Whatcha reading?

For the discussion of Movies, Television, Comics, and other existential distractions.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby FrankChurch » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:32 am

I worry more about the small writer who lives in the land of misfit paper hangers. The era of the book is ending.

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Steve Evil
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Steve Evil » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:11 pm

If you insist. But literature will survive.

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FinderDoug
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby FinderDoug » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:20 pm

I worry more about the small writer who lives in the land of misfit paper hangers. The era of the book is ending.


I'd argue that the form of the book is changing. If anything, the writer taking matters into his or her own hands has gained a legitimacy that it never used to have, one which (if it continues to grow) will allow even more writers with something legitimate to say to be discovered. Let's face it: self-publishing always had a stigma on it that graphic artists and musicians never had to overcome in presenting THEIR work on their own. And the big houses helped perpetuate that sense: it wasn't a 'real' book unless a real publisher handled it.

If anything, writers have more power than ever over their work, from writing to final product. But they're also going to have to fill the one gap left in the absence of a big publishing house: they're going to need to do their own promotion. And while being successful in the writing game was always a challenge (and not the way to go if one wanted a life of luxury), the need to do ground-up promotion is a huge demand on the independent writer's time and effort. That said, social media, utilized properly, can go a long way to helping spread the word about new work, appearances, etc.

It's an industry in flux, but in many ways, the tech is really giving that small writer a greater opportunity, if they have the time and patience to go for it.

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Ezra Lb. » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:12 pm

FinderDoug I think you're right. I would only add that the fate of literature rests on the existence of a literate public. If the literate public survives then literature will survive whatever its form. Amazaon has sold dang near two million Kindles. Up until recently all you could do on a Kindle is read. I doubt these folks are using them as door stops.

The mass market paperback's days may be numbered. This will be and is already the age of the specialty house, the limited edition, the niche publisher. The BOOK ain't going nowhere.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

Tony Rabig
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Tony Rabig » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:42 am

Re: King still being around after he's planted. There may be a few years of relative obscurity, but I think he'll be back big-time -- that people will still be reading King a century or more from now. Check the library shelves -- you may not find The Black Arrow, but you always find Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde; you may not find Kipps or The History of Mr. Polly, but you always find The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and The War of the Worlds. If you find only one Dickens title, it's apt to be A Christmas Carol (which is after all a ghost story). The literature of the fantastic has quite a bit of staying power, so I think we'd probably find a number of King's books still being read a century from now. Our host's books too, for that matter.

Re: the physical book: that's going to hang around too. I say that as someone who owns a Kindle and does most of his reading on it at the moment. Most, but not all. And there are a number of books that I wouldn't part with even if they were published digitally (the North Atlantic Theodore Sturgeon set, for instance), though I'd purchase the digital editions too. But the presence of digital editions may make it easier for a writer to keep his backlist available, and may allow publication of titles that print publishers may have viewed as unprofitable. (I seem to recall our host commenting once that TLDV would have to be three volumes, and that no commercial house was going to commit to it -- I don't think I'm the only one here who'd plunk his money down for an ebook of that title even if no print house wanted to do it. Ditto the unpublished novels of Tabitha King that SK referred to in On Writing. Ditto the backlists of people like Don Robertson, Gerald Kersh, Thomas Williams and others.)

And bests to all.
--tr

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FrankChurch
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:42 am

The other trouble is we want to use education as a tool to get kids to work like lab rats in the labor pool, instead of the Deweyite idea that education is about knowledge and finding oneself.

I'm lost, but that's me.

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Ezra Lb. » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:55 pm

Happy Birthday Charles Dickens!

You look pretty good for a two hundred year old. How many contemporary writers will still be read two hundred years from now?

I have this practice that was recommended to me by a teacher years ago. Every year I select an author to read or reread throughout the year in the gaps that normally come about in my regular reading. Aside from guaranteeing I never run out of something to read, it allows me over the space of the year to immerse myself in a single author's work.

This year it will be...you guessed it!

Like most people I got Mr Dickens first and most in school and not much since. So it will be interesting to see what he has to say to a middle-aged reader rather than a young student.

I found a new edition of Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations in a single paperback volume so a good place to begin.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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FrankChurch
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby FrankChurch » Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:48 pm

He probably thinks A Christmas Carol is Christian propaganda. :roll:

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Moderator » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:45 pm

Just started reading John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley.

I've always liked Steinbeck's works -- he is one of my father's favorite writers as well -- but this book had eluded my attention for some reason.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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K. M. Kirby
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Hey, I Just Finished...

Postby K. M. Kirby » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:55 pm

Zone One.

I went into this book with anticipations of great literature but was not disappointed. The story should merit a sequel, with the first chapter's title being something like "Swimming to Roosevelt Island" -- yes it's that good. But, seriously, wow, what did I just read? Just another basic book about zombies, I now fear...
--kk

diane bartels
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby diane bartels » Sun May 20, 2012 2:23 pm

The biography of the 6 daughters of George III. Gee Im glad I live in the days of women's lib. A book about architecture in the Chitown burbs. Two of the Ed McBain mysteries. Thanks David. That is all right now. Doing research on line on statins. Bad drug.

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Steve Evil
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Steve Evil » Mon May 21, 2012 2:55 pm

Recently rediscovered Dickens in a big way, and plowing through A Tale of Two Cities. Last month, I did Hard Times in record time (for me). Don't know what it is, but his prose really resonates right now, and I can't get enough.

And Another Thing by Eoin Colfer, the posthumous Douglas Adams pastiche. Usually I feel the same way about such things as most people here probably do ($£!), but it was on sale, and I rather liked Artemis Fowl, so I figured what the hell?

Too early to make a judgment: feelings are mixed so far. I can already tell Colfer seems more plot oriented. His words come fast and come easy, a lot like Adams, but you can tell it's not Adams. There was only one Adams. . .

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FrankChurch
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby FrankChurch » Mon May 21, 2012 4:34 pm

Chesterton is great as well.

cynic
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby cynic » Mon May 21, 2012 8:52 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Chesterton is great as well.
true; not everything he ever expressed was entirely ridiculous.

" Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up. "

" Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions "

" To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it. "

" Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. "

" The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums. "
follow your bliss,mike

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Ezra Lb. » Thu May 24, 2012 9:05 pm

Which of Chesterton's books do you like Frank?
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter


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