Category Archives: Publishing

Baskerville versus the Kindle versus the Medici Psalter – in praise of ordinariness

In my two previous posts I staged a mock battle between a 1760 book printed by John Baskerville and my Kindle. The ‘e-reader’, for a newcomer and late arrival, did surprisingly well, although I made no secret I like the … Continue reading

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Baskerville versus the Kindle, Rounds 2–7, Hearing to Sustainability

In the previous post I pitted my Kindle against a book that is a minor masterpiece of eighteenth-century typography: John Baskerville’s 1760 edition of the Book of Common Prayer. I promise I went into this Battle of the Book-Related Christmas Presents with no preconceptions … Continue reading

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Baskerville versus the Kindle, Round 1: Seeing

I have been very kindly (Kindley?) given a Kindle for Christmas. Yes, I haven’t previously given the e-book phenomenon a good writeup. So this is a very good chance to get off some of my high horses and simply try to find … Continue reading

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The 12 books of Christmas

After the Cambridge festival of nine digital devices and arguments, and after some splendid bouts of Balderdash with various combinations of my extended family, the reality principle casts its sober light once more on Propagandum Towers. This follows, of course, the … Continue reading

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Have a merry multimodal Christmas

Christmas is a feast for all the senses, a search for a feeling of bodily quickening and life at this dead time of the year. In this part of the world we have the ‘Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols’ … Continue reading

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Harry Potter and the Publishers’ Holy Grail IV

I have been trying in the three previous Harry Potter posts to look at what went right with J. K. Rowling’s book series. In the first half of this final wildly ambitious post I’m attempting to get somewhere near a theory … Continue reading

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Harry Potter and the Publishers’ Holy Grail III

Does it matter what an author or publisher intends? What about how their work or product is received? Perhaps the most interesting question is the combination of the two, the problem some authors and all commercial companies (including mine) try … Continue reading

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‘A page of good prose remains invincible’ 2

Craig Raine’s title poem ‘A Martian Sends a Postcard Home’ (Oxford University Press, 1979, p. 1) is an attempt at ‘making strange’ the old-known so it becomes the new-known. We look at the world through the eyes of an alien. If … Continue reading

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‘A page of good prose remains invincible’ 1

On April 27, 1982, less than two months before his death from cancer, John Cheever appeared at Carnegie Hall to accept the National Medal for Literature. While his colleagues stood and cheered (“John had nothing but friends,” said Malcolm Cowley), … Continue reading

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Page against the machine 3 – less transparent books?

How can publishers create radically new products if their management structures and internal power relations remain the same? I can’t remember seeing any discussion of this in the trade press – Tim Oliver’s post in The Bookseller’s Futurebook web spinout is the exception … Continue reading

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