- You won't be able to read the upcoming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in eBook format when it comes out on July 21st — or ever, if J. K. Rowling gets her way (which, frankly, she will).
Author J.K. Rowling has said no to the first six Potter stories being released as e-books and has no plans to change that policy for the seventh and final work, Neil Blair, a lawyer with Rowling's literary agency, told The Associated Press on Sunday.
Rowling has cited two reasons over the years: concern about online piracy (which has never been a major problem for the Potter books), and the desire for readers to experience the books on paper.
So far there's been no clarification as to why Rowling will allow audiobook recordings — for which reader Jim Dale has received Grammy Awards and other prizes. Last time I looked, audiobooks don't come on paper, either.
Then again, it's not like Rowling has to explain herself or answer to anyone. At this point, she could demand a blood sacrifice of one child from every household in the world and get it with only minor complaint.
- It's a bit of a slow book news day. Apologies to all my fellow office drones who are clicking listlessly about the blogosphere just dying for something to get their heart pumping again in their cubicle — I mean, chest cavity.
Nothing jump-starts the ol' ticker like righteous anger, so here's something to set all you lovers of lit on edge: the Guardian's Kathryn Hughes wonders why we don't just cut all the boring stuff out of the classic books.
If any of these books arrived on a publisher's desk today, chances are that an editor would be dispatched to wield a very sharp scalpel before the book was considered commercially viable. What, then, is so wrong about Weidenfeld & Nicolson deciding to do just that, albeit 100 or so years later?
Say it with me, loud and proud: "I'M MAD AS HELL AND I'M NOT GONNA READ THAT CRAP ANYMORE!!!!!!!"
And to show your outrage to the entire world, you should procure copies of such soon-to-be-circumcised books as David Copperfield, Mill on the Floss (no, it's not about tooth care — I just checked), and Wives and Daughters, and read the whole thing in its glorious entirety, and then blog about the wonderfulness of the experience!
Me? Well, I'll be skimming the expurgated versions... um, but with indignant rage and fury!!
- Radar takes a look at the embarrassing books certain writers may wish they could wipe off the face of the earth — or, at least, out of our memories.
"Out of print" no longer means not available. And though you might be able buy up all the copies for sale on [Powells.com], good luck purging your dud from all those used book stores, not to mention excerpts posted on vicious blogs. Bill O'Reilly, the "novelist," learned this lesson the hard way. And years before The DiVinci Code [sic], Dan Brown wrote a hacky dating advice book — under the name "Danielle" Brown.
Not even Powells.com favorite Susan Orlean can escape her past. Under the pen name "Susan Sistrom," she co-authored a 1999 book titled The Skinny: What Every Skinny Woman Knows About Dieting and Won't Tell You! I'm guessing it was a joke.
- Little House on the Prairie: The Musical? (Via Maud Newton.)
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Brockman is the head writer for the daily Book News posts on the Powells.com blog. In his free time he's hard at work on his fictional memoir, which changes titles daily.
The views and commentary posted by Brockman are entirely his own, and are not representative of the whole of Powell's Books, its employees, or any sane human being.
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