Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

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News & Features » September 2013 » Weekly Roundup for 9/6/13

Weekly Roundup for 9/6/13

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Every Friday, the Akashic team highlights industry news, reviews, and features from around the web. This week’s roundup comes to you from Akashic interns Anaka Allen and Lisa Martens!

With over 63,000 supporters so far, literary fans are taking their Fifty Shades of Grey casting protest all the way to the Internet. Their demands? To have Matt Bomer and Alexis Bledel play the coveted roles of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. You can find the petition here.

Librarie Avant-Garde owner Qian Xiohua has turned a former parking garage/bomb shelter into China’s most beautiful bookstore. The 4,000 square-meter space includes a café, a reading area, and the widest range of humanities books in China. “There is an old saying in Chinese — turn something rotten into a miracle,” says Qian. The leftover yellow parking lines and large crosses (added by Qian) give the bookstore an industrial yet religious touch.

Online bookseller Kobo has relied on the Goodreads API for the site’s user-generated book reviews and ratings for several years. However, Kobo has announced that they will no longer be using the Goodreads API for their reviews (possibly due to competitor Amazon’s recent acquisition of Goodreads). With over 3.5 million titles, Kobo may need to start its own rating system from scratch, or continue to rely on a competitor’s API. Sounds rough, Kobo.

Starting in October, you’ll be able to buy a cheaper digital copy of print books you bought from Amazon. The MatchBook program covers purchases from all the way back to 1995! Woohoo! The downside is that not a whole bunch of major publishers are on board just yet. So far, only about 10,000 Amazon titles will qualify for the MatchBook program—but it sure provides incentive to buy print copies from Amazon (sorry, Kobo).

Just in case you don’t have enough devices to read on, Sony has just revealed the new PRS-T3 e-reader. I haven’t decided if technology has gone backward or forward with their choice of an attached overhead light as opposed to built-in front lighting. You decide.

Independent bookstores may suffer a devastating blow now that Ed Hermance is retiring and selling Giovanni’s Room, the oldest LGBT bookstore in the US. Ideally the business will continue to run under a new owner, so: any friends in Philly looking to buy a bookstore and a piece of history? We recently held a wonderful event for Thomas Glave’s Among the Bloodpeople at Giovanni’s Room, and we’d be devastated to see it go!

For those BBC adaptation lovers, Sherlock will be returning soon for its third season, and a new trailer has been released. This show has been sitting in my Netflix queue for quite some time, and The Original British Drama Trailer, while it only reveals a few short clips of Sherlock, may be the thing to convince me to bump it up a few spaces. (ed. note: There is at least one major BBC Sherlock obsessee in the Akashic office, who will remain nameless but may or may not be responsible for the Benedict Cumberbatch gifs on the Akashic Tumblr.)

In other news, The National Book Foundation has announced that they will award the 2013 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to E.L. Doctorow and the 2013 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community to Dr. Maya Angelou. I will be celebrating by re-reading a childhood favorite and first Angelou text, Life Doesn’t Frighten Me.

Posted: Sep 6, 2013

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