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February Book News

March 8, 2011

Welcome to the second Monthly Book News roundup! I’ve decided to make this a regular feature to help keep track of news and developments in the book word, both serious and quirky. This month’s is a little late, but better late than never, right?

* “Big literary brains” weigh in on e-books in Newsweek. Dave Eggers has an interesting thought on the necessity of improving the physical characteristics of the book to distinguish between e-books and books people want to keep and display–

    We just try to make every aspect of the physical book as good as it can possibly be, because that’s our greatest hedge against the dominance of e-books.

    –while James H. Billington from the Library of Congress raises important questions about how e-reading is potentially changing the nature of reading and our cognitive processes:

    How you read is not as important as: will you read? And will you read something that’s a book—the sustained train of thought of one person speaking to another? Search techniques are embedded in e-books that invite people to dabble rather than follow a full train of thought.

    * Speaking of e-books, e-book sales and popularity rise among young adult readers.

    * And speaking of young adults, Bitch magazine posts and then revises its 100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader, sparking heated and incredibly interesting debates across list-serves and the internet on what makes a book feminist, what constitutes censorship, what we mean when we call a book “triggering,” reviewers’ responsibility to readers, and the importance and power of book lists.

    * Borders files for bankruptcy.

    * “Grande dame of children’s publishing” Margaret K. McElderry dies. I’ve been reading a lot about her and the fascinating world of American children’s publishing in the early 20th century in Leonard Marcus’ Minders of Make Believe, and hopefully I’ll find a few minutes soon to share my thoughts.

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