Blurb busters: Nicole Krauss really loved fellow novelist David Grossman's forthcoming To the End of the Land, writing of the novel, "To read it is to have yourself taken apart, undone, touched at the place of your own essence; it is to be turned back, as if after a long absence, into a human being." Bloggers at the Conversational Reading ("The Painfully Wrought Blurb,") MobyLives ("sometimes, a blurb can kill you,") and Bookninja ("When Blurbs Bite,") are all crying foul over Krauss's "overwritten" praise, while The Guardian asks readers: Can you outblurb Krauss? Perhaps Paul Auster already has: "Flaubert created his Emma, Tolstoy made his Anna, and now we have Grossman's Ora . . . I devoured this long novel in a feverish trance. Wrenching, beautiful, unforgettable."
A new study has found that people read slowly on tablets like the Kindle and iPad, compared to traditional print—a surprising conclusion—while also confirming what we already know: reading books on a PC monitor is a "miserable experience." Meanwhile, Slate offers a Bold Prediction: e-books will never replace real books.
The Association of American University Presses (AAUP) 2010 conference is on, with participants mulling over questions like: How did University Presses do this year? What Makes a Good Book? After a relatively rough year, director of Georgetown University Press Richard Brown puts things into perspective: "It's not crisis . . . It's perpetual transition. That's what we're in, and we'll be in it for the rest of our lives."