Thursday, September 6, 2007

Weekend Links

Google steals from Goodreads, launching a new blog feature wherein users can find, organize, review, and boast about the books that they've read. has the official description, but in short, it's a book nerd's MySpace.

Those of you still emailing newspaper editors, demanding that they reinstate their recently canceled book review sections, might want to head on over to the Columbia Journalism Review. Their cover story this month is 'Goodbye to All That: The decline of the coverage of books isn’t new, benign, or necessary' by Steve Wasserman. It's a thoughtful and surprisingly optimistic piece on that very subject.
Update: Critical Mass just held a brief interview with Wasserman that addresses many of the issues that he raises in his article. To read it, click here.

According to the Associated Press, much of the blame for Wednesday's stock market plummet is being attributed to the the recent publication of the federal government's vaguely titled, Beige Book. So what exactly is this Beige Book, who writes it, how is it written, and why should we as bookstore folk even give a damn?

Stolen whole from the article, Whither the E-Book?:
"The New York Times offers some tantalizing nuggets from the perpetually fledgling e-book market. These includes deets on the expensive ($400 to $500) reader Amazon is set to release next month. Early users of the Kindle say it's quite limited as a Web browser, thanks to a screen that can't display color or animation. And it uses a proprietary format that means early e-book adopters will have to repurchase a lot of content from Amazon. More glad tidings from the money-grubbing frontier: Google allegedly plans to require payment for full access to certain digital texts in its database."