck Palahniuk
Washington Irving
Isaac Asimov
Ray Bradbury
Stephen King
J.D. Salinger
O. Henry
John Updike
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Edgar Allen Poe"

Some I've read, some not. The piece on Chuck Palahniuk claims the people have fainted upon hearing one of his shorts read aloud! I'll have to pick up "Haunted" soon.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost - Read Print

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost - Read Print: "The Road Not Taken

by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."

Feeling a bit curious about the other road right now, was nice to see this poem today. Did I choose the well worn path?

Saturday, January 9, 2010 - A lot of the people who read a bestselling novel,... - A lot of the people who read a bestselling novel,...: "A lot of the people who read a bestselling novel, for example, do not read much other fiction. By contrast, the audience for an obscure novel is largely composed of people who read a lot. That means the least popular books are judged by people who have the highest standards, while the most popular are judged by people who literally do not know any better. An American who read just one book this year was disproportionately likely to have read ‘The Lost Symbol’, by Dan Brown. He almost certainly liked it.
— The Economist (via mudd up, peterwknox)"