Jane Eyre

The New York Times' John Williams interviews humorist Joe Queenan about his new book, One for the Books. On the future of print books, which Queenan prefers to ebooks, he is blunt:

"Books, I think, are dead. You cannot fight the zeitgeist and you cannot fight corporations. The genius of corporations is that they force you to make decisions about how you will live your life and then beguile you into thinking that it was all your choice. Compact discs are not superior to vinyl. E-readers are not superior to books."

—Brian Howard

A recent  New York Times article examined the trend among some publishers to repackage classic books like Emma and Jane Eyre with provocatively modern jackets designed to grab the attention of teenager readers devoted to Twilight‘s Edward and Bella, or The Hunger Games’ Katniss and Peeta.

One cover features a stubble-faced Romeo clad in a tight white tank-top; another proclaims Wuthering Heights is “Bella & Edward’s favorite book.” At a Barnes & Noble in New York City, four new editions of novels by Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters were displayed alongside best-selling contemporary paranormal romances.

Hoping to capitalize on the frenzy over Y.A. book sensations like The Hunger Games and Twilight, publishers are returning to their design departments and asking for new teen-friendly looks for classic high school staples like Emma, Jane Eyre, and even Shakespeare, according to The New York Times' Julie Bosman.

This only makes sense knowing what we do of the publishing business: When there's a big hit, others flock to follow it, whether that means writers rushing to create similarly themed works, agents hoping to snag their own dystopian success stories,

Jonathan Franzen, the author of The Corrections and Freedom, has no patience for e-readers, he tells the Telegraph:

I think, for serious readers, a sense of permanence has always been part of the experience. Everything else in your life is fluid, but here is this text that doesn’t change.

Someone worked really hard to make the language just right, just the way they wanted it. They were so sure of it that they printed it in ink, on paper. A screen always feels like we could delete that, change that, move it around.

Apple's pedestrian e-reader app--iBooks--has been updated and brings a handful of new features that users of other e-reader apps have enjoyed since forever. These updates are so basic that I wouldn't have been surprised to see "displays words on a screen" in the release notes. As it is, iBooks users now get full-screen mode (so you ...

Gutenberg was able to take some of the coolest technologies of the mid 15th century and create a communications solution. Isn't that what so many of us are immersed in these past several years?

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