Monday, May 01, 2006

New Feature: Link-Mad Monday!

I've realized that just as I can't quite get to all the books I want to read, I can't write about all of the topics I think are interesting in the book world. I've got a folder full of interesting tidbits I want to share here on the blog, but since I really only have time to write two or three days a week, there's no way I'm going to get to them all before the links expire or the story's no longer interesting.

As a solution, I propose to institute Link-Mad Monday here on The Written Nerd. Every Monday I'll post links to all of those fascinating stories, for you to click on as you have the time and inclination. I'll feel less guilty about that backlog of tidbits, and you won't miss all of this vital book world news and commentary. I may also end up writing more extensively about some things later in the week.

So here we go:

  • The NEW YORK POST has broken the story that bookstore chain Borders has signed a lease on the retail space in the Williamsburg bank building. The Williamsburg bank is the tallest building in Brooklyn, a beautiful old landmark that has been virtually vacant for years. It's getting a facelift now, and I guess it's in some way inevitable that it would get a big corporate tenant. It's a little heartbreaking for those of us hoping to open an independent bookstore in Brooklyn – but you know, it's a big borough.
  • Here's an April 9 article from the BOSTON GLOBE about Wendy Strothman, a Houghton Mifflin editor who's quit the big time to become a literary agent. I'm inspired by Strothman's intelligent optimism (as opposed to the author of the article, who thinks literature and publishing are going unavoidably to the dogs.)
  • Newpages.com calls itself "the portal of independents!" It's recently been updated, and has links to independent presses, literary magazines, and best of all, indie bookstores. The listings are organized by state and city, and while the site could use a few more links to store websites, it is pretty comprehensive, and a great resource for those who want to support independents. Just click on the "Indie Bookstores" link on the left to find them in your area. Casey Hill also writes a great blog for the site, with capsule reviews and links to more book news.
  • The Guide to Atypical Usage and Lack of Style has a fascinating entry about a man who fought Communism with books. Full disclosure: this is the ALP's blog, and it's not always about books. But if you're interested, also check out the cool post about unusual libraries, the entry on a feminist controversy in comics, and the WPA interviews with New York bookseller Harry Reece, who told tall tales about his Uncle Steve Robertson that are preserved in the Library of Congress.
  • My favorite new litblog discovery also comes courtesy of Atypical Usage -- it's The Millions, which I'm sure everyone else has known about forever. I love that proprietor C. Max Magee and his pals talk about not only books, but lots of internet issues (Google, Amazon), contests, and weird book-related stories, and they're not squeamish about comics either. Original, fascinating, and fresh -- if you haven't yet, I definitely recommend a look.

That's about enough for this week. Hope you enjoy!