I Name the Next “Silver Linings Playbook” Follow-Up


It’s easy for people to mock the stock-formula book title schemes of writers like “The Bourne Identity” author Robert Ludlum (his Wikipedia page says “The (Proper Noun) (Noun)”) or “The Firm” author John Grisham (in a story by BJ Novak, he’s enraged when his publisher releases his latest novel as “The Thing” – a placeholder title he gives all his novels and forgot to replace as a formality when he turned it in). Continue reading


eBooks are Overrated

In response to Jake’s piece on eBooks, I’m taking the opposite stance.

I bought a Kindle with the intention of loving it and using it every day. I was excited to be able to use one hand to do both the holding of the device and the turning of pages so I could read easily while using the other hand to hold a pole in a subway car, and being able to download new books from anywhere that has a wireless internet connection.

But for the most part, my Kindle sits neglected, ever so slowly losing charge under a pile of magazines in a basket in my bedroom. I still use it occasionally, but not for the vast majority of book reading I do. Why? A lot of reasons, I guess. Continue reading

e-Books Smell Like the Future, That’s What


I have big news that you were all wrong about.

Economic research says printed books and e-books have reached an equilibrium now, with neither one spelling the doom of the other. This makes sense, and I’ve been urging people to shut their traps about the danger of e-books for a while now. Fuddy-duddies obsessed with the “feel” of a book aside (feeling other human beings’ myriad parts is very important, but a book is just pulp and glue), there were real businesses at stake. Barnes & Noble’s “Nook” division is going under, killed by the Kindle and its ilk, but B&N as a whole is doing okay.

This is good because bookstores are nice places to go and I like going to them. However, I worked as an office temp for Barnes & Noble’s “Nook” Digital Content Division when I lived in New York City, and I’ve owned plenty of Nooks, and you’re all wrong about e-books. Continue reading