Critical Linking

Critical Linking: The Most Read Stories, February 13 – 18, 2012

Jeff O'Neal

CEO and co-founder

Jeff O'Neal is the executive editor of Book Riot and Panels. He also co-hosts The Book Riot Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @thejeffoneal.

The most read links from the last week in Critical Linking…


“Electronics are here to stay, but someday the digital revolution in publishing may well be seen as just another phase in the natural evolution of a vital and resilient industry.”

Excellent timeline of past “threats” to the book industry. Generally speaking, I think doomsday predictors and futurists often forget to look at history.


“’s consumer ratings have increased significantly, moving them from 8th to 4th in the ranking of brands with the best reputations among the American public. It is now outranked only by Apple, again at number one, followed by Google and Coca-Cola.”

Might be a shock to some, but to the average customer they provide a fast, reliable, inexpensive service. Right or wrong, that goes along way with John Q. Public.


“…for almost every two books borrowed, a library patron bought one book.”

With brick-and-mortar stores disappearing, libraries are having their moment in the book industry spotlight.


“Really, almost everything that’s been done since was done in Don Quixote and Tristram Shandy. So I find that very heartening, too. Just remember this was invented as a flexible, strong and swaggering form that could do all kinds of things that other forms couldn’t do.”

Jennifer Egan is clearly a superhero whose power is imperviousness to fear of ebooks.


Today, Critical Linking yields the floor to the incomparable, luminous, gripping, and in all other ways riveting Ron Charles. He may just be the best literary YouTube satirist of his generation.