29 de agosto de 2011

The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger - Stephen King

2003 (Data original de publicação: 1982)

Autor: Stephen King
Editora: New English Library
Páginas: 238
ISBN: 978-0-340-82975-2

Escrita ao longo de mais de 30 anos e quase interrompida pelo grave acidente que King sofreu em 1999, a saga The Dark Tower, ao contrário de outros livros mais conhecidos do autor, é uma obra de difícil categorização, apresentando elementos característicos de géneros como a ficção científica, o horror, o fantástico e o western. Apesar de se tratar de uma definição redutora, The Gunslinger apresenta-se, essencialmente, como um misto dos dois últimos; um primeiro passo naquele que é talvez o projecto mais ambicioso na carreira de Stephen King.
  "The desert was the apotheosis of all deserts, huge, standing to the sky for what looked like eternity in all directions. It was white and blinding and waterless and without feature save for the faint, cloudy haze of the mountains which sketched themselves on the horizon and the devil-grass which brought sweet dreams, nightmares, death. An occasional tombstone sign pointed the way, for once the drifted track that cut its way through the thick crust of alkali had been a highway. Coaches and buckas had followed it. The world had moved on since then. The world had emptied."
Neste primeiro volume aguarda-nos um cenário apocalíptico, onde se vislumbram ainda alguns resquícios do mundo tal como o conhecemos, muito embora não passem de ecos distantes, relíquias do passado.
Sobre o solo estéril do deserto caminha Roland Deschain, último sobrevivente de uma linhagem de pistoleiros, perseguindo um misterioso homem de negro, elusiva figura que Roland considera ser uma peça fulcral na sua busca pela Torre.
  ‘Why am I here?’ Jake asked. ‘Why did I forget everything from before?’
‘Because the man in black has drawn you here,’ the gunslinger said. ‘And because of the Tower. The Tower stands at a kind of… power-nexus. In time.’
‘I don’t understand that!’
‘Nor do I,’ the gunslinger said. ‘But something has been happening. Just in my own time. “The world as moved on,” we’ve always said. But it’s moving on faster now. Something has happened to time. It’s softening.’
O mundo de Roland entrou numa espiral de decadência que afecta até as próprias leis da física. Convicto de que a única forma de compreender e reverter a enigmática degradação reside na Torre, Roland está disposto a enfrentar quaisquer dificuldades para a alcançar, confiando para tal nos seus instintos e na sua proficiência com as armas. De resto, a descrição da agilidade do pistoleiro é captivante, demonstrando ao mesmo tempo o forte controlo que Roland exerce sobre as suas emoções. E, apesar das incógnitas contidas em The Gunslinger, o livro acaba por se focar neste homem capaz de prosseguir perante as adversidades, inabalável nas suas convicções; uma personagem forte e carismática à altura do desafiante caminho que aguarda todos os que procuram a Torre.
  "The guns were empty and they boiled at him, transmogrified into an Eye and a Hand, and he stood, screaming and reloading, his mind far away and absent, letting his hands do their reloading trick. Could he hold up a hand, tell them he had spent a thousand years learning this trick and others, tell them of the guns and the blood that had blessed them? Not with his mouth. But his hands could speak their own tale."
Em The Gunslinger, King consegue introduzir eficazmente o complexo universo que criou, sem submergir o leitor numa quantidade de informação que lhe é dispensável. A fusão das evidentes (e assumidas) influências e a inteligente gestão de elementos de diferentes géneros revelam uma nova face do autor que, com o estilo que lhe é característico, concede a este trabalho uma personalidade própria e incita o leitor a embarcar na aventura de Roland Deschain, entrando numa realidade que se poderá revelar assustadoramente familiar.
 “There was a time, yet a hundred generations before the world moved on, when mankind had achieved enough technical and scientific prowess to chip a few splinters from the great stone pillar of reality.
(…) But this wealth of information produced little or no insight. There were no great odes written to the wonders of artificial insemination – having babies from frozen mansperm – or to the cars that ran on power from the sun. Few if any seemed to have grasped the truest principle of reality: new knowledge leads always to yet more awesome mysteries.”

28 de agosto de 2011

Leituras Digitais (14 a 20 de Agosto)

Rubrica semanal de notícias e artigos relacionados com a edição de livros digitais.

