#BEA11: “What’s Next?” A Chance Encounter with Jan Brett

In What's the Buzz by Guest Contributor

By Kathleen Sweeney As a BEA newbie, I hadn’t counted on being starstruck by a children’s book celebrity siting. I was strolling through the Penguin Books pavilion scanning books when there she was, Jan Brett, the author and illustrator extraordinaire, no less than a legend on my daughters’ bookshelves, passing out swag bags emblazoned with her book covers for Home …

Why Bogus Flap Copy Erodes Readers’ Trust

In Editorial & Opinion by Guest Contributor

Using platitudes like “remarkable” and “dazzling” in flap copy is forgivable, but calling a book “funny” when it is anything but is a much worse crime. Editorial by Nico Vreeland Flap copy always lies. It’s sickly understandable, considering the competitive marketplace for books. But, as a reader, it’s intensely frustrating to wade through book descriptions where the truth is more …

Can Books Serve as Cultural Ambassadors to Change the Reputation of a Nation?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

Cultural exports are often described in geopolitical terms as an exercise in “soft power” and book fairs, in particular, provide a forum for developing lasting relationships that are the foundation for change. By Edward Nawotka International book fairs — from Beijing to Buenos Aires (taking place now) to author-centric events like the PEN World Voices Festival — aim in part …

Should Reading Be Promoted as a “Legal Drug”?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka In today’s feature story Shashi Martynova, who is known as one of the most enthusiastic advocates of reading in Russia, suggested that one tactic that could be used to entice a younger generation of readers to pick up books instead of video games or submit to other distractions was to promote reading as “a legal drug.” “Often, …

Can You “Bring Back the Book” to a Country That Can’t Afford to Read?

In Children's, Growth Markets by Guest Contributor

Nigeria’s President launched a campaign to inspire reading that was part-election, part-Facebook festival and part-magical thinking. Editorial by Tolu Ogunlesi LAGOS: Nigeria has no national funding for the arts, no government-run grants-awarding body to support the production of books, and no National Book Policy. In place of a proper publishing industry, the country is awash with book printers, supporting a flourishing …

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A Perfect Example of Video That Could Work for Enhanced E-books (via the UK and Sweden)

In Ed's Perspective by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Video and film is a tricky format, especially for book publishers who are working in the medium. When it comes to “enhancing e-books” publishers need to be careful. The enhancements shouldn’t interrupt the text or repeat it, but offer a lateral view of the subject at hand – a genuine enhancement – rather than the core material …

Articles We Like: David Rakoff on Subway Reading

In Ed's Perspective by Edward Nawotka

By Ed Nawotka Writer David Rakoff offers a bagatelle about reading the November issue of GQ magazine. Titled “I Only Wear Jonathan Franzen,” he looks at the way in which people judge others by what they’re reading, particularly on the subway. He breaks it down like this: “It’s like pairing wines with food: You can break it down by subway …

Bound Books vs. Ebooks, That is Still the Question

In Editorial & Opinion by Guest Contributor

• Canadian author and bookseller Deborah Willis discusses the differences between bound books and e-books. • Willis argues “when books become computers, they will no longer be books.” Ultimately, she feels computers and the web are not well-suited to storytelling and diminish the experience of reading itself. Editorial by Deborah Willis VICTORIA, B.C.: The bound book is an ancient, heavy, …

Steve McCurry’s Photos Capture the Universality, Intimacy of Reading

In Europe by Edward Nawotka

• Steve McCurry, one of the most famous photojournalists in the world, is always on the hunt for the “unguarded moment” — a slice of time that is both personal and honest. He has often found this in moments when people are reading. • “There’s an intimacy people have with a book and its author that is similar, what couples have,” …