The Future of the Book

August 15, 2011

The E-Reader of Sand: The Kindle and the Inner Conflict Between Consumer and Booklover 60


It occurred to me that Borges would have been thrilled and horrified in equal measure by the Kindle. In fact, in a weird way, he sort of invented it.

June 21, 2011

Cleaning Out the Virtual Attic: On The Road, the Book App 3


In April 1951, when Jack Kerouac fed the first pieces of what would become a 120-foot scroll of paper into his Underwood portable to write the first draft of his novel, On the Road, he was, in one sense, blowing up the typewriter to make his own primitive homemade word processor. Sixty years later, Kerouac’s publisher is, in its own quiet way, blowing up the book to make – what, exactly?

May 31, 2011

Kindle-Proof Your Book in Seven Easy Steps! 28


For the Luddite writer who wants to put her royalties where her mouth is, I offer the choicest trade secrets…plus a Top 10 list of eBook-resistant texts.

May 26, 2011

Publish or Perish: The Short Story 28


I find that when someone asserts that a thing (the story), or an idea (God), is not dead, they usually mean that a nostalgic version of the thing has lapsed and not been replaced by something comparably satisfying.

April 4, 2011

Double Fold, Double Jeopardy 20


A decade after Nicholson Baker’s provocative book, are American libraries still trashing perfectly collectible books?

March 14, 2011

The Chameleon Machine 8


Digital readers and paper books have little in common. But both objects have considerable merit, and this is why I think we should combine the two.

December 24, 2010

A Special Note for All You New Kindle (And Other Ereader) Owners 7


For all those readers unwrapping shiny new devices, here are some links to get you going.

October 29, 2010

Report from the Future of Reading: The Books in Browsers Conference 8


It’s only through seizing the social reading moment, so to speak, that the publishers can hope to wrestle some measure of control back from the tech companies that have come to dominate their industry.

October 22, 2010

The Paper-Reader’s Dilemma 19


You love your books, with their meaning and their warmth, but you’re not some weepy sap.

September 27, 2010

Comparing Apples to BMWs: What Does it Mean to be a “Best Bookstore” Anyway? 8


Flavorwire’s list of the Top Ten Bookstores in the US was not supposed to piss me off, but that’s exactly what it did. It was supposed to be the sort of article you read and then forget about. Instead, I found myself dwelling on the thing and, well, getting pissed off.