Literary News: E-readers, crayons and antique books roadshow

Just some interesting tidbits from all over:

Sony’s new e-reader goes wireless
I still refuse to jump on the e-reader bandwagon, so the most recent news from the Sony camp about their new reader going wireless didn’t exactly get me hot and heavy.  Of course, the Kindle is already wireless (way to keep up Sony) and Sony’s machine will be available for a similar price point, a staggering $399, this Christmas.

I can’t really react to this news because electronic reading devices have so far failed to capture my imagination.  I’m sorry people, but I read for the story and frankly don’t care that my “reading device” is so 17th century.  The book is a technological wonder that has endured for centuries, and so far nothing has supplanted it–not TV, not the Internet, and neither will the Kindle.  Publishing professionals and techie geeks can slobber over their new toy all they want, but I’d rather relax with a $10 used paperback that has character than shell out $400 for an impersonal machine that will most likely be outdated in 2 years.  This is passion on level with my Twilight-hatred people: you won’t make me an e-reader convert.  Don’t even try.

Reading in public is cool again
I wish they had staged one of these read-ins in Cincinnati. A group from San Luis Obispo, a tiny town between San Francisco and LA, decided to take reading to the streets with Reading in Public on Aug. 1.  During the event, volunteers read aloud from whatever they were reading in public places all over the city.  A Flickr account has also collected photographs from people reading in public all over the world, from restaurants in London to parks in Thailand. I champion events such as these, because anything that makes me look less like a freak reading in public is a good thing in my book.

Crayola presents ‘Hungry Caterpillar’ author with honorary crayon
This story just makes me smile: Crayola presented Eric Carle, author and illustrator of the awesome children’s book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, with a five-foot-tall crayon in a color they call ‘Very Hungry Caterpillar Green.’  It was the first time in five years Crayola gave out the award, the last recipiant being Oprah who received ‘The Color Purple.’

Antiques Roadshow for books?
Ok, this is just too exciting. Jacket Copy is reporting that the British Booksellers and Publishers Association is peddling around an idea for a television show similar to PBS’s ‘Antiques Roadshow,’ but with only books.  Do you get that…only books!?  *Shudder* The book nerd in me who loves to camp out in old bookstores nosing through dusty tomes shivers in anticipation of such a show.  Who knows if it’ll actually get off the ground, or be aired in the US for that matter.  But the idea is good enough.

Jacket Copy also raises an important e-book related question, adding to my rant against the Kindle and its ilk:  If a first edition copy of Anne of Green Gables can be worth between $12,000 to $18,000, how much worth does the e-book version have?  For books already in print, this isn’t much of an issue, but for authors who may be published electronically only (and who knows, things may be going in that direction), how will their worth be assessed?  This may seem trivial now, but what happens to the future Oscar Wildes and those writers who not only contribute to the literary canon, but the story of humanity?

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One thought on “Literary News: E-readers, crayons and antique books roadshow

  1. Pingback: Dealing with the iPad, part 2 « Paperback Fool

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