Critical Linking for September 15th, 2015

But what’s behind the comeback? What are independent bookstores doing right, and what can other Main Street retailers, from clothing stores to coffee shops, learn from their resilience? Here, four secrets to their success.

Seems to me that these Four Reasons Independent Bookstores Are Thriving are both obvious and reassuring.


I have a simpler suggestion, nicknamed the Big Bang license. Congress should allow anyone with a scanned library to pay some price—say, a hundred and twenty-five million dollars—to gain a license, subject to any opt-outs, allowing them to make those scanned prints available to institutional or individual subscribers. That money would be divided equally among all the rights holders who came forward to claim it in a three-year window—split fifty-fifty between authors an publishers.

Scanned editions of old books are too valuable a resource to be completely moth-balled.


For better or for worse, networked media—the web and apps—now have primacy over other media. The print worldview is dead. Not the printed book, of course. The book has been around for centuries and will be here for centuries to come. What is dead is the print worldview—its paradigm—because the practices and concepts of the print paradigm are inadequate to the problems of the networked era.

I like this formulation of print enduring, but print as as a process will be swept away.


Ms. Koch, who comes from one of the nation’s wealthiest families, personally invested the seed money for Catapult, which has an annual budget in the high six figures and aims eventually to publish 12 books a year. She is the daughter of Charles Koch, the billionaire industrialist who, with his brother David, co-founded a web of conservative interest groups.

Somewhat dispiriting to see what it takes to start a publishing house, eh?

Sign up to Today In Books to receive daily news and miscellany from the world of books.
By signing up you agree to our Terms of Service