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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Police Almost Had Stolen Munches Norwegian police were only a few steps away from two two stolen Edvard Munch paintings last year, but didn't know it. "A month after the thieves struck, police were following a suspect, 30-year-old Stian Skjold, when he met another man at a gas station and the two drove to a farmhouse outside Oslo. Police didn't know at the time that the paintings were hidden in an abandoned bus on the farm." Toronto Star 02/15/06

Self-Publishing Goes Mainstream "The technology to self-publish, using print-on-demand facilities, has been around for years but is now getting cheaper and easier with the publisher doing everything from the ISBN number to placing your tome on Amazon. Judging by the number of self-publishing websites, it may not be long before we reach the tipping point of mass adoption." The Guardian (UK) 02/16/06

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Bookstores Have An Off Year In '05 According to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, bookstore sales declined 1.8% last year, to $15.92 billion. Publishers Weekly 02/15/06

Warning: Talking To This Author Can Be Hazardous To Your Reputation When author John Berendt laid the city of Savannah, Georgia bare in his bestselling book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, many of the town's residents were aghast at what they saw as an invasion of civic privacy and a betrayal of their good will. Now, months after Berendt's latest tome (an examination of the burning of Venice's La Fenice opera house,) the complaints are starting up all over again - this time, in Italian. The New York Times 02/15/06

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Paperbacks For The Price Of Postage It's a swapping scheme, whereby you list books to share, and in return choose books to read. "At PaperBackSwap.com, members list at least nine paperbacks, earning three credits. Credits allow them to search available titles and choose up to three. Senders pay the postage. They receive one credit for each book they mail, enabling them to order other titles. The website formats a mailing wrapper. The sender then prints out the wrapper, adds stamps, and mails the book." Christian Science Monitor 02/15/06

Book Review Overload There are so many book reviews available now, they've lost their impact on much of the public. "This is why recommendation from a friend is an increasingly powerful factor in book purchases. It is why reading groups are growing in size and stature. And it is why the recommendations of an unlikely pair such as Richard and Judy can carry such weight. They are all examples of recommendations by people who readers have a relationship with and trust." theBookseller.com 02/10/06

Monday, February 13, 2006

Cure For The Phony Writer Is there a cure for the fraud and misrepresentation by prominent authors? Bob Hoover suggests that it's too much of a focus on the writers' backstories. "The more outrageous the incidents, the darker the personal descent, the more heroic the climb to redemption combined with the acting talent to perform in front of a camera -- that's what makes 'a writer!' It doesn't, of course. I suggest, for a change, that we try getting back to the books themselves and appreciate again the pure experience of reading." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 02/12/06

Lee To Head Booker Jury Hermione Lee has been named to head this year's Booker Prize jury. "Lee was the first woman to occupy the posts of Goldsmiths' Professor of English Literature at Oxford and Professorial Fellow of New College Oxford. Before taking up the posts she taught for 20 years at the University of York." BBC 02/13/06

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Scots Switching From Romance To Crime Crime novels are gaining in popularity in Scottish libraries as romance novels wane. "Total loans for the year were 341 million, or more than five books for every man, woman and child. This year sees crime fiction stealing a march on romance. Maybe this is an indication that national tastes are becoming increasingly macabre." The Scotsman 02/12/06

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