Ten Book Related Things We Find Interesting…This Week (04/07/2012)

10_Book_Related_ThingsIt’s April, which means that it’s springtime, which means that we’re having a contest. In a shameless move of self-promotion, we want to take this opportunity to remind you to enter yourself for a chance to win our e-money giveaway. We’re going to buy one lucky soul some books from the online book seller of their choice and their going to (hopefully) enjoy them. It could be you, what are you waiting for?  Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get on to the reporting of the ten book related things shall we…

This week Flavorwire uncovered some of the wackiest books we’ve ever seen, the dynamic duo of Patrick deWitt and Esi Edugyan got up to their old tricks again, Edmund L. Epstien passed away, J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore made a ton of money, the committee behind the Welsh Book of the Year award decided to shake things up, and as always there’s a whole lot more, well technically it still only totals ten things, but you get the idea.

  1. Congratulations are in order for Jeffery Eugenides as his novel The Marriage Plot took home Adult Fiction Book of the Year in the 2012 Indies Choice Book Awards. Every single person we know, and we know a fair number of people, loathed his latest title, but apparently independent book sellers just couldn’t get enough. Also of note, author Téa Obreht snagged Adult Debut Book of the Year honors for her wonderful novel The Tiger’s Wife. The full list of winners can be found here.
  2. Speaking of independent book sellers, Google announced on Thursday via its Inside Google Books Blog that January 31st, 2013 will be a big day. At the end of the first month of next year Google plans to end their service which currently allows independent book stores across the country to sell e-books via their websites. The internet giant claims that the service just never gained enough traction and that killing it will help them focus on making other pieces of their e-book strategy stronger. Right, improving a mechanism which promotes SALES is a waste of time when you could be focusing your energies on other things, like say a ridiculous pair of augmented reality glasses.
  3. Patrick deWitt (The Sisters Brothers) and Esi Edugyan (Half Blood Blues) are both at it again. Not content with being nominated for every award under the sun this past year including the Man Booker, the Giller, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and he Governor General’s Literary Award, the pair’s novels, along with four others, made the shortlist for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction this past week. The winner will of the £25,000 prize will be announced on June 16th.
  4. Speaking of awards, the Welsh Book of the Year committee is changing things up in an attempt to be more accessible. That’s always a good sign, no? Say goodbye to the days of two ten-book shortlists, say hello to the days of three categories of shortlists in two different languages. Replacing two shortlists with six makes sense how? Splitting books into categories like poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction (we can’t wait to see the definition of “creative” here) does seem to make sense at first glance, but in the end doesn’t it only serve to promote one’s ability to easily ingore an entire category of books? Didn’t some titles hold more weight when they made the shortlist under the previous setup? Ah well, who are we to judge? The first shortlists under the new setup will be announced May 10th.
  5. Think people read more in the good old days and that technology has created a nation full of folks with short attention spans that couldn’t possibly be bothered to pick up a book? Think again! According to The Atlantic the percentage of people who were reading was WAY up in 2005 compared with 1957. Of course, there are more people around today then there were back then, no? Either way, the point is that reading for pleasure isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Well, it’s certainly going digital, but it isn’t going away.
  6. Speaking of digital, Pottermore is finally here and in the first three days alone the Harry Potter e-books are rumored to have raked in at least £1m in sales. For comparisons sake, the print versions of the Potter titles brought in roughly £36,000 combined during the same week. You won’t find the e-titles on any best seller list from Amazon or Barnes & Noble however because all transactions occur directly through the aforementioned Pottermore website.
  7. E-books are all the rage! That’s the short version of the not-so-shocking findings from a new study conducted by the PewResearchCenter, a self-proclaimed non-profit “fact” tank. You can read the full report here, but some highlights include the following nuggets: “The average reader of e-books says she has read 24 books (the mean number) in the past 12 months, compared with an average of 15 books by a non-e-book consumer.” and “There are four times more people reading e-books on a typical day now than was the case less than two years ago.”
  8. Edmund L. Epstein, the literary scholar who famously took a chance on publishing a little known at the time book titled Lord of the Files in paperback in America, catapulting its author to fame in the late 1950s passed away this week from complications related to multiple myeloma.
  9. Tired of their not being a comic suitable for the younger children in your household? Ape Entertainment and Sesame Workshop have announced a partnership to bring Sesame Street comics to market in both digital and print formats this fall. No word on how much the digital versions will set you back, but the print versions will come in two flavors: $3.99 per single issue and $7.99 for each digest hardcover edition.
  10. Last but not least, Flavorwire tracked down ten of the most unusual book designs ever this past week. Edible cookbooks? Mirror books? Glow in the dark books? Chia books?!?! Those are just some of things you’ve got see to believe.

Did we miss something? Got the inside scoop on some book related news that your dying to share with us? Leave a comment below or drop us a line using the email link in the header above.

About Aaron Westerman

Aaron Westerman is the Manager of Web Architecture for a national human services organization. When he's not busy tearing sites apart and rebuilding them, he spends his ever shrinking free time trying to keep up with his twins, reading works of translated literature, and watching far too many Oscar nominated movies.