Yeah, I’m a day late, and at least a dollar short. I’ll have my ducks back in their row next week. In the meantime, some news about books and ebooks from around the web:
- From GalleyCat: a very interesting item about W.W. Norton offering digital textbooks for sale by the chapter. No more $120 dropped on a book you only read four chapters out of. This is the first simple, obvious, major advantage of students using etextbooks. The drawback of this system as it is: you can only read the books online. There’s a groundswell waiting to happen, but we’ve got a while yet to wait.
- Lots of talk about color displays for ereaders. Here’s an idea from Qualcomm; here’s one from Gamma Dynamics that I don’t understand; and here’s some research from Nature Photonics.
- As Sean mentioned, Amazon has bought Lexcycle, the company that makes Stanza, a free ebook reading app for the iPhone. This cannot be good. Everybody involved claims nothing’s going to change—suffice to say, I don’t believe them. Great analysis of the Lexcycle purchase at Booksquare. Also regarding Amazon: evidently you can put a link to your own product in a review, but you can’t mention that somebody tried to buy a good rating from you. And here’s even more about trouble with Amazon at TeleRead.
- Google’s in trouble again. They’ve negotiated an extension with the insane crazy Authors Guild in order to hammer out the details of their agreement about Google Book Search, which I assume is bad for somebody, somehow or other. And evidently, Google’s also being investigated by the Justice Department for antitrust infractions. Rough week. I know the feeling.
- Quick takes: an article in Salon about how Twitter, Facebook, et al. are destroying our attention spans; a man wrote a novel on an iPAQ smartphone during his commute, and evidently while walking around (his attention span must still be intact—though he’s still behind Japanese women); here’s a piece on ebook design from Men With Pens; here’s an interesting piece from GalleyCat about ebooks and literary conspicuous consumption; and finally, Mark Cuban solves the newspaper problem.
- Random of the week: Your job’s your credit! An oldie but goodie: Eastern Motors commercial featuring a very bouncy Clinton Portis. Here’s a much more painful semi-a capella version starring Alexander Ovechkin. I itch!