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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Borders and the Thirty Four Dollar Book

Times are hard. On this we can agree. Bankruptcies, foreclosures, Borders. Borders has gone bankrupt and many point to this that the publishing industry is going through massive change. The ebook is threatening to upend the industry the way the IPOD did to the music biz with a Kindle for every home and those downloads streaming in leaving empty stores and libraries in their wake. But then through all this comes the thirty four dollar book.

Of course I am talking about the Twain Autobiography. The small bookstore I ordered the book from and had to rush into get it lest someone else grab it still has back orders and no books. There are people who are waiting all over America to pay thirty four dollars for a book only a little smaller than a tombstone. What does this say in our current woes me climate? That Twain still sells. That people will plunk down a hell of a lot of money for a book. That people must be really suckers. That reading a paper book is still something people want to do?

What I take from it is that people want to read what they want to read and they don't care who delivers it to them. That the musings of a man who wrote over a hundred years ago holds up is a very good thing. That people will stand in line to pay thirty four dollars for a book that is not a thriller, tell all, celeb book is even better. So it would seem to say something about human nature. That just when we thought that the publishing industry had gone kaput, there is this monster book that is a rambling discourse of one thing or another. Very Twain. Very unconventional. Very human.
Rocket Man will blast off in February

Books by William Hazelgrove