Kindle Spotting

1. Okay, so I flipflopped on the Kindle. I still dislike the high price, the DRM policy and the secrecy about sales numbers, but on the other hand Amazon appears to be showing conviction, focus and flexibility in the way they are evolving the product. Also, a few months ago I wrote that I’ve never seen anyone reading a Kindle on a train, but I have recently seen two people doing so. This says a lot. I remain mixed in my feelings about the product, but it’s clear that the Kindle is here to stay, and this is probably a good thing.

Following the lead of several other literary bloggers, I’ve now made this website available for Kindle subscription. I don’t own a Kindle myself, so I can’t even check out how it works, but if any Kindle owners out there can check it out, please tell me what you see!

2. More technological developments: here’s Slate on the semantically-charged new knowledge engine Wolfram Alpha, supposedly a challenger to Google: “If only it worked …”

3. There are a lot of intense debates revolving around the triple satellites of e-books, blogs and Twitter, all of it possibly leading to same grand conflagration (or, more likely, not) during next weekend’s Book Expo 2009 in New York City. Till we all meet there, Kassia Krozser is tracking various debates involving electronic publishing.

4. Allison Glock flaunts her silly prejudices in a Poetry Foundation article about blogs. Based on her piece, I’m betting she’s never actually seen a blog.

Instead of fostering actual connection, blogs inevitably activate our baser human instincts—narcissism, vanity, schadenfreude. They offer the petty, cheap thrill of perceived superiority or released vitriol. How easy it is to tap tap tap your indignation and post, post, post into the universe, where it will velcro to the indignation of others, all fusing into a smug, sticky mess and not much else in the end. You know those dinners at chain restaurants, where they pile the plate with three kinds of pasta and five sauces and endless breadsticks and shrimp and steak and bacon bits all topped in fresh grated cheese? Blogs are like that: loads of crap that fill you up. With crap.

5. Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman is one of my favorite plays. It’s now running in New Haven with an African-American cast, featuring Charles S. Dutton as Willy Loman.

6. Jamelah tells me: “Paste Magazine is a really really good publication and it would be sad if it went under“.

7. The New York Public Library is facing deep budget cuts and asking for a show of support. Let’s keep those lions well-fed.

8. A Michigan high school bans Toni Morrison’s novel Song of Solomon.

9. Flannery O’Connor in Atlantic Monthly.

10. Arthur Conan Doyle and spiritualism. And here’s what Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law are doing with Sherlock Holmes.

11. A glance at a surprisingly healthy publishing industry in India.

12. I didn’t realize Britian’s legendary publishing firm Faber and Faber was only 80 years old.

13. John O’Hara’s wonderful novel Appointment in Samarra gets some appreciation from Lydia Kiesling at The Millions.

14. Another form of Action Poetry: Yoko Ono is arranging Twitter haiku.

7 Responses

  1. When Charlie Rose interviewed
    When Charlie Rose interviewed the Amazon CEO, Charlie Rose said that whenever he took a plane flight he saw a kindle being read. It is still too soon to tell but kindle may be like TV in its earliest days. I would buy a kindle if I could get the 3 manuals I have on them.

  2. I liked Appointment in
    I liked Appointment in Samara, especially the end, where Julian English mixes himself a drink in a giant flower vase and then goes to the garage to commit suicide by leaving the car running and the door closed. I thought it was an excellent study of a man who doomed himself through his alcoholism. All his misdeeds are seen through a woozy mist of booze.

  3. I wonder why the heck people
    I wonder why the heck people would subscribe to blogs on Kindle when they can visit any blog for free on the internet or though RSS feed. Is the Amazon trying to sell Kindle to bloggers this way?

  4. Conan Doyle was also a devout
    Conan Doyle was also a devout catholic. Spiritualism isn’t part of the Holy Roman deal.
    If he put an absolute Empiricist on the case, someone not unlike Doctor Watson’s sidekick, I’m sure he would discover that it has no elementary substance.
    The guy also believed in fairies, like we all do?

  5. Mrinal Bose raises a good
    Mrinal Bose raises a good point. I assumed Kindle was able to connect to the internet like a PC laptop. Is that not the case?

  6. Last of the Mocassins by
    Last of the Mocassins by Charles Plymell is available for Kindle. I don’t have one so I’ve never seen how it works.

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