An article informing us that history textbooks are often written on an assembly line (like we didn't already know that)
mentions that James W. Loewen is updating his 1995 bestseller Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong
. OhboyohboyOHBOY!!!!! This has got to be one of the best "What the Hell is wrong with our country???" screeds that I've ever read. I can't wait to see what he's got to say about the misrepresentation of history that I've actually lived through!
And, in an interesting article about books that become bestsellers in paperback after doing only modestly well in hardcover
, an interesting comment: The target audience for a paperback is often different from that for hardcovers. “I think of paperback readers as the smarter, hipper, younger readers,” said Marty Asher, editor in chief of Vintage/Anchor Books, the paperback imprint of the Knopf Group. He noted that books like “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro, or titles by Haruki Murakami, the Japanese novelist, tend to appeal to readers who frankly prefer the lower price of a paperback.”
Err. Would that be my demographic that Asher's talking about? Hmm. Let's see. "Younger"? Most likely. "Smarter"? At best arguable. "Hipper"? *bwa ha ha* Nah... *coughs* Anyway, color me unhip, but I'm one of those people who'd rather have a hardcover book. Especially with the advent of online shopping, the price difference between most new hardcovers and their equivalent trade paperbacks is only about $4-$5--and if five bucks stands between me and a book that will last a hundred years versus a book that may look nice for four years, max, on the shelf, whatcha think I'm going to buy? Especially, nowadays that trade paperbacks are hardly better quality than mass market paperbacks. Still, both Penguin Putnam and HarperCollins have recently been testing the trade paperback market with high-quality paperbacks (rough-cut edges, french flaps, acid-free paper, etc.), which are a halfway decent consolation prize as the pretty hardcover slowly goes the way of the dinosaur and publishers expend more effort on literary fiction in paperback original.