Wednesday August 4th, 2010

In the Ether

englanderJimmy Chen at HTML Giant has been tracking trends in the book cover industry: covers with birds on them; covers that hide people behind white boxes; and meta-covers that feature books and pages. . . . Disappointed in the publicity efforts for her book, Jennifer Belle paid actresses to read it (and laugh) in public. . . . NPR releases its list, as chosen by its audience, of the 100 best thrillers ever written. (No. 1 is best read with a glass of chianti.) . . . Michael Dirda writes about his earliest days writing reviews for the Washington Post Book World. (“Thirty or so years ago, with my usual prescience, I could see that computers were going nowhere.”) . . . John Eklund defends the middle men in the world of books. (“A misconception has been allowed to fester and take root—the idea that the main cost of publishing a book is the printing and delivery of it.”) . . . Seth Colter Walls at Newsweek “almost threw up in disgust” when considering that David Markson’s book collection ended up at the Strand, rather than preserved in one place for further study of his marginalia, etc. And I’ve seen other similar reactions. But I’ve yet to read anyone who has asked what Markson’s intentions were. I assume, having loved the Strand while he was alive, that this was his plan. Just an assumption, though.