Monday, June 15, 2009

Yet another thing we may have in common with Dave Eggers and one thing he will do for you that hadn't occurred to us.

We have been thinking a lot lately about the status of books and even sounding off on this occasionally, for example our recent interview with Chicago Subtext, because from what we can tell people think books are dieing and on their way out. We are not so sure though. Traditional publishing houses are certainly hurting, distributors are disappearing, book review sections in newspapers are endlessly being trimmed, and even cut, and then there is that whole Kindle thing. And yet, great books are getting written all the time and indie publishers are publishing them and as a whole some chunk of the reading public are finding these books, and loving them, even if the numbers are smaller and writers need to scramble more than ever to get their work out there. So, no, its not clear to us that books are dieing as much as the traditional and mainstream model of publishing books is doing so. We believe people will always want to publish books, and will always find ways to do so, because its not just a business for most, its a love of books, holding them in your hands, sticking them in your pocket, looking at them on your shelf, crafting them, and on and on. Now, what's prompting this particular diatribe at this particular moment in time is a post we stumbled onto at the most excellent Baby Got Books where they had linked to an interview with Dave Eggers at the Guardian in which he not only says much of the above more eloquently than we do, but where he also went so far as to say that people who need bucking up regarding the state of books should e-mail him at deggers@826national.org and he would be happy to write them. We love this, and while we are not aware of anyone who has e-mailed him yet, we plan to and will share the results with you when we do, because while we love books, a lot, we love you even more.

2 comments:

Jim said...

Nice! Yeah, this whole "death of the book" thing is getting tiresome.

I like to physically hold a book when I read it--I know others do, also.

I agree about indie presses. I've discovered Akashic books of late, and am thoroughly enjoying their Noir series of books.

I'll have to check out Eggers' piece in the Guardian.

Thanks.

Ben Tanzer said...

You're welcome, good to find a fellow believer.

And Akashic rocks. As do Dzanc, Soft Skull, and many, many others.

Maybe we need to re-label this as the "golden age of books," albeit books that come at us from somewhat off the mainstream radar.