J.M. Reep

Creative Destruction

In Commentary on August 8, 2009 at 9:19 pm

(Note: This is a re-post of an essay that was originally published on another, now-defunct website last March.)

I’ve always been one part anarchist, one part egalitarian, so nothing fills me with greater glee than seeing the manifestations and symbols of corporatism and authoritarianism come crashing down. This is a exciting time for folks like me because the Internet is rewriting all of the rules of all of the games, replacing corporate and governmental control with an unrestrained democracy and freedom. As the music industry and the publishing industry stumble and come crashing down, you might imagine the anarchist in me sitting on the sidelines with a big tub of popcorn, laughing and smiling and enjoying the show, while the egalitarian in me cheers for the new opportunities everyone has to express themselves creatively.

Are Bookstores Doomed?

In Commentary on August 3, 2009 at 12:39 am

One of the things that people wonder about as sales of e-readers continue to increase, as new e-reader devices enter the market, and as the idea of ebooks catches on with the reading public, is whether we’ll see the same sort of collapse in retail infrastructure in the bookselling marketplace as we saw in the music marketplace earlier this decade. In other words, are bookstores, especially large chain stores like Barnes & Noble and Borders, going to follow in the footsteps of Tower Records and other big chain record stores?

Judging Publishing Companies By Their Covers

In Commentary on July 25, 2009 at 12:07 am

On Thursday, author Justine Larbalestier, whose new YA novel Liar is about to be released in the United States, posted a blog entry that was critical of the book cover her publisher, Bloomsbury USA, has chosen for the US edition. The book cover features a close-up of the face of a white girl, but the problem is that the main character of Larbalestier’s novel is apparently supposed to be black.

Had it been up to Larbalestier, she writes that she would have preferred that the book did not feature a picture of any girl, white or black: