Borders, Barnes, and Noble? A large stakeholder in the Borders Group, the investment firm Pershing Square Capital Management, has a plan to merge the struggling bookstore chain with its slightly less beleaguered competitor, Barnes and Noble.
Google launched its long-awaited e-book venture yesterday, cleverly integrating their new e-book shop within the already popular Google Books. “Reading Unbound,” the G-sages branded the service (with a nod to Aeschylus), explaining that “Google eBooks are stored in the cloud, so there is no file to download if you want to read on your computer, phone, or tablet.” The three million e-books already available can be read on most devices that aren’t a Kindle. Google's e-book rating system will be based on reviews from the online bookworm community Goodreads. The American Booksellers Association has partnered with Google, allowing many indie-bookstores their first viable way to sell digital books. So far, no evil, but as the New Yorker’s Book Bench notes, one hazard is that the new e-bookstore will further tangle the cataloging mess that now plagues Google Books. Like many real bookstores, it may be hard to find what you're looking for.
At the blog 3 Quarks Daily, Robert P. Baird writes that the principles that motivated Julian Assange to start Wikileaks in 2006 are similar to those of the Language poets of the ’70s and ’80s: “If, in a favorite Langpo motto, ‘language control = thought control = reality control,’ then it was . . . imperative to fight the battle for a just reality at the level of language. Just as Assange wants to debase the currency of diplomatic secrecy, so the Language poets wanted to debase the clear and orderly functioning of language.”
Jane Austen’s work has been subjected to Zombies and Sea Monsters, but now must suffer an even more terrifying fate: Bad Parody.
Tonight at ISSUE Project Room in Brooklyn, Jon Cotner and Andy Fitch will read from Ten Walks/Two Talks, a book praised by novelist Justin Taylor as “deceptively simple . . . it demands little but offers much. They invite us to experience our city with fresh pleasure and renewed awe.” The reading will be followed by a performance by the band Holy Spirits.