The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
- Sony is closing its e-bookstore, the Reader Store, and transferring the accounts of American and Canadian customers to e-reading company Kobo. In a press release, Ken Orii, Sony’s vice president of Digital Reading Business Division said, “Kobo is the ideal solution for our customers and will deliver a robust and comprehensive user experience. Like Sony, they are committed to those most passionate about reading and share our vision to use open formats so people can easily read anytime and anywhere.” Although initially competitive, Sony’s ebook store and apps have lagged competitors such as Amazon and Apple for years. Sony says the Reader Store will close late next month, and that customers will receive emailed instructions on transferring their accounts. As NPR’s Eyder Peralta reported Thursday, Sony also has announced plans to eliminate 5,000 jobs and sell its Vaio PC business.
- The Flamethrowers author Rachel Kushner talks to The New York Times about reading: “I steer clear of books with ugly covers. And ones that are touted as ‘sweeping,’ ‘tender’ or ‘universal.’ “
- The poet Dan Chiasson writes about Robert Frost for The New Yorker: “Frost’s stone walls, old barns, cellar holes, birches, and brooks — the sedimentary, second-growth New England that, before Frost, had awaited its bard — imply a writer who cared, like Thoreau, only to be “admitted to Nature’s hearth.” But, wherever he went, Frost schemed to buy land or a house or a farm. Frost is sometimes still associated with the old-fashioned comforts of home, but in reality he was frequently on the move, spending, and often squandering, whatever investments of the heart and the wallet he had lately made. Those cozy houses and picturesque farms that litter the countryside make a trail of places Frost fled.”
- The Poetry Foundation has announced the creation of five Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships, which will give $25,800 to American poets between 21 and 31.
- Guernica interviews the investigative journalist Masha Gessen, who edited a collection titled Gay Propaganda that explores homosexuality in Russia. She says, “These stories are not told, and what LGBT people are hearing is that nontraditional sexual relations are bad, wrong, harmful to children, and don’t have a right to exist. Gay Propaganda is just a little two hundred-page testament to the fact that yes, they do exist, and they should exist.”
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