  At the Edinburgh international book festival this weekend, Ewan Morrison set out his bleak vision of a publishing industry in terminal decline.
  There are 170 countries to which Kindle devices are officially shipped. International Kindle users want primarily books in their own language. In many cases, except countries speaking the 6 supported languages, they can’t find them in Kindle Store. This can lead to piracy. The ebooks sold by national ebookstores could be converted to mobi and DRMs removed. Some users would do it individually but many such files can be probably found at piracy sites.
  Dedicated e-readers as well as multifunctional devices continued to gain in popularity this spring as the favored way to read e-books, while computers continued to lose ground. That was one of the findings of the newest edition of the Book Industry Study Group's "Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading." As the use of computers for reading e-books declined and the use of dedicated devices rose between May 2010 and May 2011, the two formats stood neck-and-neck as the most popular way to read e-books this spring. Multifunctional devices, meanwhile, were used by more than 10% of e-book readers this May for the first time.
  Panchanathan added: “Software will get you 90 percent of the way, but the rest needs to be controlled manually. To ensure top quality you need quality control editors to look at every line and every page…the challenge is when you are converting a large number of books and you’re not willing to spend the hours of quality control.”
 Christèle Blay of Jouve, a French content management company that makes e-book conversions primarily for US and UK publishers, concurred, noting that the number of errors often depends on the condition, state and accuracy of the original material (true, it must be noted that many print books also contain errors). Blay underscored the fact that many backlist, out-of-print and out-of-copyright titles are simply being converted with the objective of making the books available once again, albeit in a digital format.
  EBooks are here to stay. Figures from the USA suggest eBook sales now account for over 13% of the adult fiction market in the US, with the UK widely held to be less than two years behind. Recent eBook sales figures from Penguin UK, who have an accelerated eBook program both here and in the US seem to testify to this. A growing market of digital readers should then be seen as an overall opportunity, rather than a threat to traditional publishing. After all, Kindle owners, having made the initial conversion, buy more books, even if this is skewed in favour of free and cheaply priced books. The challenge for publishers is to make sure they are invited to the party.
  The launch of the Pottermore website in October has been greeted as a “game changer” by the children’s publishing industry, with virtual worlds and social networking seen as a natural part of future brand development.
Mike Richards, head of marketing at Egmont Press, said: “What is significant is that virtual worlds have a proven business model unlike other areas of digital development.” He described the move as a “game changer” for children’s publishing, and added that the costs of creating a virtual world are no longer prohibitive.
  As e-book sales have skyrocketed in the past several years, publishers have searched for ways to improve on the digital editions of their books. In 2010 enhanced e-books with video and audio were all the rage — Simon & Schuster, for instance, found some success with an edition of its best seller “Nixonland,” with 27 videos scattered throughout the text — but sales for many enhanced e-books were dismal, and the books were often expensive to produce.
Tara Weikum, an editorial director for HarperCollins Children’s Books, said she believed “The Power of Six” could work with a soundtrack because the book is “cinematic in scope.”
  Today Amazon has launched its Kindle Daily Deal, which will put one e-book title on sale each day at midnight PST and will run for 24 hours. Kindle users can check out daily picks by visiting the Kindle Daily Deal webpage and the Kindle Daily Post or visiting the Kindle Twitter and Facebook accounts (the Facebook post announcing the Kindle Daily Deal garnered 299 likes and 61 responses within two hours).
The Kindle Daily Deal dedicated webpage is a no-frills affair. Visitors are met with a brief description of the book and the slashed price of the day (including savings percentage). Underneath the description box is a countdown clock reminiscent of Groupon and Living Social’s time-sensitive fares.
  Building a truly global e-book conversion and distribution platform takes vision. MintRight CEO Stanislav Mamonov explains how he did it, why Europeans are reluctant to go digital, and why Brazil is the next big thing.
  Penguin Young Readers associate publicity director Elyse Marshall said the house will release about one enhanced e-book a month though November with multiple releases planned after that date. Initial releases beginning in August will be offered at the introductory price of $4.99 for a limited time. All releases will feature dedicated Web sites, interactive games, read-along functionality, animation and many other in-app activities for the young reader.
  The convenience of e-readers is handy, but libraries are treasure troves. I have so many friends and acquaintances who have shifted the bulk of their book buying to e-readers that I am starting to think about more than the usual anxiety about the future of publishing and bookselling. Book fanatics will always be here, and our libraries will survive. But I am starting to wonder whether the casual personal library is in danger.
  Limits on sharing and borrowing are limiting widespread e-book adoption. Remove those barriers, new research says, and the e-book market will expand even faster than it already has.
  Richard Nash, former head of Soft Skull Press, insists that book publishing needs to return to the simple task of connecting readers and writers. He has created a social-networking platform called Cursor, which allows writers to form literary communities and post their manuscripts for members to read and react to. Nash also helms Red Lemonade, Cursor’s first imprint, which publishes work selected from its site. Matt Runkle spoke to Nash recently about publishing as manufacturing, the closing of Borders, and the tribalism of literary communities.
New York Times E-Book Best Sellers

