The truth is that this dispute is not about saving literature or the sanctity of the literary world, it is about the publishers' business model.
The new ploy by book publishers is to characterize Amazon as a monopoly poised to take over and dictate terms and run rampant over those who create ebook content.
Sometimes the DOJ goes after companies that have done nothing wrong, but more often it lets big-time antitrust violators get away with murder. In a recent case -- one that has roiled the publishing industry -- the DOJ has managed to do both.
The trouble is that in too many cities and towns, we no longer have a village square except in the form of enclosed spaces owned by profit-seeking corporations. What happened to that protester said a lot more about our privatized idea of community than it does about that one particular incident.
They say you should never judge a book by its cover -- it is also important to never judge a book by its price.
Something in it piqued our curiosity and we had to stop reading, or felt we had to. The days of sinking into a book in happy oblivion of the world around us had almost vanished.
As more established, quality authors who kept the rights to their work figure out that it's to their advantage to publish themselves on Kindle rather than beg for contracts from "big" publishers, there will be an explosion of great work available in e-book form.
In 1999, I decided to self-publish a novel. I'd sold books to mainstream houses in the past, but no one wanted this one. But I believed in it. My agent believed in it. My wife believed in it. The dog was neutral.
It's not possible for Amazon to both (1) sell e-books at a loss in order to reap big profits on Kindle devices, and (2) sell Kindles at a loss to reap big profits on e-books. It may be doing 1 or it may be doing 2, but it can't be doing both at the same time.
If you love finding great deals on books but don't have a Kindle or a Nook, then you're in luck. There are a few ways you can access thousands of $.99...
Let's not wait another 50 years to reform the primary and secondary education systems in this country, because we can't afford not to. Let's start now.
E-books are praised in terms of what they aren't: heavy, tree killers, limited in distribution, of fixed text size. Not enough focus has been put on what an e-book itself could become.
Count me among those who would much rather hold a book in my hand as I read, pen at the ready, rather than clicking through glowing text on a screen.
Recently, I moved to another apartment. While moving in itself is a traumatic event, my principal problem is books. I have a huge collection of books.
Sticking to retreads makes no use of all the powerful technological innovations now at our command. But creating tablet cartoons has the potential to kill off reading altogether.
Maybe it was good for the consumer that the AT&T and T-mobile merger didn't happen. More importantly, with the exponential increase in data usage, "Can You Hear Me Now? (TM)" will no longer apply. Just send me an email instead!
by Daniel Alarcón
by Donna Tartt
by Jennifer DuBois
by Julian Barnes
Published on September 24th, 2013