Thursday, June 7, 2012

What I’m reading #64

Further to my comment yesterday about book awards shortlists being of interest for the absences as much as for the presences, Mary McCallum comments on some absences from this year’s NZ Post Book Awards shortlist: Hamish Clayton, Sarah Quigley, Owen Marshall, Vincent O’Sullivan, Jenny Bornholdt, Peter Bland and Tanya Moir. The Listener’s Guy Somerset mentions a few more, with the added bonus of a podcast with convening judge Chris Bourke.

Philip Matthews reports on and illustrates life and work in Christchurch last week.

An excellent 1998 article from Skeptic magazine that has a serious go at Deepak Chopra’s misrepresentation of quantum physics as providing support for his lucrative brand of mumbo-jumbo. Debunking is timeless.

What Jack White can teach us about economics. Yes, that Jack White.

In praise of booksellers.

In praise of publishers

In praise of Amazon. Not really – more like shock and awe. It is a US article so it is US-centric – they are provincial, aren’t they – but terrific reporting on, for example, how important e-books are to small publishers. Money quote:
But Amazon isn’t the only player willing to play hardball. Random House, for example, quietly began in March to charge public libraries three times the retail price for e-books, causing Nova Scotia’s South Shore Public Libraries to call for a boycott and accuse the German-owned conglomerate of unfair e-book pricing. It gets worse: according to the New York Times, “five of the six major publishers either refuse to make new e-books available to libraries or have pulled back significantly over the last year on how easily or how often those books can be circulated.”  

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