  These lists are an expanded version of those appearing in the September 4, 2011 print edition of the Book Review, reflecting sales for the week ending August 20, 2011.

E-Book Fiction

1.                      THE HELP, by Kathryn Stockett
2.                      SECOND SON, by Lee Child
3.                      ONE DAY, by David Nicholls
4.                      NOW YOU SEE HER, by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
5.                      UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY, by J. A. Jance

E-Book Nonfiction

1.                      HEAVEN IS FOR REAL, by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
2.                      A STOLEN LIFE, by Jaycee Dugard
3.                      UNBROKEN, by Laura Hillenbrand
4.                      IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS, by Erik Larson
5.                      BOSSYPANTS, by Tina Fey


E-ink screen on a Freescale development board

eBook Design: visão geral

26 de agosto de 2011

Cursos Online de Literatura

Tal como o título permite antever, neste post tenho como objectivo reunir material relacionado com literatura, disponibilizado gratuitamente por diversas universidades de renome.
A grande maioria do conteúdo aqui divulgado inclui gravações vídeo e/ou aúdio de aulas, sendo este organizado por universidade, especificando o docente responsável e apresentando os links para o respectivo website e lista de reprodução no Youtube (se aplicável).
  • The American Novel Since 1945
Docente: Amy Hungerford, Yale University
In "The American Novel Since 1945" students will study a wide range of works from 1945 to the present. The course traces the formal and thematic developments of the novel in this period, focusing on the relationship between writers and readers, the conditions of publishing, innovations in the novel's form, fiction's engagement with history, and the changing place of literature in American culture. The reading list includes works by Richard Wright, Flannery O'Connor, Vladimir Nabokov, Jack Kerouac, J. D. Salinger, Thomas Pynchon, John Barth, Maxine Hong Kingston, Toni Morrison, Marilynne Robinson, Cormac McCarthy, Philip Roth and Edward P. Jones. The course concludes with a contemporary novel chosen by the students in the class.
  • Introduction to Theory of Literature
Docente: Paul H. Fry, Yale University
This is a survey of the main trends in twentieth-century literary theory. Lectures will provide background for the readings and explicate them where appropriate, while attempting to develop a coherent overall context that incorporates philosophical and social perspectives on the recurrent questions: what is literature, how is it produced, how can it be understood, and what is its purpose?
  • Modern Poetry
Docente: Langdon Hammer, Yale University
This course covers the body of modern poetry, its characteristic techniques, concerns, and major practitioners. The authors discussed range from Yeats, Eliot, and Pound, to Stevens, Moore, Bishop, and Frost with additional lectures on the poetry of World War One, Imagism, and the Harlem Renaissance. Diverse methods of literary criticism are employed, such as historical, biographical, and gender criticism.
  • Milton
Docente: John Rogers, Yale University
This class is a study of Milton's poetry, with attention paid to his literary sources, his contemporaries, his controversial prose, and his decisive influence on the course of English poetry. Throughout the course, Professor Rogers explores the advantages and limitations of a diverse range of interpretive techniques and theoretical concerns in Milton scholarship and criticism. Lectures include close readings of lyric and epic poetry, prose, and letters; biographical inquiries; examinations of historical and political contexts; and engagement with critical debates.
  • Cervantes' Don Quixote
Docente: Roberto González Echevarría, Yale University
The course facilitates a close reading of Don Quixote in the artistic and historical context of renaissance and baroque Spain. Students are also expected to read four of Cervantes' Exemplary Stories, Cervantes' Don Quixote: A Casebook, and J.H. Elliott's Imperial Spain. Cervantes' work will be discussed in relation to paintings by Velázquez. The question of why Don Quixote is read today will be addressed throughout the course. Students are expected to know the book, the background readings and the materials covered in the lectures and class discussions.
  • Dante in Translation
Docente: Giuseppe Mazzotta, Yale University
