Dog-Eared and Dispatched: June 21, 2015
Amid a somber week honoring the memories of the Mother Emanuel AME Church victims, there is levity and hope in the book world. The media is playfully pitting Harper Lee against E.L. James, Mo Willems brings whimsy to the museum, “All About Them Books” becomes the song of the summer, and we see activism from Omar Currie, Emma Donoghue, and John Green.
Tireless contributor to the Charleston County Public Library, Cynthia Hurd is being mourned by her community, and people everywhere. The St. Andrews Regional Library and John L. Dart Library closed on Friday to honor Hurd and those affected by the Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting. At Late Night Library, we would like to offer our deepest condolences to the Charleston community, and encourage our reader to support the families in remembering those lost. [The Post and Courier, GalleyCat]
When popular book commentators (official and unofficial) are not taking sides about the casting for John Green’s film version of Paper Towns, they are raising hell about which book will be the hottest summer read: Harper Lee’s initially controversial To Kill a Mockingbird follow up, Go Set a Watchmen, or E.L. James’ Gray: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian. Both with packed book tours, the hype surrounding both novels will continue flooding literary and mainstream media well past their respective July 14th and June 18th publication dates. Amazon announced that James holds the title of #1 kindle preorders for 2015, but Lee is the #1 print preorder for 2015, and HarperCollins’ bestselling preorder title of all time. [GalleyCat, Publishers Weekly, Shelf Awareness]
Amazon has a big week announcing a change in author royalties for Kindle Unlimited, and launches the new Kindle Paperwhite. Beginning in July, authors participating in the Kindle Unlimited Lending Library will be paid by pages read rather than the initial book download. Melville House and other have speculated that this royalty system will be unfair to authors, but Amazon asserts that the change was in response to author and reader feedback. Only time will tell if this new system does in fact advance Amazon’s goal to “attract more readers and encourage them to read more and more often.”
In the background of this controversy, the Kindle Paperwhite upgrade launches with 300 pixels per inch at $119. Not to be outdone, Oyster is now offering a new feature that automatically adjusts a device’s screen brightness based on the environmental light. This feature, Lumin, is for tablet users who want the lower eyestrain reading experience of Kindle, Nook, and Kobo devices on their tablet or phone.[GalleyCat, Publishers Lunch, Publishers Weekly]
- Penguin Random House stays quiet about the new agreement with Amazon.
- ALA president, Courtney Young called the Congressional proposal to make the U.S. Copyright Office a separate agency from the Library of Congress. Young says the plan “does little to address significant technology challenges impacting the U.S. Copyright Office.”
- The lineup for the 2015 Brooklyn Book Festival has been announced.
- Elementary teacher, Omar Currie resigns in protest after taking criticism for reading King and King to his North Carolina class.
- Mo Willems gets an exhibit celebrating silliness and whimsy at the High Museum of Art.
- Melville House is sending the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture to the people who have announced their run for the 2016 presidential election.
- Inkshares uses crowdfunding with traditional publishing practices to offer booksellers their own imprint.
- The “All About That Bass” parody, “All About Them Books” goes viral.
- Emma Donoghue will write her debut middle grade novel with Scholastic, dealing with family and tolerance in face of racism and homophobia.
- Fun infographics show how long it takes for kids to read popular books and the memorable animals of children’s literature.
- The controversial and bestselling Primates of Park Avenue has been film optioned by MGM.
- As hype for the Paper Towns movie reaches a deafening high, John Green responds to criticism for including the R-word in his novel.