Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Book News, In Brief

1940's plagiarism of a 1920's book results in 1984 making headlines in 2009. Or: George Orwell pinched the plot of 1984 from an old novel no one's ever heard of. At this point in time, does it even matter?

For the sixth year in a row, Barnes & Noble has been chosen as the #1 bookselling brand in the USA. This is the first year, though, that we were unable to rationalize it by saying, 'Yeah, but these are the same schmucks that voted for Bush.'

Apple promises its new Scrollmotion feature will make buying and reading e-books easier than ever before. But according to the technological watchdogs at, this relative ease comes at a substantially higher price -- higher than even Amazon's controversial Kindle costs.

Every day there are new reports of neighborhood bookstores closing. So many, in fact, that I barely stop to read the articles anymore. But when you see a piece about a bookstore shutting its doors after it's been in business for 113 years, it sorta stops you dead. (Moment of silence.) Now back to our regularly scheduled bullsh*t.

Over 1,000 teachers have signed a petition asking Scholastic to tone down the number of toys offered in its Book Club catalogs in favor, well, books. The teachers say that one third of the items sold in Scholastic's 2008 elementary and middle-school catalogs were either "not books or books packaged with other non-book items." They also requested that Scholastic replace its bestselling '#1 Teacher' coffee mug with the more usable, more realistic, 'Underpaid, Under Funded, Under Appreciated' shot glass set.