That New Book Smell

1. The e-book scene (also known as the d-book scene, if you read Booksquare) is buzzing again with news of Amazon’s new iPhone Kindle application, which allows readers to enjoy the considerable benefits of the Kindle store without buying a bulky and expensive dedicated device.

Does this mean I’m going to brag yet again that I was among the first to attempt to point Amazon in this exact direction, even though everybody thought I was crazy at the time? Yes, it certainly does. It also means that I can stop beefing with, a company I used to like until Jeff Bezos started trying to be Steve Jobs. Some will still beef with Amazon/Kindle over DRM, but there’s no doubt Amazon is moving in the right direction by allowing Kindle books to run on non-Amazon devices.

Meanwhile, the dumb, dumb articles about how e-books are ruining everything just keep coming (this one via Frank, who shares my derision). What is wrong with these people? At least one minor miracle takes place within Sven Birkerts piece: he doesn’t tell us he loves the way books smell.

2. Like Mark Sarvas, I used to mill around the Librarie de France bookstore in Rockefeller Center (though unlike Mark Sarvas, I don’t read French). This small store was a nice worldly touch for midtown Manhattan and I’m very sorry to hear that it will be closing this Fructidor Septembre.

3. Was Ludwig Wittgenstein really the greatest philosopher of the 20th Century? I think he was, assuming that William James belongs to the 19th Century, and many others think so too.

4. Via Largehearted Boy, a long list of fictional computers.

5. How Jeff Kinney and his Wimpy Kid made it big.

6. Roxana Robinson, inspired by a mockingbird’s call.

7. Literature as an alternative to traditional incarceration.

8. NPR on Carlo Collodi’s original Pinocchio. And let’s also pay good attention to Kanye’s personal spin on Collodi’s tale.

9. I do not have high hopes for a movie based on Beverly Cleary’s Ramona The Pest, one of the books I loved most as a kid. What do you want to bet they’ll screw up the big Halloween parade scene and leave out the Q’s with the cat tails?

10. Jamelah gets framed.

11. Another
Bret Easton Ellis movie is heading our way.

12. Poetry.

10 Responses

  1. I did read that one,
    I did read that one, actually! Which is a good thing — reading about Wittgenstein is sometimes more rewarding than reading him directly.

  2. James’s Variety of Religious
    James’s Variety of Religious Experience. It beats (all of?) Wittgenstein, if you ask me.

    Bret Easton Ellis doesn’t dig. His characters are cartoons–flat.

  3. Levi, I visited that Librarie
    Levi, I visited that Librarie de France shop in Rockefeller Center a couple of years ago, and I thought that the books were obscenely overpriced.

  4. Jamelah’s photographs
    Jamelah’s photographs constantly amaze me. She’s got to be the best photographer I’ve ever met in person. She is the bomb.

  5. with #3 surprised that j-p
    with #3 surprised that j-p “pronounced saht” sartre has so fallen from philoso favor. o grand-père i will wap your banner about the faces of the multi-worldists and modal logicians til they bow before your googly eye.

  6. I absolutely agree about
    I absolutely agree about Jean-Paul Sartre. Can’t understand that at all — such an original thinker, and he sure could write.

  7. JPS, original thinker, part
    JPS, original thinker, part time sinner.
    The world moves by seers. puts him in shades, very cogito ergo, chilled in glasses.

  8. Jamelah appears to have hit
    Jamelah appears to have hit some big time in the galleries. This is great news.

    I also enjoyed the postcard poetry. The pictures juxtapositioned with poems seemed really poignant.
    I should try that sometime, when I send in a poem somewhere. If I could figure out the tech part.
    I’ve seen ads on TV where little kids have mastered the tech of photoshop. Puts me to shame. Hoo Hah! Must learn this stuff sooner or later.

  9. Thanks for including Changing
    Thanks for including Changing Lives Through Literature in your links list. We have a response letter to the Leah Price in the New York Times Sunday Book Review this weekend–hope you all will take a look.

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Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!