The course is an introduction to Dante and his cultural milieu through a critical reading of the Divine Comedy and selected minor works (Vita nuova, Convivio, De vulgari eloquentia, Epistle to Cangrande). An analysis of Dante's autobiography, the Vita nuova, establishes the poetic and political circumstances of the Comedy's composition. Readings of Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise seek to situate Dante's work within the intellectual and social context of the late Middle Ages, with special attention paid to political, philosophical and theological concerns. Topics in the Divine Comedy explored over the course of the semester include the relationship between ethics and aesthetics; love and knowledge; and exile and history.
  • Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner
Docente: Wai Chee Dimock, Yale University
Website - Youtube
  This course examines major works by Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner, exploring their interconnections on three analytic scales: the macro history of the United States and the world; the formal and stylistic innovations of modernism; and the small details of sensory input and psychic life.
  • Introduction to World Literature
Docente: David Damrosch, Harvard University
Our own time and place is a world shaped by all that has come before, not just the physical world we inherit, but the world of our own imagining. The stories of previous ages and different places are part of our heritage; perhaps, given our species' propensity for storytelling, they are part of our DNA (figuratively speaking).
This multimedia series, Invitation to World Literature, offers you a passport to this rich heritage via thirteen works from a range of eras, places, cultures, languages, and traditions. These are books that we hope spark your interest, or satisfy long-standing curiosity about things you wished you had read, or introduce works that are new to you, opening up a world of connections and experiences.
  • Homeric Odyssey and the Cultivation of Justice
Docente: Gregory Nagy, Harvard University
The series consists of four units, and features reading of the Homeric Odyssey (in the beautiful English translation of Samuel Butler), lectures by the professor and teaching fellows [through RealVideo], other video materials and dialogues, and questions to consider as you read.Previous experience with ancient Greek Literature is emphatically not required, and new-comers to Homer are heartily encouraged to explore this site! There are no prerequisites for this series, and all materials are available in English over the internet. To repeat, knowledge of Greek is not required.
  • Shakespeare After All: The Later Plays
Docentes: Marjorie Garber e William R. Kenan, Harvard University
This course focuses on Shakespeare’s later plays beginning with Measure for Measure and ending with The Tempest. Building on the discussions of individual plays in Marjorie Garber’s book Shakespeare After All, this course takes note of key themes, issues, and interpretations of the plays, focusing on questions of genre, gender, politics, family relations, silence and speech, and cultural power from both above and below (royalty, nobility, and the court; clowns and fools).
  • Tolkien at Oxford
Docentes: Elizabeth Solopova e Stuart Lee, Oxford University
Podcasts that explore the relationship between J.R.R. Tolkien and Oxford University, where he both studied and worked.
  • American Literature I
Docente: Cyrus Patell, New York University
This course is a survey of American literature and literary history, from the early colonial period to the eve of the Civil War. Our goal will be to acquire a grasp of the canon of American literature as it is typically conceived and the various logics behind its construction.
  • Holocaust in Film and Literature
Docente: Todd Presner, University of California, Los Angeles
Holocaust in Film and Literature is a course that provides insight into the History of Holocaust and its present memory through examination of challenges and problems encountered in trying to imagine its horror through media of literature and film.
  • The Contemporary Novel: Magical Realism
Docente: Lois Zamora, University of Houston
This course will focus on recent novels that have been described by the term "magical realism." Magical realism engages the usual devises of narrative realism, but with a difference: the supernatural is an ordinary matter, an everyday occurrence, accepted and integrated into the rationality and materiality of literary realism.
  • Nobel Prize Winners in Literature
Docente: Irving Rothman, University of Houston
Examination of selected works by winners of the Nobel Prize in literature in prose, poetry, and drama, focusing on literary techniques and the cultural background and significance of the work.
  • Masterpieces of British Literature to the Eighteenth Century
Docente: John McNamara, University of Houston
Works by major British authors representative of medieval, Renaissance, and neoclassical periods.

