Friday charivaria IV – Press, turning out my pockets etcPosted: March 4, 2011
This has been widely commented on, but worth checking if you havent seen it. Ross Dawson suggests here that Amazon might be giving away Kindles free by the end of 2011. His evidence is based both on the current falling price, but also on an interesting assessment of Amazon’s likely ebook strategy. The embedded link to John Lancaster’s piece for the LRB on the future of the newspaper industry is also worth a read.
This, from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, picks up on the Borders story and posits that gargantuism has hurt the quality of publishing quite as much as it might have hit the independent bookstore. Interesting reading, and rude about James Patterson too, which is always a bonus.
One more on Borders, from PW, with a nice title – fewer superstores doesn’t equal better times for the bookstores that are left behind. Cheer up at the back there.
I am marshalling further thoughts on World Book Day and Night, so more to follow on this topic.
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Sometimes the speed of change is dizzying, and you have to stand back and reflect for a moment.
Back in the day, I used to haul myself around London, area managing record shops. I’ve been thinking idly about all the stuff I needed to do that job; how much of it is obsolete now and (to ensure this isn’t just an easy nostalgia trip for the day before yesterday) pondering where the next changes will come.
Pads of paper, reams of company memos and instructions, camera, spare film, diary, address book, shopping lists, calculator, postage stamps, trade magazine, newspaper, phone card, A-Z, dictaphone, Walkman. Later, a laptop and charger.
THEN & NOW:
Cash, credit cards, business cards, pens, keys – all eminently replaceable, though I suspect the physical business card will be with us for a while. I’ll hold on to my handkerchief until sneezing is digitised.
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I am reading: The News From Where You Are – Catherine O’Flynn (Penguin). I love her close observation of minutiae, and her understanding that most people are neither overwhelmingly good or bad. Plus, she worked in a record shop, so that’s a big plus.
I am listening to: Five seconds of every US number one single since 1956. It’s addictive. The 500 madeleines of this Marcel Proust.
I am watching: South Riding. Sure, it’s a Sunday night drama, lurching from one crisis to another, but the acting of David Morrisey and Anna Maxwell Martin is exceptional. And I’m looking forward to reading the book.