Tag Archives: kindle

Open Letter Jumps In on Ebooks

Over at the Three Percent blog, Chad has just announced that you can now get 9 different Open Letter titles for $4.99 each. (The books are for sale forever, bu the price is only till June 30.)

I’ll be interested to hear Chad’s promised thoughts on “publishing business models and pricing and whatnot.” For now, here are the books:

The Ambassador by Bragi Ólafsson
Death in Spring by Mercè Rodoreda
Gasoline by Quim Monzó
The Golden Calf by Ilf & Petrov
Guadalajara by Quim Monzó
The Mighty Angel by Jerzy Pilch
The Pets by Bragi Ólafsson
The Selected Stories of Mercè Rodoreda by Mercè Rodoreda
A Thousand Peaceful Cities by Jerzy Pilch

Kindle Gets Public-er

I’m curious to know: other than the obvious institutional uses, does anyone actually get intellectual value from reading other people’s notes on the Kindle?

One of the features about the Kindle that I have long felt wasn’t developed to its full potential was the highlight feature. While you could choose to see which passages were the most often highlighted, you couldn’t really tell who was highlighting those passages, and you couldn’t opt to share your notes publically – say with colleagues or classmates.

Kindle is adding a “public notes” feature, that will let you make your notes and highlights available for others to see. You’ll be able to follow the notes of others – an interesting to see what others are thinking about a particular book or passage. This is another big move towards taking advantage of the technologies that can make reading more social.

Obviously, I like “social reading” insofar as it happens on blogs. But blog posting about books are very different things than marginalia, which hover somewhere between criticism and diaries. (So do blogs, but differently.) To put too fine of a point on it, they just seem too short to be of more than passing interest. This wee posting, for instance, is already much, much longer than any margin note I’ve ever made, Kindle or otherwise.

Some Thoughts on e-Reading

I recently read my first complete electronic book on an e-reader. (The reader was Amazon’s Kindle, which I did not purchase and nor do I own, though I do have regular access to.) The book was Cesar Aira’s The Literary Conference, and to make the experience a little more complex, it was a book that I was reading for a review.

I found the e-reading experience to be genuinely immersive, at least as immersive as I’ve experienced with similarly compelling printed books. (And I would imagine that The Literary Conference is hugely compelling in any format). I didn’t feel any temptation to leave the text and play around Continue Reading


The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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