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BookExpo America: Other Round-Ups

To supplement the series of posts we’re writing, here are some other round-ups from people much smarter and funnier:

  • I mentioned this earlier, but it’s definitely worthwhile checking out Karl Pohrt’s There Is No Gap if for no other reason than the picture of Karl kneeling in front of Britney Spears’s Hollywood star;
  • Literary Rapture takes a few shots at the admittedly lame Amazon Kindle booth:

During set-up, I was excited that we were right next to the Kindle booth. This has turned out to be a disappointment. They don’t have any Kindles at the Kindle booth. A couple guys will demonstrate one for you if you ask. Lame. I was expecting an Apple Store set-up of rows and rows of Kindles. There was also a rumor that Jeff Bezos was going to make a surprise announcement yesterday afternoon. That rumor was false. He gave a presentation that, according to attendees, was boring. Kindle and Amazon are not impressing anyone right now.;

  • Over at the Elegant Variation, Mark Sarvas speculates about David Ulin’s doppelganger;
  • The excellent New Yorker blog, The Book Bench has an interesting piece on the Zogby/Random House poll that was presented at BEA. Every last one of the “death of reading” polls/reports has been criticized for its methodology, and this one is no exception.

It may even be a little more useless than most. If you want to compare the new Zogby results with older polls by Gallup and Ipsos to see whether the percentage of American readers has changed, or whether the number of books read per year has changed, you’re out of luck. The Zogby pollsters didn’t ask. They danced around the question, instead asking how many books people bought for themselves and then, separately, how many books people bought a year that they didn’t read. So if fifty per cent of Americans bought fewer than ten books for themselves, and sixty-one per cent bought between one and eleven books that they didn’t read. . . . The math problem is impossible to solve, apparently by design.

  • Patrick Brown’s post at The Millions is amazingly comprehensive;
  • As can be expected, PW‘s coverage is extensive as well, and has a good list of the “big fiction books.” (Adding on to my earlier comment about there being “no Big Book” is the thought that this might be due to the election this fall. Who wants to compete with the time-consuming media storm of Obama/Clinton vs. McCain? Definitely not James Ellroy, who is planning a 38 city tour for fall 2009.);
  • Lot of great info and interviews at the L.A. Times blog Jacket Copy ;
  • BookFox has a lot of good video interviews as well, including one with Eli Horowitz of McSweeney’s that’s pretty fun.


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