E-book Links, November 1-5: Borrowers and lenders; Stephen King and Kevin Kelly; No no, NaNoWriMo!

  • Steal this book: The loan arranger [Glenn Fleishman, The Economist]: "Amazon.com says soon you will be allowed to lend out electronic books purchased from the Kindle Store. For a whole 14 days. Just once, ever, per title. If the publisher allows it. Not mentioned is the necessity to hop on one foot whilst reciting the Gettysburg Address in a falsetto."
  • Ebook restrictions leave libraries facing virtual lockout [Guardian, The Long Good Read]: "Publishers have now threatened to prevent libraries from accessing ebooks. It’s a move described by one library boss as 'regressive' at a time when they are trying to innovate as they fight for survival. But the Publishers Association (PA) claims that 'untrammelled' remote lending of digital books could pose a 'serious threat' to publishers’ commercial activities. That is why it has just announced a clampdown, informing libraries they may have to stop allowing users to download ebooks remotely and instead require them to come to the library premises, just as they do to get traditional print books – arguably defeating the object of the e-reading concept."
  • The Trouble with E-Readers [David Pogue, Scientific American]: “You won’t be giving a well-worn e-book to your children. But you won’t be giving one to your friend, either; you can’t resell or even give away an e-book. It doesn’t seem right. Why shouldn’t you be able to pass along an e-book just the way you’d pass on a physical one? You paid for it, haven’t you?”
  • Stephen King: Why E-books Aren’t Scary [Jeffrey Trachtenberg, Wall Street Journal]: “Q: How much time do you spend reading digitally? A: It's approaching half of what I read. I recently bought a print edition of Henning Mankell's ‘Faceless Killers’ and the type was too small. A paper book is an object with a nice cover. You can swat flies with it, you can put it on the shelf. Do you remember the days when people got up to manually turn the channels on their TVs? Nobody does that any more, and nobody would want to go back. This is just something that is going to happen.”
  • Tech Book: PW Talks to Kevin Kelly [Publishers Weekly]: "I’m thinking about what remains of a book when you take away paper. I’m pretty sure there’s something there—that the concept of a book exists outside of paper. The issue, though, is not how people are going to enjoy books. The issue is more about business models. For readers, this is the best time in history. There’s never been more selection, more media types, or quality books. There’s never been more backlist books available. This is a high point for readers. For publishers, though, it is a low point, as their businesses are in transition. But I’m very optimistic, because in my research, money follows attention. Wherever attention flows, money follows. So, I have no doubt that if it is screens that are getting attention, money will flow to screens."
  • Better yet, DON’T write that novel [Laura Miller, Salon.com]: Laura shrinks in horror from National Novel Writing Month (“NaNoWriMo”). "Rather than squandering our applause on writers — who, let's face it, will keep on pounding the keyboards whether we support them or not — why not direct more attention, more pep talks, more nonprofit booster groups, more benefit galas and more huzzahs to readers? Why not celebrate them more heartily? They are the bedrock on which any literary culture must be built."
  • A Genre Is Born [Ted Striphas, The Late Age of Print]: "Teen Paranormal Romance" category at B&N elicits end-of-civilization fears. "In fixating on a particular category of books — whatever its merits may be — the critics lose sight of the bigger picture: young people are developing a passion for reading, and of paper books, no less."
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