Critical Linking

Critical Linking: August 16, 2012

Our daily round-up of bookish links. Tastes great with coffee.

“The general intention of our covers is to attract Americans, who, more elementary than the Britishers, are schooled from infancy to disdain even the best product unless it is smoothly packaged and merchandised”

Our fickle buying habits created modern book design and the paperback. Heck yea, America!

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The other option is to reject the idea that culture is a consumer good and play an activist role in enabling cultural production, not just cultural consumption. Libraries that embrace this role redefine themselves as a lab, a workshop, a maker space or hacker space where community members can create shareable culture. These librarians see culture fundamentally as participatory and question why we should be slavishly limiting ourselves to what the marketplace provides now that the people can own the means of production.

I see dozens of people crammed into tiny Starbucks working away and always think: “What if this were the library?”

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Bestselling authors who are talented and hard working – like Thor and Grafton – are inclined to believe that publishing is a meritocracy where the best work by the most diligent writers gets represented, acquired, published and sold.  But this is demonstrably untrue. 

Bang on.

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Most writers when they show their work to someone – a professor, a friend, a spouse – they have a reasonable expectation of getting encouragement or at least some useful feedback. But an agent isn’t a friend. An agent isn’t a teacher, either. An agent’s job is to find an author whose novel is ready for publication, or so close to ready that it makes economic sense for the agent to put the time into helping make it ready, and connect that writer to a publisher. That’s it.

Hey, this relates to the last link! I think this is a Critical Linking first! Does this means I get to call myself a “curator” now? Or is there some sort of self-importance test that I need to pass first?