24 de agosto de 2011

Charles Darwin's Library

Centenas de obras pertencentes à biblioteca pessoal de Charles Darwin, incluindo as suas anotações, encontram-se disponíveis em formato digital neste website, proporcionando uma oportunidade única para seguir os passos do autor de “A Origem das Espécies”.

Homenagem a Jorge Luis Borges no Google

O Google homenageia hoje Jorge Luís Borges, data em que o escritor argentino faria 112 anos. Uma justa homenagem que espero que possa contribuir para o reconhecimento de um dos mais influentes autores do século XX.

21 de agosto de 2011

Vencedores dos Hugo Awards 2011

Os vencedores dos Hugo Awards 2011, recentemente anunciados na World Science Fiction Convention:
Best Fan Artist
  • Winner: Brad W. Foster
  • Randall Munroe
  • Maurine Starkey
  • Steve Stiles
  • Taral Wayne
Best Fanzine
  • Winner: The Drink Tank, edited by Christopher J. Garcia and James Bacon
  • Banana Wings, edited by Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer
  • Challenger, edited by Guy H. Lillian III
  • File 770, edited by Mike Glyer
  • StarShipSofa, edited by Tony C. Smith
Best Fan Writer
  • Winner: Claire Brialey
  • James Bacon
  • Christopher J. Garcia
  • James Nicoll
  • Steven H. Silver
Best Semiprozine
  • Winner: Clarkesworld, edited by Neil Clarke, Cheryl Morgan, Sean Wallace; podcast directed by Kate Baker
  • Interzone, edited by Andy Cox
  • Lightspeed, edited by John Joseph Adams
  • Locus, edited by Liza Groen Trombi and Kirsten Gong-Wong
  • Weird Tales, edited by Ann VanderMeer and Stephen H. Segal
Best Professional Artist
  • Winner: Shaun Tan
  • Daniel Dos Santos
  • Bob Eggleton
  • Stephan Martiniere
  • John Picacio
Best Editor, Short Form
  • Winner: Sheila Williams
  • John Joseph Adams
  • Stanley Schmidt
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Gordon Van Gelder
Best Editor, Long Form
  • Winner: Lou Anders
  • Ginjer Buchanan
  • Moshe Feder
  • Liz Gorinsky
  • Nick Mamatas
  • Beth Meacham
  • Juliet Ulman
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
  • Winner: Doctor Who: “The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang,” written by Steven Moffat; directed by Toby Haynes (BBC Wales)
  • Doctor Who: “A Christmas Carol,” written by Steven Moffat; directed by Toby Haynes (BBC Wales)
  • Doctor Who: “Vincent and the Doctor,” written by Richard Curtis; directed by Jonny Campbell (BBC Wales)
  • Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury, written by Rachel Bloom; directed by Paul Briganti
  • The Lost Thing, written by Shaun Tan; directed by Andrew Ruhemann and Shaun Tan (Passion Pictures)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
  • Winner: Inception, written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Warner)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, screenplay by Steve Kloves; directed by David Yates (Warner)
  • How to Train Your Dragon, screenplay by William Davies, Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders; directed by Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders (DreamWorks)
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, screenplay by Michael Bacall & Edgar Wright; directed by Edgar Wright (Universal)
  • Toy Story 3, screenplay by Michael Arndt; story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich; directed by Lee Unkrich (Pixar/Disney)
Best Graphic Story
  • Winner: Girl Genius, Volume 10: Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse, written by Phil and Kaja Foglio; art by Phil Foglio; colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
  • Fables: Witches, written by Bill Willingham; illustrated by Mark Buckingham (Vertigo)
  • Grandville Mon Amour, by Bryan Talbot (Dark Horse)
  • Schlock Mercenary: Massively Parallel, written and illustrated by Howard Tayler; colors by Howard Tayler and Travis Walton (Hypernode)
  • The Unwritten, Volume 2: Inside Man, written by Mike Carey; illustrated by Peter Gross (Vertigo)
Best Related Book
  • Winner: Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It, edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea (Mad Norwegian)
  • Bearings: Reviews 1997-2001, by Gary K. Wolfe (Beccon)
  • The Business of Science Fiction: Two Insiders Discuss Writing and Publishing, by Mike Resnick and Barry N. Malzberg (McFarland)
  • Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century, Volume 1: (1907–1948): Learning Curve, by William H. Patterson, Jr. (Tor)
  • Writing Excuses, Season 4, by Brandon Sanderson, Jordan Sanderson, Howard Tayler, Dan Wells
Best Short Story
  • Winner: “For Want of a Nail” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s, September 2010)
  • “Amaryllis” by Carrie Vaughn (Lightspeed, June 2010)
  • “Ponies” by Kij Johnson (Tor.com, November 17, 2010)
  • “The Things” by Peter Watts (Clarkesworld, January 2010)
Best Novelette
  • Winner: “The Emperor of Mars” by Allen M. Steele (Asimov’s, June 2010)
  • “Eight Miles” by Sean McMullen (Analog, September 2010)
  • “The Jaguar House, in Shadow” by Aliette de Bodard (Asimov’s, July 2010)
  • “Plus or Minus” by James Patrick Kelly (Asimov’s, December 2010)
  • “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” by Eric James Stone(Analog, September 2010)
Best Novella
  • Winner: “The Lifecycle of Software Objects” by Ted Chiang (Subterranean)
  • “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window” by Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Magazine, Summer 2010)
  • “The Maiden Flight of McCauley’s Bellerophon” by Elizabeth Hand(Stories: All New Tales, William Morrow)
  • “The Sultan of the Clouds” by Geoffrey A. Landis (Asimov’s,September 2010)
  • “Troika” by Alastair Reynolds (Godlike Machines, Science Fiction Book Club)
Best Novel
  • Winner: Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Ballantine Spectra)
  • Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
  • The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz; Pyr)
  • Feed by Mira Grant (Orbit)
  • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)

