Fat books, slow reading

February 7, 2013

Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune editorial page commentator, offered his personal take on reading in today’s column. The joys of tackling a “fat book” far outweigh [groan] the disadvantages of toting around a large tome. Says Chapman, “One- or two-pound books spare me, for a while, the most painful part ofman-reading-in-library-w350x232 my reading regimen: indecision. When I reach the end, I’m tormented by all the options before me: Fiction or history? Biography or memoir? Contemporary or 19th-century? American or British? I can’t sleep soundly till I decide how to spend the coming weeks or months.”

I can relate to this. In addition to agonizing over what to read next, I’ve always felt that starting a new book was a little like walking into a cocktail party in full swing filled with strangers who all seemed to know each other already. Will I find someone to talk to? Will I like the “vibe”? Will I ever be able to relax? Being immersed in a long book is such a cozy, comfy pursuit. Every time I open to where I left off it’s like meeting my good friends. I suppose that explains part of the appeal of long sagas and multi-volume series (thank you J.K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin!)

Barbara L.

Book Publishers, Fight Back!

August 4, 2011

Aaron Gilbreath’s op/ed piece in today’s Chicago Tribune urges publishers of traditional books to fight the tidal wave of e-Reader marketing with their own clever campaigns. He argues for a well thought out marketing strategy in media that targets the general public as opposed to those that are already preaching to the choir (e.g., NY Times Review of Book, New Yorker, and other literary magazines). He suggests traditional publishers take a cue from the National Pork Producers Council who countered the perception of pork as unhealthy with their “pork, the other white meat” campaign. Gilbreath wraps up his pitch with a list of the advantages of paper vs. digital ending with how environmentally unsound e-Readers are in the long run.

Barbara L.

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