Some news about books and ebooks from around the web:
- What’s the purpose of libraries in the 21st century? Salon says the new main branch of the Cambridge Public Library (just blocks from C4 HQ) isn’t practical. The Guardian says libraries still matter in a digital age, and so does an Australian librarian (via). And Ars Technica reveals how libraries help America’s poor. We already know Macmillan hates libraries. I don’t enjoy this line of discussion.
- What’s the last great book you read? John Crace in the Guardian discusses how difficult it is to find a great a novel these days, because there are far too many books and publishers will tell you each and every one of them is mind-blowingly fantastic. I couldn’t agree more. Crace recommends genre fiction; meanwhile, on the Guardian’s books blog, a post about how shorter can be better for fiction. And then, crime novelist Ian Rankin discusses/defends crime fiction (via). I’m inclined to agree with all this, the only problem is that I’ve been reading all the Edgar award nominees—supposedly the best of the year in a genre that’s right up my alley—and not a single one of them has been great. It’s a nice theory, though.
- Piracy is still a hot topic, though now people are complaining that “piracy” is such a sexy word it makes people want to pirate. The ethicist at the NYT says you can steal a copy of an ebook you previously bought—counterpoint. Despite the ethicist, IsoHunt will essentially be shut down has essentially been shut down. Finally, Big Content wants the U.S.’s new intellectual property enforcer to eliminate peer-to-peer file-sharing. Good luck with that.
- Here is an article from the NYT about literature and cognitive science. Basically, it’s about how empathy relates to reading fiction, and how readers process interrelated or overlapping points of view. Or “what the scholars call levels of intentionality.” Read it.
Obligatory iPad and Amazon news—and lots of other stuff—after the break. …
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