Leituras Digitais (14 a 20 de Agosto)

Rubrica semanal de notícias e artigos relacionados com a edição de livros digitais.

  Certainly, electronic books have overcome their technological obstacles. Page turns are fast enough, battery life is long enough, and screens are legible in sunlight. Digital sales now account for 14% of Penguin's business. But there are reasons to reject the idea that the extinction of the printed book is just around the corner, just as there were reasons to reject the notion that e-books would never catch on because you couldn't read them in the bath and, y'know, books are such lovely objects.
  What will the digital world look like in ten years?  The trends are already clear.
  Capacities in bandwidth and storage will continue on their exponential path.  The explosion in the volume of information and number of devices will persist.  Our data will be linked and most likely be processed in qubits rather than bits.
  However, trends tell us very little.  It’s discontinuities that drive history.  Everything seems fine and then boom!  E-commerce comes along, then search engines, social media, smart phones and on and on.  Much like the flood that set Noah on his journey, such events, although driven by trends, take us in completely new directions and create new orders.
  New tools have been released as part of the Europeana Project that will help you calculate when a copyright will expire. The tools are free to use and they cover 30 countries (the 27 members of the European Union plus Switzerland, Iceland & Norway) and can be found at http://www.outofcopyright.eu.
  My point is that I, like a lot of other people, enjoy books as objects. Despite the difficulties that can arise from their accumulation, I like that they occupy physical as well as mental space. In fact, I quietly entertained the futile hope that the whole idea of e-books and e-readers would prove to be a transitory fad, that everyone would just somehow forget that books were cumbersome and comparatively expensive to produce and not especially good for the environment and that they could very easily be replaced by small clusters of electronic data that could be beamed across the world in seconds without ever taking up any actual space. I did not want what happened to CDs to happen to books. But then I took this small, smoothly utilitarian rectangle of grey plastic out of its box and fired it up. Within minutes, I was beginning to understand its crazy potential. In no time at all, I had downloaded a small library of free, out-of copyright classics. There is, obviously, something to be said for being able to walk around with the complete works of Tolstoy on your person at all times without fear of collapsed vertebrae or public ridicule. There is also, just as obviously, something to be said for having immediate access to a vast, intangible warehouse of books from which you can choose, on a whim, to purchase anything and begin reading it straight away. It occurred to me that Borges would have been thrilled and horrified in equal measure by the Kindle. In fact, in a weird way, he sort of invented it (in the same way that Leonardo “invented” the helicopter and various other gadgets).
  LiquidText founder and CEO Craig Tashman (@CraigTashman) says his annotation and document manipulation software began as an academic project, but commercial applications quickly became clear as students participating in the research started asking for copies. The software allows users to annotate, highlight and manipulate PDF content with multitouch gestures. It may be the next major step toward making etextbooks more practical for students — and it's another nail in the coffin for the "death of marginalia" debate.
  Amazon.com has made the first "major" acquisition for its New York-based publishing imprint, snapping up rights in bestselling self-help author Timothy Ferriss's new book The 4-Hour Chef.
The online retailer has moved aggressively into publishing over the last year, with imprints covering everything from romance to literature in translation and mysteries and thrillers. Earlier this summer it hired publishing bigwig Larry Kirshbaum, former chief executive of the Time Warner Book Group, to head up its New York imprint, and it is Kirshbaum who has spearheaded the world rights deal for Ferriss's work.
