Critical Linking: The Most-Read Stories, Sept 2nd – 7th, 2012

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

If after five years, you don’t sell enough books to pay yourself–let alone an employee–and you have to get a teaching job for the benefits (as Ms. Welch did), you aren’t a bookseller, you are a hobbyist.

The same logic could be applied to self-published authors, no? Or heck, how many traditionally published authors earn enough from their books alone to pay the bills? I think the number would be shockingly low.


I was bull-headed, full of hubris, and am now thoroughly embarrassed.

If you have a good editor, you too will feel like this.


83 years ago next month, two psychologists went ahead with their plan. They sent questionnaires to 65 critics, asking them to rank the living American novelists in order of merit. Whether their “scientific survey” has any methodological advantages over my own survey of literary scholarship is a good question.

My main woman Willa Cather at the top. I’ve never even heard of #4: James Branch Cabell. Bueller?


“I pointed out that I’m not an aging bisexual alcoholic with an ancient Puritan lineage and I still managed to write a biography of John Cheever,” he said.

Looks like all my morbidly ironic tweets to qualify me to write Colson Whitehead’s bio were unnecessary.


“The Chinese publishing industry is in an “expansive mode” explained Seth Russo, the director of international sales at Simon & Schuster. It is now the world’s largest in terms of volume, with 7.7 billion books published in 2011″

I’m guessing that means total copies. That or each Chinese person wrote about 6 books last year.



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