This week The Reader Online celebrates its first birthday. One of our earliest posts featured the startup DailyLit, which delivers literature by email in daily bite-sized chunks. Like this blog, DailyLit has come a long way in a year. It now includes Wikipedia tours, recent books such as Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, and has just released the first book to appear on DailyLit before the hardback release. Here’s the link to DailyLit.
In the ever wonderful New Yorker this week there is a ‘new’ story by Vladimir Nabokov: ‘Natasha’. This is the Fiction Issue, including stories by Haruki Murakami and Annie Proulx. And there’s more. Aside from a story of her own you can hear Mary Gaitskell reading Nabokov’s first story for the magazine, ‘Symbols and Signs’.
One thing I’ve noticed over the last few weeks is growing interest in the Kindle and other eBook readers. This is still very much a niche market, but it seems to be growing. Bookseller Borders reports that its sales of the iRex Iliad are going well, while Penguin says sales of ebooks are up. Meanwhile the New York Times reports that “Nearly all publishers say their sales of electronic books are growing exponentially. Carolyn K. Reidy, the chief executive of Simon & Schuster, said its sales of electronic books will more than double this year compared to last year, after growing 40 percent in 2007 from 2006.” It’s early days of course, but it looks like the revolution may well be upon us. Still, there is a note of caution from the NYT:
But excitement about the Kindle, which was introduced in November, also worries some publishing executives, who fear Amazon’s still-growing power as a bookseller. Those executives note that Amazon currently sells most of its Kindle books to customers for a price well below what it pays publishers, and they anticipate that it will not be long before Amazon begins using the Kindle’s popularity as a lever to demand that publishers cut prices.
And finally, historian Gary Smailes has launched OneBook, a blog of short book recommendations written by its readers.
Posted by Chris Routledge