Dog-Eared and Dispatched: July 5, 2015
In a week of hotly-political legislation including national marriage equality as a huge victory for LGBT rights, the book world is buzzing about Amazon and Apple news, the opening of The Hunger Games: The Exhibition, Oxford English Dictionary’s addition of “twerk,” and David Foster Wallace’s resurgence in mainstream media. Ready? Set? Read!
Amid the celebration of the Supreme Court’s ruling for nationwide marriage equality and the subsequent conservative backlash and bipartisan discussion of protecting religious freedom, the book world joins the conversation. In her speech at the ALA Annual Conference, Gloria Steinem spoke to many considerations facing modern publishers and readers including the victorious SCOTUS ruling and censorship. Almost on cue, the Granbury, Texas public library has received over 50 challenges for the children’s picture books My Princess Boy and This Day in June. The LGBT advisory titles are being criticized for their tolerance of homosexuality and encouragement of “perversion.”
To encourage reflection on the past and awareness surrounding the movement, The Road to Gay Marriage and LGBT Rights was offered as AP Books free ebook of the day on July 1st. Clearly, the fight for LBGT rights has entered a new chapter. [Shelf Awareness, Publishers Weekly, AP BOOKS, GalleyCat]
The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan upheld the 2013 decision that found Apple Inc. liable for conspiring with publishers to raise the price of e-books in an attempt to compete with Amazon.com Inc. and its 2010 control of 80-90% of the market. The Wall Street Journal reported the ruling “follows three years of litigation, millions of dollars in legal fees and a bold decision by Apple to challenge the U.S. Department of Justice to a trial, even after all the publishers with which it was accused of colluding had settled their cases.” Apple will pay $450 million unless they apply for a rehearing at the Second Circuit or take it to the Supreme Court for review. [Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly]
Amazon.co.uk is test driving Prime Now, a service offering one-hour delivery on certain items for Prime members. Currently only available within certain postal codes, the service should be offered to all of London and additional U.K. cities by the end of the year. Two years after the first Mexican Kindle Store, Amazon has launched a physical goods store in Mexico on Amazon.com.mx, which includes the sale of books. Selling on Amazon and Fulfillment by Amazon offerings in Mexico will also be available for businesses to use for product sale. [Shelf Awareness, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal, GalleyCat]
- James Patterson is distributing $500,000 to 127 schools as a portion of the $1.5 million promised for school libraries to buy books and other classroom resources.
- Base on the book and movie franchise, The Hunger Games: The Exhibition is now open to the public for those who want to “go to Panem without being killed by teenagers” (USA Today).
- Barnes & Noble has appointed Canadian Sears leadership, Ron Boire, as the new head of the B&N retail bookstore group.
- Dark Horse Comics and Humble Bundle team up to offer digital comics packages marketed for gamers.
- Oxford English Dictionary adds over 500 new words including twerk, cisgender, and jeggings.
- Wood from the demolished home of Ray Bradbury is being sold as bookends to support the Center for Bradbury Studies at Indiana University.
- In the week of Frans Kafka’s birthday, and Israeli court has ruled that the author’s unpublished works must be given to Israel’s National Library.
- In anticipation of the upcoming film, End of the Tour, David Foster Wallace’s work and life are popular and controversial summer topics.
- The complex international book market is explored in a ranking of the world’s largest book publishers.