Good Ideas

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1. Now this is a good idea. I've said this before and I'll keep saying it: readers are ready for e-books, but we don't want to buy puffed-up $400 Kindles or $300 Sony Readers. We want to read e-books on the devices that are already in our pockets: iPhones, Blackberrys, high-end full-screen cell phones. This is the way e-books will succeed in the marketplace.

2. Here's an even better idea: a truce between Israel and Hamas. Many of my friends don't support this, saying that a truce can't possibly last. I say if it lasts one week with no rockets and no tanks, then that's one week with no rockets and no tanks. I'm pretty sure both sides will remain highly vigilant, so I think critics of this difficult truce are mistaking hope (and common sense) for weakness.

3. A sunset on Mars.

4. Caryn and I were at this very wet R.E.M. concert at Jones Beach, Long Island Saturday night. The funny thing you won't read in any of these articles, though, is that before all the thunder and lightning the opening act The National stole the show. R.E.M. did a fun and crazy set too, though. I liked it near the end when, mindful of the fact that everybody involved in this concert was risking their life and needed to eventually get home, they said "okay, pretend we just left for the encore and came back".

5. Sara Nelson of Publisher's Weekly taking a wider view of the industry:

it does seem that we're at a crossroads, reaching critical mass, name your cliche here. Something, in other words, is going on in the book business, and while the overall mood of its practitioners must be described as nervous, there also may be some -- dare I say it? -- hopefulness underneath. Is it just me, or is the hunger for change we see growing in the political world actually trickling down to l'il ol' publishing?

6. New York has a new literary-minded travel bookstore, excellently named Idlewild.

7. Artist (and Jack Kerouac's good friend) Stanley Twardowicz died on June 12 in Huntington, Long Island. A couple of years ago I got the chance to play in a Jack Kerouac tribute softball game with Stanley Twardowicz (on Kerouac's own favorite baseball field in Northport, Long Island). I remember him as a quiet and sturdy guy, proud to represent the memory of Jack.
11 Responses to "Good Ideas"

by TKG on

Beautiful photograph.

So taken for granted and unappreciated as well.

Remember the Whole Earth.

A photo of the whole earth was supposed to bring everyone together. A world truce would happen based on a shared understanding of the whole system we are all a part of.Then there was such a photo. Many of them.

Worked out just like that, didn't it?

Beautiful sunset. Amazing picture.

Paul McCartney is well over 64 years of age, 1984 was a quarter century ago, it is well past 2001.

What happened?

Shouldn't we be on Mars ourselves looking at the sunset in person?

In stead we are talking about making truces with mad bombers who make women wear bags over their heads.

Stand in the place where you are think about direction wonder why you haven't before.

by jennifer on

1. Oh, I hope not! I'm technologically challenged.
In fact, I predict that eventually there will be some movement started that is against all of this high techi nonstuff!

Earth, Air, Fire, Water!!

by TKG on

Hi Jennifer, I'm generally not technologically challenged.

But I don't have much enthusiasm for that either.

by Levi Asher on

Okay, that's two votes against! I still say a convergence strategy for e-books is better than a standalone device strategy.

I don't want to read a novel on my chintzy little Verizon LG phone -- but there's a big difference between a little cell phone and, say, an iPhone. If I had an iPhone, I think I'd be happy to read novels on it. Why not?

My daughter watches episodes of "Scrubs" on her tiny little video iPod. If we don't need a dedicated device to watch TV shows, why do we need a dedicated device to read books?

by jennifer cuddy on

Earth, Air, Fire, Water!

Long live alchemy!
Earth, Air, Fire, Water!
The ancient ones intuited molecules before they could see them . . .

by TKG on

Hi Levi,

I need to clarify. I am actually 100% in agreement with you on this:

"I've said this before and I'll keep saying it: readers are ready for e-books, but we don't want to buy puffed-up $400 Kindles or $300 Sony Readers. We want to read e-books on the devices that are already in our pockets: iPhones, Blackberrys, high-end full-screen cell phones."

My comment was that I still don't have much enthusiasm for e-books no matter what the specific vehicle is. I don't see an advantage for me over hard copy. Yet.

Half the time I can't see my cell phone screen because of bright light.

I like to read hard copy and write on it. I can fold it up and put it in my pocket.


I don't know, I kind of want a Kindle. After the price drops. I've learned from my son that all those Playstations, X-Boxes, Nintendos, and other crap always start out expensive but then the prices go down. Think of the gasoline you would save, getting books the same way you get music for iPods.

by Dan on

Ok, here's the Dan solution, then - give Israel and Hamas I-Phone book readers and send them to Mars.

Seriously, I think the screens of Blackberrys, etc., are just too small. Even the Ebook's screen is a bit small for my taste - but I got my wife one for Christmas and she loves it - lots of cred for me!

I agree with Dan about the small screens of Blackberrys and cell phones. Levi, are you saying that if Caryn gave you a Kindle for your birthday you wouldn't use it? Now, if my wife will just get the hint. . .