So Many Books: Reading and Publishing in an Age of Abundance Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"The human race publishes a book every thirty seconds," writes Mexican author and consultant Zaid. How can the average reader keep up with even a fraction of the latest new releases, let alone the multitude of classics stretching all the way back to Homer and Plato? The prospect is daunting to even the greatest bibliophile; furthermore, Zaid argues, people seem more interested in writing books than reading them (a recent survey shows 81% of Americans feel they should write a book). Though frustrated by this state of affairs, Zaid takes a philosophical perspective on the state of book publishing today, claiming that the industry doesn't always recognize one of its greatest strengths: its overwhelming diversity. In the publishing industry, a book that appeals to just a few thousand readers stands a good chance of getting published, whereas the commercial film industry and other mass media must function almost exclusively on a mega-budget scale. He celebrates the small printings that appeal to segmented clienteles, specialized niches, and members of different clubs of enthusiasts because "just a few thousand copies, read by the right people, are enough to change the course of conversation, the boundaries of literature, and our intellectual life." Not a groundbreaking book, but an appealing, meditative collection of thoughts and observations on the book industry and the state of literature in the early 21st century.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

"The human race publishes a book every thirty seconds," observes Mexico City-based poet and essayist Zaid, and therefore "how is a single book among the millions to find its readers?" This is the conundrum upon which Zaid builds his incisive, wry, ultimately celebratory meditation on the chaotic and wasteful, yet exciting and felicitous world of books. Believing that culture is a conversation conducted on many levels around various foci, of which books constitute a vital and crucial number, Zaid reminds readers that books don't have to reach a huge audience to have impact but, rather, must be read by the right readers. Zaid also considers our ambivalence regarding books: we want them to be readily available--that is, produced and sold as commodities--but we also hold them sacred. He then parses the absurdities inherent in the economics of publishing, notes with stinging wit the frustrating fact that more people want to write than to read, and delights in the fecundity and diversity of book ecology. Lively, cosmopolitan, and piquant, Zaid's treatise will engage every serious reader. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product details

  • File Size: 333 KB
  • Print Length: 146 pages
  • Publisher: Paul Dry Books (September 27, 2011)
  • Publication Date: September 27, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005QF0IOC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,339,111 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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