  Canadian novelist Kate Pullinger has said the power of Amazon, Apple and Google has put publishers in a "difficult situation".
  Speaking as part of BBC Radio 4's "The World at One" "Future of the Book" series, Pullinger said she did feel optimistic about the future of publishing. However, she added: "I think the big publishers have got themselves into a difficult situation with the stranglehold that Amazon, Apple and Google have on bookselling currently, but I think there are other ways. Just as long as the internet remains a kind of open territory there will always be other economic markets [and] business models for people to exploit; there are myriad of ways for readers to find writers and writers to find readers."
  Once upon a time, hardcover books were the only way that book lovers could read new titles. This allowed publishers to charge a premium for a product — a big, shiny hardback book — that actually isn’t much more expensive to produce than a paperback. Today, most publishers release the ebook edition of a new title at the same time as a hardback. Ebooks are a cheaper, more portable, quicker way for fans to get hold of their favourite author’s latest work so it’s absolutely unremarkable that hardcore book buyers are migrating to that format. Sure enough, hardback sales have dipped in the past 12 months but, in the same period, ebook sales have soared. In terms of both unit sales (up 4.1% from 2008) and revenue (up 5.6% from 2008), American publishers experienced a bumper year last year.
  Europe has lagged behind the U.S. in widespread adoption of e-books, but a new report suggests that they are finally taking off. The e-book market in Western Europe grew by 400 percent in 2010, a new report finds. By 2015, e-books should make up 15 percent of total book sales in the region. (By contrast, in the U.S., they were already at 6.4 percent in 2010.)
Futuresource Consulting, a UK-based consulting firm, published the research on e-books and e-readers. “Despite all this rapid growth in demand for e-books in Western Europe, the market is still in its infancy, representing less than 1 percent of total consumer spending on books,” Futuresource market analyst Fiona Hoy said. “Moving forward, there are enormous opportunities within the market and our forecasts show Western European e-book revenues will reach €1.6 billion by 2015, accounting for 15% of total book spend and representing one out of every five books sold in the region.”
  As publishers are looking for new opportunities and areas of growth, US publishers are urged to take an interest in the rest of the world.
 Alana cash, a successful filmmaker has written a long article for (http://www.insearchofdesign.com/) in which she describes the considerable problems she has experienced as she attempted to get her book TOM’S WIFE published as an ebook, and she has agreed to let me share some of her experiences with you guys, in a spirit of “I fell into the holes in the road, here are some warning signposts to help you avoid doing the same”.
  When she decided to publish her ebook herself, she had a look at the various online outfits who offer what is called Publish on Demand (POD), such as Smashwords, Lightening and CreateSpace (the last being the outfit who distribute her films for her) and that is when her problems began.
New York Times E-Book Best Sellers

  These lists are an expanded version of those appearing in the August 28, 2011 print edition of the Book Review, reflecting sales for the week ending August 13, 2011.

E-Book Fiction

1.                      NOW YOU SEE HER, by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
2.                      THE HELP, by Kathryn Stockett
3.                      THE BLACK ECHO, by Michael Connelly
4.                      THE SILENT GIRL, by Tess Gerritsen
5.                      SMOKIN' SEVENTEEN, by Janet Evanovich

E-Book Nonfiction

1.                      HEAVEN IS FOR REAL, by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
2.                      IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS, by Erik Larson
3.                      BOSSYPANTS, by Tina Fey
4.                      UNBROKEN, by Laura Hillenbrand
5.                      SEAL TEAM SIX, by Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin
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