Monday, July 13, 2009

Book News, In Bulk

Redacted. Pulchritude. Chillax. Appalled. These are just a few of the words that England's poets hate.

Here's a pie chart that's sure to make you sick: A dollar-by-dollar breakdown of the average American's spending habits. Of all the expenditures listed, guess where books rate? If you guessed dead-f**king-last, you're not only a foul-mouthed pessimist, you're absolutely right!

A recent poll of middle aged women found that, "more than anything else," they want to read about sex. In related news, I've just begun shopping around my newest novel, Menopausal Menage à Trois. Interested publishers can contact me via the cougars' den of choice, Facebook.

If you ask me, it's not Amazon's Kindle or Sony's e-Reader that's gonna convert the average Harry Potter/Twilight/Eat, Pray, Love reader into a digital book buyer. No, the once-a-year, literary lemming is only gonna go paperless when they feel it's both convenient and cool to forgo their previous purchasing habits in favor of something shiny, sleek, sexy and pocket-sized. This is what Apple's iPod did to make MP3s appealing to the mainstream music listener, and this is what Apple and Amazon (and countless other, smart, tech-savvy sonuvab*tches) are currently trying to figure out how to do with the iPhone apps. (An unsolicited word of advice to my fellow booksellers: Y'all might want to start writing your own romance novels, a.s.a.p.)

We were a li'l late to the Twitter party, so it's our own damned fault we missed its peak. Still, how many cat-related Tweets must one scroll through before finding a choice one-liner or informative link? (My guess: The amount of licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop x pi.) That's why, in an effort to help make your daily (hourly?) (minutely?) Tweet-scroll more productive (well, as productive as a deliberately distracting dalliance like Twitter can be), we're gonna start highlighting one Twitter feed per week, one we guarantee won't bore you. This week's recommendation? Children's Poet Laureate, Mary Ann Hoberman. She's peppy beyond belief, a caffeinated rainbow rhyming everything from her TV viewing habits to her to-do lists. In my head, she sounds like The Wiggles doing Shakespeare, but maybe that's just me.