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Comment from the book world in November 2011

November 2011

'Less of an effort'

28 November 2011

'We've arrived at this place where we just thoughtlessly plunge towards whatever the thing is that will allow us to make less of an effort. We know we're diminishing experience. We know that it was richer to walk to the store, talk to the bookseller, maybe meet your neighbour than it is to click online. But we can't stop ourselves. We're programmed to do the 'easier' thing. that's why people have Kindles. It's easier not to have to turn the page. All that's left of turning is this bizarre little sound to remind us of it. People no longer have the concentration to finish things; we skim along the surface, and it's miserable.'

Nicole Krauss, author of Great House, in the Observer

'Tidy endings'

21 November 2011

'The world does not have tidy endings. The world does not have neat connections.

It is not filled with epiphanies that work perfectly at the moment that you need them. Narrative becomes the way you make sense of chaos. That's how you focus the world. It's the only way reason you should ever try this writing job'

Dennis Lehane, author of Moonlight Mile in The Independent on Sunday

'The paper book will never die'

14 November 2011

'Books have always been defined by their physical presence. Those under 50,000 words do not give customers value for money, books much over 200,000 words are cumbersome to read and prohibitively expensive to produce. EbooksDigital bookstore selling wide range of ebooks in 50 categories from Hildegard of Bingen to How to Write a Dirty Story and showing how the range of ebooks available is growing. http://www.ebooks.com/ make those rules redundant.

Short stories, poetry and essays have moved almost entirely into the lists of small, subsidised, under-funded presses. They have largely died as far as the big publishers are concerned. Ebooks throw them a lifeline: as it is no longer necessary to publish in single-volume form, the book's new found elasticity can allow for the subscription model (the basis for much 19th century publishing) to be reborn.

Publishing need no longer be tied into its protracted publishing schedules, there is now the opportunity to think far more nimbly.

Ebooks may have cannibalised hardback sales, but everyone recognises that the paper book will never die, because handy and convenient though an ebook is, it lacks the "bragability" and attractiveness of a well-stocked book-case.'

Piers Blofeld, agent at Sheil Land, in the Bookseller