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Archive for February 25th, 2009

will kindle for kindling

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My household currently contains, digitially speaking anyway, three books that are in process, two of which are nearing completion, one just barely started. My household thus tries not to think and definitely not to talk about the current state of the publishing industry. Especially not right before bed.

But christ if the new NYRB doesn’t feel thin, the thinnest ever. No ads, no ads, for no new books. Oh me. And then there’s this happy little number in this week’s LRB:

The share price of the corporation I worked for had fallen more than 80 per cent in the previous 18 months. The CEO of Barnes and Noble, the largest bookstore chain in the US, had just announced that ‘never in all my years as a bookseller have I seen a retail climate as poor as the one we are in, nothing even close.’

My boss ended our meeting with a reflection on the state of book publishing today. She said that two words sprung to mind: General Motors.


Peter Olson, until recently the chairman and CEO of Random House, wrote in Publishers Weekly last month: ‘While 2008 ended on a disappointing and even discouraging note for many in the book industry, the outlook for the new year is even bleaker. One-time adjustments by retailers and underlying shifts in the structure of the book industry will make 2009 the worst year for publishing in decades.’

Sure, it’s nothing to complain about compared to what tons and tons of people are facing or are about to face. But still, depressing. Trying to come up with a positive way to spin it. I guess it could be good for the, um, art not to worry about petty shit like selling this stuff or ever seeing it in print.

I tried! Now back to my real job: paper marking.

Written by adswithoutproducts

February 25, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Posted in crisis, publishing

missing it tonite – cobble hill quiz

with 8 comments

Ah, well. Is something to work towards…We’re on it…

(I lived about 200 yards from the place where the photographer was standing, as the crow flies….)

Trivia time:

1) Can you identify a second movie theater, other than the obvious one, in this picture?

2) The bushes up the block and on the right are in front of what public edifice? (Bonus question: what did I, once a year, enter said edifice to do?)

3) Easy one: the name of the street in the picture? Which streets run parallel to the one pictured? (That’s a bit harder – it’s actually something of a trick question…)

4) If you walk forward from the perspective of this picture, then turn left at the next block, and then walk and walk and walk and walk and then jump a barbed-wire fence and walk a bit more, what geographical feature will you run into?

5) Directly across the street from the movie theater there is a store that sells hundreds of varieties of what?

6) If you walk foward up this street (ignoring changes in the name of the street) to its end you will run into what?

7) While on the walk in #6, how many bookstores will you pass and what are there names?

8 ) While on the walk, toward the end, what very famous pizzeria will you pass?

9) Walking forward on the street (in 2005 – OK that’s not fair – but I’m not absolutely sure what’s changed) how many Thai restaurants will you pass by the time you reach Atlantic Avenue?

10) Before you reach Atlantic Avenue you will pass Pacific Street (naturlich). What is the name of the store on the corner of Pacific and the pictured street where I used to buy the better part of my groceries?

Super Bonus Question 1: What nearby French themed restaurant / cafe has the best back garden to sit in on a sunny Sunday afternoon?

I just noticed the ugly shadow in the picture, but I think you’ll agree it’s best, at this point, that I don’t start over. Ah, but that was fun….

I like my current neighborhood, I do. But not, um, like this.

Written by adswithoutproducts

February 25, 2009 at 1:24 am

Posted in nyc