What Is the Busi­ness of Literature?

the book is a tech­nol­ogy so per­va­sive, so fre­quently iter­ated and inno­vated upon, so worn and pol­ished by cen­turies of human con­tact, that it reaches the sta­tus of Nature.


Dae­mon, and its sequel Free­dom, by Daniel Suarez are two of the best fic­tion books I have read in a long time. Props to Daniel for the recommendation.

Pic­tur­ing Books:

all of these choices—these trans­po­si­tions we choose when read­ing— work. They work for us because books do not ten­der pre­cise images, sounds or smells. Books, like plays, present ideas, and the jux­ta­po­si­tion of ideas. It is the inter­ac­tion of ideas that cat­alyzes feel­ing in us readers.

A long essay that is well worth the read.

To know is to speak correctly

I’m still work­ing my way through Foucault’s The Order of Things and have made slower progress than pre­vi­ous weeks. Busy weeks at work and lots of travel will do that. As I was work­ing through my notes from the last 100 pages this quote caught my eye:

To know is to speak cor­rectly, and as the steady progress of the mind dic­tates; to speak is to know as far as one is able, and in accor­dance with the model imposed by those whose birth one shares.

I par­tic­u­larly like those first six words. To know is to speak cor­rectly. Has a nice feel­ing to it.

Plat­form­ing Books:

I strongly believe dig­i­tal books ben­e­fit from pub­lic end­points. The cur­rent gen­er­a­tion of read­ers (human, not elec­tronic) have formed expec­ta­tions about shar­ing text, and if you obstruct their abil­ity to share — to touch — dig­i­tal text, then your con­tent is as good as non-existent. Or, in the least, it’s less likely to be engaged.

Word. Art Space Tokyo is a gor­geous site and I bet will drive a lot of dig­i­tal sales, in addi­tion to readers.

Hack the Cover

If dig­i­tal cov­ers as we know them are so ‘dead,’ why do we hold them so gin­gerly? Treat them like print cov­ers? We can’t hurt them. They’re dead. So let’s start hack­ing. Pull them apart, cut them into bits and see what we come up with.

This is an essay for book lovers and design­ers curi­ous about where the cover has been, where it’s going, and what the ethos of cov­ers means for dig­i­tal book design. It’s for those of us dis­sat­is­fied with thought­lessly trans­fer­ring print assets to dig­i­tal and clos­ing our eyes.

The cover as we know it really is — gasp — ‘dead.’ But it’s dead because the way we touch dig­i­tal books is dif­fer­ent than the way we touch phys­i­cal books. And once you acknowl­edge that, use­ful corol­lar­ies emerge.

Craig Mod — Hack the Cover.