Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘print vs. paper’

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Books in distress. Holiday shopping to the rescue.

Are publishers just eternal optimists? Continually self-deluded? Or–could print be alive and well after all? Apparently, sales of books—actual books, those things printed on paper, bound with glue, and sold in stores—have been up this holiday season. U. P. UP. Reports the New York Times: Barnes & Noble, the nation’s largest bookstore chain, said that comparable store sales this Thanksgiving weekend increased 10.9 percent from that period last year. The American Booksellers Association, a trade group for independents, said last week that members saw a sales jump of 16 percent in the week including Thanksgiving, compared with the same period […]


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At the end of the bookshelf?

If the e-reader causes the “end of books,” will it also be the end of bookshelves? Maybe not. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on how people use their bookshelves today: Michael Jones also loves books. But his loft condo in Minneapolis doesn’t have space for a traditional library. He still buys books but downloads a lot of his lighter reading material on his Kindle. Recently he added a custom built-in bookshelf to his living room — mainly to display his art collection. “I was running out of wall space,” he said. […] His new built-in bookcase, which spans most of […]


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Doodles of Famous Authors

Perhaps it’s pure nostalgia, but here on the blog we’ve been keeping a running list of things we lose when a book moves from physical object to digital file: the dedications and notes on the flyleaf, the deckle edges, careful typesetting, artistic covers. Here’s something else to add to the loss column: marginal doodles. Flavorwire has compiled a gallery of the idle squiggles of famous writers, offering an amusing and fascinating glimpse into the authors’ minds. For instance, Sylvia Plath depicted a nightmare of being chased by a hot dog and a marshmallow (this just cries out for Freudian interpretation), […]


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Love Letter to the Deckle Edge

If all the recent talk about the iPad and the Amazon/Macmillan ebook pricing catfight has you longing for a simpler time, look no further than this ode to the deckle edge on The Millions: Opening a book can already feel like opening a gift. Armed with a knife and freeing the pages and the story hidden beneath the folds, it becomes something more, “a penetration of its secrets” and an act of discovery, shot through with a suggestion of violence and danger or of the painful gestation of the words themselves. This act of cutting open pages to read a […]



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