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books

…we face a revolution in reading not unlike the one Gutenberg introduced almost 700 years ago. Nowadays authors are coached on “building your brand” more than on improving their writing. Publishers care more about website stats and Twitter followers than the quality of an author’s work. Farewell to the Golden Age

Bookstores almost always fail not because of e-books, but because of rent increases. This is true of a lot of interesting, marginal businesses, especially in cities with housing bubbles (and Victoria is not cheap.) Prices go out of line with income, rents follow, and interesting stores which need low rent die. So you wind up with a whole bunch of chain stores or boutiques operations selling overpriced goods and services who can make the rent. Why Bookstores live or die

I memorised Tennyson, and read Homer in prose and Dante in verse; I shed half my childhood tears at The Mill on the Floss. I slept with Sherlock Holmes beside my pillow, and lay behind the sofa reading Roget. It was as though publication a century before made a book suitable – never was I told I ought not to read this or that until I was older. To my teacher’s horror my father gave me Tess of the D’Urbervilles when I was still at primary school, and I was simply left to wander from Thornfield to Agincourt to the tent of sulking Achilles, making my own way. Reading lessons of a religious upbringing without modern books (via ayjay)

But I have now reached capacity, and rather than just buy more bookshelves, I decided that it was time to cull the library. I expected this to be a painful process, but a simple rule made it easier: if the likelihood that I’ll read the book again is near zero, then out it goes. Culling My Library

…I believe the serious novel will continue to be written and read, but it will be an art form on a par with easel painting or classical music: confined to a defined social and demographic group, requiring a degree of subsidy, a subject for historical scholarship rather than public discourse. The current resistance of a lot of the literate public to difficulty in the form is only a subconscious response to having a moribund message pushed at them. The novel is dead (this time it’s for real)

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