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Friday Charivaria II: Book trade health debate, Russians etc

Books and eReaders, part 94 already

Another Friday, another digest.

The level of global debate on the direction of the book trade, and the impact of digitisation, seems to be unfolding by the hour, not merely the day.  So, for your weekend reading, I’ve attached a few links, as follows:

First up, a long piece from USA Today, which kicks off in an upstate New York family bookstore, and then rolls out across the nation to consider the future of physical bookselling:

http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2011-02-10-1Abookstores10_CV_N.htm

Next, Book Marketing Ltd has released a rather startling piece of research which indicates that there might now be 3.5 million Kindle owners in the UK.  This sounds a little excessive – but here’s the story in the Bookseller:

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/e-reader-market-doubles-over-christmas-uk.html#comment-form

At this point, the medication starts to kick in, and McSweeney’s boldly predicts a robust future for the physical book market:

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/2011/2/7publishing.html

Some of the stats in that piece are a little… old.  Jane Friedman dissects them here:

http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/2011/02/08/TheMisleadingResearchByMcSweeneys.aspx

One more:

http://wewhoareabouttodie.com/2011/02/08/is-the-future-of-physical-book-publishing-the-same-as-the-future-of-reading-and-writing/#more-12720

I’m devouring this stuff for a presentation I have to make on Monday – all hard facts gratefully accepted at this address (see contact details by clicking on About in the top right corner of this page).

Anyway, I alluded earlier this week to the iRex Iliad, the first eReader to be sold in the UK.  Remarkably, I have unearthed film of its very first appearance in London.  You can see it in the clip below – the Iliad comes into view just after 3:50.

The Russians are coming

Coming to the London Book Fair in April, that is, as this year’s Market Focus (http://www.londonbookfair.co.uk/page.cfm/link=156).  Parties are touring the established, well-known stores, but I’ve been asked to recommend other shops to visit.  Picking out LRB and Daunt was easy, and I’ve also pointed them in the direction of Under the Greenwood Tree, the great new children’s book/toy shop on Clapham Common.

Your suggestions would be appreciated.  Only rule is that they need to be easily reached by tube or (at a pinch) a suburban train.  Look forward to hearing from you.

Enjoy your weekend.

I am reading: Short Stories – F Scott Fitzgerald (Penguin)

I am listening to: Brahms Deutsches Requiem – John Eliot Gardner (Philips)

I am watching: Some great little book programmes on BBC Four.  The interviews with Woolf, Huxley, Greene, Waugh etc that went out in the middle of the night on Monday were particularly good.  Apparently the BBC wiped every last minute of any programming featuring George Orwell…

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