SHAUN SMITH'S SUNDAY SUNDRIES

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A WEEKLY ROUNDUP OF INTERNET CURIOSITIES FROM THE BOOK WORLD

Open
What happens when you invite censors to a book fair? Jonathan Mirsky of the New York Review of Books' blog offers a fascinating account of his encounters with such creatures at the recent London Book Fair.

Movement
Hey, take your books and get the hell out of here! Flavorwire offers a gallery of a dozen "Incredibly Unique Bookmobiles around the World".

Opulence
They say the book business is in trouble. They've been saying it on and off for decades. It's good to see that someone in the biz is doing well, though. The Wall St Journal last week published an article (with embedded video) and gallery about veteran NY publishing executive Jane Friedman's gazillion-dollar apartment. I'm not sure why we are supposed to care, but it looks like old Jane's done okay.

None
Did I mention they say the publishing industry is in trouble? It is, you know. Soon, there will just be no books. None. We will have to read cracker boxes and Epson printer instruction manuals in bed to fall asleep. And on your next commute, don't be alarmed if someone behind you tries to read the tag inside your shirt collar just to pass the time. There won't be any books. None. The sky is falling.

Stripped
And there won't be any book covers either.

Dinosaurs
The San Fran Chronicle is doing a series a videos called 'The City Exposed" in which they interview interesting San Franciscans (is that what they call themselves? sounds like an order of monks). They dug up a guy who makes monotype for old-fashioned letter presses, a job he's apparently had for 62 years. It is an okay video if you can get past the "When I was a kid, we walked ten miles through three feet of snow to get to school" nostalgia and past the feeling that someone is going to raise a glass of Jack Daniels at the end of it all. At least they kept the evocative music to a minimum.

Cute
Nothing like a psa/commercial/cartoon/popvideo to get people reading. Okay, I'll admit that the bears driving the speedboat are cute. But really, is there even the slightest speck of evidence that indicates a correlation between reading to a child and the amount of ambition that person will have in his/her life, as this videothingy seems to suggest? I'm not saying people shouldn't read to children, but when did ambition become the objective of reading?

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Shaun Smith

Shaun Smith is a novelist and journalist living in Toronto. His young adult novel Snakes & Ladders was published in January 2009 by the Dundurn Group.

Go to Shaun Smith ’s Author Page