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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Books stabilize culture

I read a terrific essay today by Stephen L. Carter over at The Daily Beast. Carter begins with the following:
Like a lot of writers, I am wondering when Congress and the administration will propose a bailout for the publishing industry. Carnage is everywhere. Advances slashed, editors fired, publicity at subsistence levels, entire imprints vanished into thin air. Moreover, unlike some of the industries that the government, in its wisdom, has decided to subsidize, the publishing of books is crucial to the American way of life

Ironically I read this online, but I very much agree with Carter when he asserts that the book itself is quite different from information, and that both are necessary. We so often tend to blindly adopt new media and throw out the old without taking the time to critically analyze not just the benefits and costs of each, but the deeper nature of different media types. I'll take a book any day over a kindle, and I don't trust those who wouldn't do the same.

And in tangential but ever-so related news, Ama.zon (may it be crushed by its own weight) has decided to define its LGBT titles as "Adult." WTF? Read more here: http://i.gizmodo.com/5209149/amazon-deems-lgbt-books-too-adult-for-search-best-seller-lists