Flash Fiction: a complete story
in one thousand or fewer words.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Worst Library Books Blog

The Awful Library Books blog is not about ripping authors' writing; it is about the books that should have been retired long ago, because they're out of date. They tend to be non-fiction books that are a bit long in the tooth. Recent examples on the blog include a career guide to getting a phonograph record company job--you know--pressing the hot wax. There are probably three, maybe four jobs on the planet doing that. The blog gives brief descriptions of the books and some nice retro book cover and sample page images. Another example is a twirling book. I think girls still twirl batons, but the illustrations are pleasingly retro. Of course, there are the computer books showing explicit photos of--you might want sit down--a floppy diskette.

A writer at Detroit Free Press, Korie Wilkins, points out that there's a serious side to this blog, that's received a lot of world-wide attention and submissions. According to the bloggists:

"Libraries are losing funds and staff. This is also a way for us to advocate for libraries and librarians."

In other words, library patrons become disenchanted when they have to slog through twenty now-pointless books before finding a useful one (if any).

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Children's Books that Influenced Authors

Publishers Weekly has excerpts from a book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children's Book, that answers the question asked of various public figures: what children's book changed the way you see the world? PW excerpted the comments from public figures associated with the creation of books for young people, including Maurice Sendak and Beverly Cleary.

Maurice Sendak says:

Crockett Johnson's Harold and the Purple Crayon is just immense fun. Harold does exactly as he pleases. There are no adults to demonstrate or remonstrate. The book comes out of a particular theory of children's books: Just let the kid do his own thing; let him have fun....

The children's book publishing figures excerpted include: Peter Sís, Leonard Marcus, Maurice Sendak, Beverly Cleary, Wendell Minor, David Macaulay, Thacher Hurd, Eric Rohmann, Marc Brown, and Eden Ross Lipson.

Labels: , ,

Friday, July 17, 2009

Why Book Publishing Must Die

Here is an opinion piece by Richard Nash, former publisher at Soft Skull Press, why traditional book publishing will and should die.

"The book business is a tiny industry perched atop a massive hobby. But rather than celebrate and serve the hobbyists, we expect them to shell out ever more money for the books we keep throwing at them...."

Mr. Nash does not offer new, concrete ideas for a new business model for book publishing to connect readers to writers, but gives a concise description of the angst of the industry.

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Zombies Are Back, At a Neighborhood Bookstore Near You

Zombies are back. Pocket Books has made a seven-book deal with horror publisher Permuted Press for zombie titles, according to Publishers Weekly.

If you can't get enough zombies, here is a list of about eight-dozen zombie novels, with links at the end for games, movies, non-fiction and other essential zombie lore.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Publishers' Fears of Book Piracy

The book publishing industry is worried that the chaos of the music industry is upon them. Scribd is a web site that--like all tools--can be used for good and evil. It is quite handy for distributing documents widely that you want distributed. The article mentions that the Obama campaign used it for campaign purposes. However, some are using it to upload current copyrighted literary works:

A search of Scribd by The Times yesterday found copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Ken Follett’s most recent novel World without End among many bestselling titles, raising fears that the piracy affecting the music industry may have spread to books.

Those are probably gone by now. One problem is that the site owners leave it to the publishers to scour the web site to identify their abused works. If informed, the Scribd staff will remove the material. That is quite a burden, it seems, considering that ten more such sites could pop up at any time.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Leading Children's Book in 2009, S. Meyers' Deep Run

The bestselling children's book of 2009, so far, is Stephanie Meyer's Deep Run (even though she can't write).

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Most Interesting and Best Bookshops and Libraries

The ShelfTalker bloggist from PW had this article about the most interesting bookshops and libraries in the world. Here, interesting refers to the architectural, aesthetic or curiousness of the buildings. The photography is quite good. Take a look.

Out of curiosity, I looked for an article about the best bookshops in the world and found this Guardian UK assessment. There is quite a bit of overlap between the lists.

Labels: ,

Monday, March 2, 2009

Abandoned Book Warehouse Mayhem In Bristol

The treasure hunters stand knee-deep in Danielle Steels, Len Deightons and Jeffrey Archers, hoping to find more exotic literary fare.
The scene is Brislington, Bristol, England. The event: clearing out an abandoned warehouse of books. The warehouse owner invited the public to help themselves when the book stock owners did not remove the books. See the Mail Online article for photographs of the mayhem. The warehouse was an Amazon.com supplier.

Labels: , ,

Monday, February 23, 2009

Listen to the Doctorow: Internet's Transformation of Popular Media

Cory Doctorow is a Sci-Fi writer and uber-Internet citizen, as editor of BoingBoing, the number one blog on the Internet according to Technorati's top 100. Here is his take on how the Internet will affect various media, including newspapers (in big trouble), big-budget movies, music and books. Regarding newspapers, he says:
The imminent collapse of the American newspaper industry has spawned entire gazeteers' worth of high-minded handwringing about the social value of newspapers and the social harm that their disappearance will unleash. It's probably all true. I love the smudgy old devils, from the headlines to the funny pages....
Regarding books:

...First, the quantity and variety of titles carried outside of bookstores has radically declined, thanks to the rise of national big-box chain stores, who do all ordering from a centralized database....

The other problem is that we're increasingly conditioned to read short blocks of text...in radically different form than you generally find between covers. Combine this with the sheer amount of read-for-pleasure text available at one-click's distance on the Net, and even those of us who worship books find ourselves reading fewer of them....

Labels: , , , , , ,

Copyright (c) 2007 Flash Fiction Online
and the authors of the individual stories and articles.
All Rights Reserved.
Email the Webmaster with questions or comments about this site.
For other contact information visit our contact page.