As we look toward our coming e-future, where we will soon be growing food on the Internet and driving flying books, there have been a series of articles putting the brakes on your technoptimism. First, writing in Slate, Jan Swafford posits that e-books and print books will have to co-exist because.... well, I think because tpyos are easier to sopt on paper? Hard to tell, really. I was reading the article on a screen so...
Next up, John Askins passed along a study that suggests that people read books faster than they read e-books (though a second article notes that overall productivity may increase with e-readers).
And finally, David Brooks took note of a study that showed that giving twelve books to disadvantaged kids at the end of a school year improved their test scores vs. their peers, no doubt because forcing the kids to lug twelve books home in the summer heat scared them away from manual labor and motivated them to do well in school. I may have made that last part up. Brooks is actually making a point about print literary culture vs. the short attention span online world, but again, reading on these screens! I'm not getting anything!! Are you getting this? Should we talk about Jake and Vienna instead?
Big congrats to Eric at Pimp My Novel, who is celebrating his first blogoversary (or is it birthablogday?) with some awesome year in review posts. The first is all about co-op, and second on covers. Next year's birthablogday will recap how he conquered the Internet in only two years.
Author Kiersten White has a great post on the reason why YA paranormal books are still undead and going strong: they're a great metaphor for teen romance.
Agent Mary Kole has a terrific post about the perennial argument about whether books are/should be commerce or art. In reality: they're both.
Via the indispensable Jacket Copy, the Guardian recently published a list of the top 10 English pubs in literature.
And you may have deduced this from my book title, but I have a soft spot for old sci-fi. So naturally I loved io9's awesome roundup of old pulp sci-fi covers.
This week in the Forums: a truly brilliant discussion about absentee parents in young adult literature, does social networking really work, bourbon vs. whisky, and, of course, World Cup Fever! One guess about which color I mean team I'm rooting for in the final.
Comment! Of! The! Week! goes to J.T. Shea, who had a hilarious response to yesterday's post about undercooking novels:
And the beet goes on...Sorry, I couldn't resist it.
Seriously, art is indeed life with the boring bits left out. Even the seemingly raw reality of slice-of-life stories and reality TV hides a lot of artifice.
Elevate the food? Eat standing up!
And finally, speaking of reality TV, MTV recently featured my old high school in an episode of If You Really Knew Me. This, ladies and gentlemen, is where I came from: