Big-Picture Pluses; or, This Glass Is at Least Half Full

March 2010
by Joseph Esposito

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Big-Picture Pluses; or, This Glass Is at Least Half Full

by Joseph Esposito

The prophets of doom in the book industry had a field day with the recent announcement that Kirkus Reviews was shutting down. Once again we heard that the book industry is dying. The causes are several, the condition terminal. People don’t read any more; e-books (assuming people will read them) will kill print books, and with them, the industry; the economics are terrible; copyright is an oh-so-old paradigm; the competition from other media is overwhelming; and why read if you can find a friend on Facebook or Twitter?

Never mind that sluggishness in the book business mostly parallels the greatest economic slowdown in almost 30 years or that for all the challenges that the Internet poses to book publishers, what most people do most of the time on the Web is read and write. Indeed, never before have as many people been more deeply engaged with text; and that this engagement occurs on a screen instead of a finely printed book is of small consequence. Excuse me, but could somebody please make room for an optimist?

To be an optimist does not mean being a Pollyanna. (This term for an irrepressible enthusiast comes from the novel of the same name by Eleanor Porter, which was published in 1913. The books in this series ar…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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