I can’t seem to get inspired to write reviews of the books I have finished so let me throw a few links your way.
– The New York Daily News reports that Three big publishers have concluded that size matters:
They plan to introduce and promote a new paperback format – a slightly taller size, with larger type on better paper – to provide aging baby-boomers with an easier read.
In wooing these squint-prone readers, the publishers also hope to recover ground lost in recent years as sales of traditional, pocket-size paperbacks have dropped sharply.
I have read aloud to thrillingly packed houses and to sad little groups of three. “Why don’t we all move in closer!” I once cried to that threesome in my most welcoming, desperate voice, trying to turn an awkward moment into one of “intimacy.” I’ve also attended many readings myself in New York in bookstores and backroom bars and lecture halls. But what I don’t really understand – what nobody ever explains – is exactly what you’re supposed to get out of a reading.
In reality, they are oddball events. Adults, who are perfectly capable of reading to themselves, go out of their way to sit in a room and have someone read to them. It’s pretty rare, elsewhere in life, to be read to after you reach double digits. Maybe we still long to be children, curled up while our mother or father reads to us from “The Phantom Tollbooth.” Perhaps our reflexive desire to attend readings harks back to the sentimental idea of those irretrievable days.
– Also in the NYT is a story about Steve Stern an apparently great writer who nobody has heard about (except the NYT, Harold Bloom, etc.). Oddly enough after all the hoopla of the article, Stern seems rather content:
Nineteen years later, Mr. Stern said he would love to have a best seller. But having had the good fortune to find his life’s work in Memphis many years ago, he doesn’t really want to press his luck. “I just want to get away with it,” he said. “I just want to get my next book published, and my next.”
– Last but not least, National Review Online runs an excerpt from what looks to be an interesting book: Smut: A Sex-Industry Insider (and Concerned Father) Says Enough is Enough