Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Book News, In Brief

It's a scientific fact that even the Religious Right won't refute: Famous people's opinions are more interesting than non-famous people's. That's why has asked a slew of A-list authors -- Chuck Klosterman, Daniel Handler and Michael Pollan, among others -- to list their favorite books of '08. Regular people can pretend to participate in the comments section.

Having just dropped $125 million dollars to keep their Book Search up and running, Google is ready to move on to magazines. Not counting the time that The Walt Disney Corporation bought the rights to The Muppets, this is the first time I've agreed with a publicly traded company about anything. After all, if you've ever worked in a bookstore, you know that this is where the average 'customer' does the bulk of their browsing.

We warned our fellow booksellers about this growing menace, but they wouldn't listen. Via Gary Bacon II had bargain-hunting on the brain when he visited his local Barnes & Noble...but he didn't make any purchases. Instead, the Web designer whipped out his smartphone, snapped a few photos, and headed for the exit. Bacon was using a new feature, released by, that lets users take photos of items they want to buy, store them in an online shopping cart, and purchase them whenever they want -- typically at a discount -- via the online retailer. Our only hope now? Treat these Twitterers like the paparazzi and punch the cell phones out of their hands.