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Monday, December 22, 2008

Book Ends

More chatter about the end of the publishing industry showed up in the Los Angeles Times yesterday in this article written by Tom Engelhardt.

The article updates a lot of similar articles that this site has linked to and discussed in the past with new information about recent layoffs and cutbacks in the industry. So in some sense, it's a traditional "Here lies the publishing industry" piece. However, one new bit of insight is Engelhardt's commentary that the book has resisted the presence of advertisements more effectively than any other print media:

This, in our world, has to be considered some kind of unnoticed miracle. Yes, early books sometimes had quack medicine ads in them and, for years, certain paperbacks had ads for other books (by the same publisher) at the back, but the book largely resisted the ad. Even after publishers began wrapping book covers around anything from movie novelizations to material that had once been confined to "police gazettes" or Hollywood fan mags, the ad still -- against all logic -- stayed away.

Now that is interesting. And even at the expense of the industry, I hope the ad continues to stay away from the novel.

Thanks to the many people that drew my attention to this article.


Sven said...

He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a deliciously refreshing, zero calorie, diet coke, he burst his Mentos like heart's fresh maker upon it.

stu said...

Occasionally they show up for comic effect, as with the adverts at the back of most Jasper Fforde books.