Remember that I keep going on about supermarkets being problematic for the book industry by having enormous buying power and not being afraid to wield it against publishers? Tesco isn’t helping the cause:
Tesco Ireland has threatened to pull publishers’ entire range from its shelves if certain titles “bypass” it and go to rival retailers.
Amazon is taking the state of Texas to court, showing just how powerful the retailer can be:
Four months after Texas officials told Amazon.com Inc. that it owes $269 million in uncollected sales taxes, the online retail giant has filed a lawsuit demanding that the comptroller’s office release the audit information it used in arriving at that amount.
A couple of days ago, Damien G. Walter, writing in the Guardian, asked: What’s the story behind genre fiction’s covers?
Science fiction and fantasy book cover designs are as fashion fickle as an emo kid’s dress sense, and produce the same kind of response. Like some sober-suited middle manager tutting over his son’s electric blue spiky haircut, the literary reader sees the genres’ gaudy covers and wonders how they can go out in public looking like that. Why can’t they be more like a Penguin classic, or that nice Faber poetry collection next door? Boring, says genre as it slouches out of the door to meet its friends. It wouldn’t want to be seen in public with the olds anyway. But behind the lurid illustrations hide some masterpieces of fiction.
I must admit, there’s something fantastic about pulp cover art. I love standing in a second-hand bookstore, browsing the gaudy artwork throughout the ages. To hell with your fancy, tasteful Penguin covers!
The Telegraph reports that Oliver Twist’s workhouse has been discovered:
… it is not surprising that a buzz surrounds the new claim by Ruth Richardson, a historian of medicine and author of an acclaimed history of body snatching, Death, Dissection and the Destitute, that she has identified the model for the workhouse in Oliver Twist – and that the building in central London is now facing demolition. The irony is that, given Dickens’s feelings about workhouses, he may well not have been supportive of the campaign to preserve it.
There’s a joke to be made about the Tories here, but it’s too early so you’ll have to make up your own.