From Mark Sarvas again, this link to a newish site in the States which is picking up on several threads I've noted here from time to time about publishing (Mark keeps a much better eye on these things though.) Mark was interviewed for their blog recently, here.
Why are we doing this?
In the last few years there has been enormous publicity about two separate but related trends - the demise of the independent bookstores and the apparent decline of reading in the U.S. Some critics accuse the temptations of the Internet, television, and video games. At the same time, the number of independent local booksellers in the U.S. has declined from over 5,000 in 1991 to only about 1,800 today. Unable to compete with the convenience of Amazon.com and the sales and distribution efficiencies of Borders and Barnes and Noble, the local independent bookstores have been going out of business.
We see a different world. Where others see an industry facing gloom and doom, we see an industry ripe for re-invention. Where others see a downward spiral for reading, we see reading leaping forward in innovative directions with a new generation of internet savvy readers and writers; new reading formats like e-books and audio books; and new opportunities for self-publishing.
Among the things that give them optimism, they include '60 million people writing their blogs on the Internet and developing their reader base with a do-it-yourself approach'.
From little things, big things grow. (Now if I called this post by that name, there'd be a lot of disgruntled searchers out there.)
The poets have a nice meme up, and I'm counting myself tagged by Andrew, just because it's there. Here's the drift, from his blog again:
'Tom Beckett tagged Jill Jones with this meme:
"I now propose a new tag: Things which one has read and has been influenced by which are not confined to those paper-bound vessels of the printed word we refer to as books. Let's call these Non-Books. Or maybe Impossible Books. Or Limen Books? It's up to you."'
And here's my take on it.
1. my youngest children running around our small house with great energy some years back whenever the James Brown number from The Blues Brothers came up on the cassette player, while I cooked dinner.
2. walking into a pediatrician's rooms in Warrandyte Road, Ringwood, eighteen years ago, with a tiny, adored, apparently perfectly formed blonde three year old boy who would be a different person when he came out again, labelled like a virus, a jamjar, a conundrum, but still a little boy in his best red and blue French wool jumper that he never got dirty.
3. saying to myself, I am 46, that's not very old is it. And alternatively, "I could go at any time" (Arnie Grape).
4. wanting to fight and to run away all in the same moment
5. learning to care and not to care, learning to sit still
6. at about ten years of age, driving around the Dandenongs with a carfull of bouncy, wrestling siblings, longing for quiet.
7. singing, many songs, most of them well-worded, quite a few less so.
Tagging - anyone else who cares to take it on.