Monday, September 21, 2009

Book News, In Brief

First the bad news. Analysts predict that 400 U.S. bookstores will close this year. That's a 500% increase from 2008, and a helluva lot of semi-social pseudo-intellectuals vying for magazine aisle positions at Wal-Mart.

Now the good news! With the release of Ted Kennedy's autobiography, Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, and Oprah finally announcing her new book club pick, last week was a cash cow for the publishing industry. Hell, even the normally cash-strapped NPR agrees.

Want to milk that cash cow a little longer? The Bookshop Blog has created a list of 10 Books to Give Your Customers After They've Read The Lost Symbol, The Book Launch Cafe has a Fall to Winter Reading List, and has compiled their 2009 list(s) of The Most Sought After Out of Print Books. refuses to spare the rod in their review of Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman's NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, immolating the illusions of play-date parents by informing them that limiting kids to two hours of PBS is b.s., and that 'baby genius' toys may actually make the dumb brats dumber.
(Related: Reading Kafka to your kids, on the other hand...)

Being the cynical sonuvabitch that I am, I'm surprised I didn't see this one coming: Google will partner with On Demand Books to offer the Google digital library for print-on-demand sale via the Espresso Book Machine. This, along with last week's news that the Espresso can also be used for print-on-demand vanity projects, sorta makes the book-birthing monstrosity seem like a sensible, albeit super-expensive, investment.