Readersforum's Blog

October 2, 2011

The Kindle Question

    By Elizabeth Bluemle

With Wednesday’s announcement of Amazon’s reply to the iPad, the new Kindle Fire e-reader, my Facebook feed filled up with people’s excitement about the new device. Many of these folks were authors whose books we adore and support and sell in our store, and I realized that even they—people immersed in the industry, whose livelihoods depend on book sales—aren’t aware that almost all other e-readers, including Barnes & Noble’s Nook, DO allow freedom of vendor choice. Many folks just don’t know that they can get an e-reader that isn’t locked to a single supplier. Booksellers, we’ve got to do a better job of getting the word out.

I posted the following update to my personal Facebook page and the Flying Pig’s:

“Before you succumb to the Kindle Fire or other Kindles, please consider that Amazon cuts all other vendors out of the picture, including the indie booksellers who are trying to support your books. Other e-readers allow books to be purchased from a variety of sources, and with agency pricing across so many publishers, the cost is often the same.”

I was glad I did, because there were some questions right away:

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September 6, 2011

Let’s Make 2012 the Year of the Picture Book

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , — Bookblurb @ 6:20 am

By Josie Leavitt

Okay, I love picture books and I want them to be revered, but love is not necessarily enough for country-wide celebration. A year-and-a-half ago, Marie C. McHugh went to a NECBA meeting and had a great idea: The Year of the Picture Book. Why? because picture books seem to be continually under assault by mainstream articles that decry the death of the picture book. Kids don’t need them, they’re going to be replaced by new technology, etc. There is a place for picture books in the lives of all readers and the Year of the Picture Book was a great way to celebrate that.

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August 18, 2011

Better Book Titles: Rename Your Favorite Classics

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , , , — Bookblurb @ 8:25 am

By Elizabeth Bluemle

You know how sometimes, you’ll have a funny thought about a book, summarizing its literary or popular appeal or its overarching message in a single witty phrase? No? Well, Dan Wilbur, a stand-up comic and writer, is brilliant at this. His blog, Better Book Titles, is, as he describes it, “for people who do not have thousands of hours to read book reviews or blurbs or first sentences. I will cut through all the cryptic crap, and give you the meat of the story in one condensed image. Now you can read the greatest literary works of all time in mere seconds!” I’ve been meaning to share this great blog with you all, because at its funniest, it is laugh-out-loud, wickedly clever.

What Wilbur does is Photoshop real book jackets, replacing each title with a sly, humorously revised title that does one of several amusing things: more


August 6, 2011

Tomie dePaola: Wilder Award Winner and Grand Poobah of Brunch

By Elizabeth Bluemle

It was everything you’d hope for from the home of an artist like Tomie dePaola: a bright, clean, beautiful, whimsical space, chock-full of colorful artwork and icons and tchotchke. A home populated with meaningful items yet somehow uncluttered, utterly restful to the eye. The group of bookish folks who had gathered there for brunch took in the artful home and the magnificent lawn and landscaping, and murmured to one another, “I think we’re living wrong.” We threatened to set up permanent camp—and that was even before we’d tasted the scrumptious brunch.

We were in New Hampshire to celebrate the latest feather in the talented Tomie’s multiply bedecked cap: the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, which, in the words of the sponsoring American Library Association, “honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.” Only 18 children’s book authors and illustrators have won this prestigious lifetime achievement medal since its inception in 1954.

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March 23, 2011

The Bricks-and-Mortar Bookstore: Last Bastion of Privacy?

Filed under: Bookshops — Tags: , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 4:16 pm

Image by B. Tal

By Elizabeth Bluemle

I have a friend — let’s call her “me” — who recently became interested in an unconventional topic. (Lest your curiosity lead you in bizarre directions, let me assure you that no weapons dealing or illegal activity of any kind were involved.) In researching books I might want to read, I quickly realized how little privacy is left to the modern-day consumer.

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March 15, 2011

The Romance of a Real Book

Elizabeth Bluemle

There’s a scene in Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters where Michael Caine’s character initiates flirtation (okay, yes, with his sister-in-law; not the point here) with a book of poetry. It’s an intimate gift, it’s a risk, it’s personal. It’s romantic. He urges her to read the poem on page 112, e.e. cummings’ poem with the famous lines, “nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands.” It moves her and seduces her.

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March 1, 2011

So You Want to Publish a Book

Filed under: Media — Tags: , , — Bookblurb @ 7:35 pm

Josie Leavitt

I received an email the other day from an earnest author wanting me to look at her manuscript for possible publication. This post is a letter for all of you out there who want to be writers. Please follow these few steps and you’ll find your relationship with your local bookstore much more productive.

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January 15, 2011

ALA Youth Media Awards: Which Publishers Are Celebrating?

Filed under: Lists — Tags: , , , , — Bookblurb @ 7:27 am

Elizabeth Bluemle

Every year, I’m interested in how the big children’s book awards sort out by publisher, but I usually don’t do the breakdown. This blog gives me a great excuse to do that, and I’m hoping some of you share my curiosity.

It was terrific—and rare—to see the two oldest awards, Newbery and Caldecott, to be swept by debut books!…read more

January 12, 2011

And the Phone Calls Begin

Filed under: Literary Prizes — Tags: , , , , — Bookblurb @ 1:50 pm

I love the Monday in January when the ALA announces the winners of the Youth Media Awards. From about 11 a.m. on yesterday, our phone rang off the hook with collectors searching for first editions of the winners. I was at work and sadly, unable to keep up with the announcements as I got boxed out of the ALA’s live web stream. I resorted to Twitter and then finally, Elizabeth texted me the winners.

As fast as I could write the winning books down, people started calling me demanding answers…read more

January 5, 2011

Re-Reading Is Fun.

Filed under: Media — Tags: , , — Bookblurb @ 10:06 am

Josie Leavitt

While Elizabeth and I take a week off from blogging during our usual store vacation post-New Year’s, we wanted to point readers in the direction of four of our favorite blog posts that still merit comment. So, read and enjoy.

In looking back over the past year of blogging, some stand out to me… more

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