Critical Linking: The Most Read Stories, June 17 – 23, 2012

Here are the most read stories from the last week in Critical Linking…

His crutch words are gone. His plot has been untangled. The characters are no longer just cardboard cut-outs slotted into gaps but rather living, breathing entities, emotionally resonant and utterly believable.

In praise of editors.

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“…it’s difficult to see Amazon as much more than a digitized Wal-mart — a vendor supplying devalued products for a reading public whose tastes, due to the Bezos hype, crave quantity over quality.”

So readers are just mindless sheep reading whatever they are told apparently. What a condescending point of view.

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“At the same time, Burton said they wanted to make sure “books are the heart and soul” of the experience. In other words, they were willing to add some bells and whistles to keep users engaged, but they didn’t want to bury the books under layers of new technology.”

Reading Rainbow app!!!!

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Last year as French publishers watched in horror as e-books ate away at the printed book market in the United States, they successfully lobbied the government to fix prices for e-books too. Now publishers themselves decide the price of e-books; any other discounting is forbidden. There are also government-financed institutions that offer grants and interest-free loans to would-be bookstore owners.

Not sure you can say the book market in France is “doing just fine” if it requires government subsidies and price-fixing. That’s like saying someone with a breathing tube and feeding tube is “pretty much OK.”

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In the meantime, the next time you pick up your eBook reader, keep in mind that just because the book doesn’t weigh four pounds doesn’t mean that the author didn’t sweat blood and cry real tears writing that book, that an editor didn’t stay up late in the night providing notes to that author to make the book better, and that copyeditors and proofreaders and other production people didn’t put the same effort into that eBook as they would a printed book.

It’s a sign of how much we equate the physical nature of a printed book with the value of a reading experience that people can’t shake the idea that ebooks should be drastically cheaper than paper books.

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