Monday, June 4, 2007

More Purple, and Book Stuff in the News


Here's a little more purple for you. This is a morning glory growing up a post in my neighbor's yard. I've heard this vine is actually a noxious weed, and impossible to get rid of, but boy, is it pretty.

The New York Times had a couple of book-related articles I enjoyed today. First of all, a story about The Rock Bottom Remainders, a band whose members include Dave Barry, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Scott Turow, Mitch Albom and Roy Blount, Jr. The band's website advertises their (Still Younger Than Keith) 15th anniversary tour, the proceeds of which benefit children's literacy programs. Though the NY Times article says, "in truth the Rock Bottom Remainders are not terrible, and harbor a certain amount of genuine talent," it sounds like these guys shouldn't quit their day jobs. But it also sounds like they have a lot of fun.

Another article, entitled "Waxing Philosophical, Booksellers Face the Digital", is about BookExpo America, the publishing industry's annual convention. There was one little section of the article that captured my imagination:
In a pavilion outside the main exhibit hall Jason Epstein, the former editorial director of Random House and the creator of the Anchor Books paperback imprint, and Dane Neller, founders of OnDemandBooks.com, demonstrated their Espresso Book Machine, which can print a small paperback book on site in less than five minutes. “This could replace the entire supply chain that has been in existence since Gutenberg,” Mr. Epstein said.

Chris Morrow, whose parents founded Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vt., three decades ago, said he would be installing one of the machines. He said he planned to print local histories and Northshire-brand titles from the public domain, like “Middlemarch” or “Moby-Dick.”

I want to get me one of those machines! Making your own books, now that sounds like a dream come true.

My friend Julie forwarded me the URL for this very interesting blog about book design, called Book By Its Cover. I particularly enjoyed the children's section. Thanks, Julie!

11 comments:

litlove said...

Oh my goodness, that machine for making books could be a little revolution. It would be fantastic for out of print books and unusual books and books it's hard to get hold of. If you find out where to get them, let me know!

Gentle Reader said...

litlove--I see that you see the amazing possibilities, too! I'll check into it--I wonder if it's prohibitively expensive for an individual to own? But what a great idea, eh?

Literary Feline said...

I guess if you have to have an impossible to get of weed around, a pretty one would be preferred. :-) It is very pretty though.

I have yet to see the Rock Bottom Remainders perform even though they appear at the LA Times Festival of Books sometimes. Maybe next year . . . I wouldn't want them to quit their day jobs either, but for other reasons. They have to write books for me after all! Haha

Gentle Reader said...

literary feline--I haven't ever seen the Rock Bottom Remainders, either, but have been hearing about them for years. I'm sure it isn't easy to get them all together--and I agree, I want some of them, at least, to keep on writing, for my own selfish reasons!

Stephanie said...

I would LOVE to see The Rockbottom Remainders in concert! How fun would that be?? Of course, I doubt they will ever be playing near me! Oh well....the "younger than Keith" thing still has me laughing!

iliana said...

Oh that machine sounds cool! And, where have I been that I never heard of the Rock Bottom Remainders. That's great.

Gentle Reader said...

stephanie--"younger than keith" made me giggle, too.

iliana--I think that machine almost sounds like something out of a fairy tale--you know, like the fairy godmother gives the heroine the machine, and says here, you can print all the books you want, but be careful, the ability to print books is a very powerful thing!

stefanie said...

I love morning glories, especially the heavenly blue variety. I think the Rock Bottom Remainders are a hoot.

Gentle Reader said...

stefanie--I love the morning glories, too, even if they're a menace :)

Lotus Reads said...

Oh, gentle reader,your post reminds me I have always wanted to attend a book expo, there is always so much to see and do there but sadly, it is only open to publishers and other people in the book trade, isn't it? Ours (The Canada Book Expo) starts on the 08th of this month, I am trying hard to wrangle a pass, but no luck so far! The machine for making books sounds like a great gizmo, would love to have seen it at work!

Gentle Reader said...

lotus--I believe you're right, no civilians allowed at most book expos. I've never been to one, either--good luck getting into the Canada Book Expo, and let me know if you do!