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Time magazine is asking for you to cast your vote. What are the best, and the worst, covers they have ever produced? It’s fun looking back over the years at all of the different subjects that have graced the cover (One about Minnesota governor Wendell Anderson expressing “The Good Life in Minnesota" is among the…

Not Their Best Work

Time magazine is asking for you to cast your vote. What are the best, and the worst, covers they have ever produced? It’s fun looking back over the years at all of the different subjects that have graced the cover (One about Minnesota governor Wendell Anderson expressing “The Good Life in Minnesota" is among the bad cover ideas.)

An excerpt from the 1973 cover story: “On an August Saturday afternoon, the scene is a slice of America’s Norman Rockwell past. Barefoot children play one old cat and race their wagons down gently sloping sidewalks. Under the overhanging oaks, their fathers labor with hand mowers and rakes. On one lawn up the street, a rummage sale is in progress. Station wagons, laden with children, groceries, dogs and camping equipment, and trailing boats, slide out of driveways, heading north for a week or two at the lake....” You get the picture.

Posted by Joel on March 22 2008 • Journalism

An iPod Reader?

Sticking to the same subject as my last post (quite a few days ago), Adam Engst writes here that Steve Jobs was incorrect to diss readers in general and the Kindle in particular. Adam goes one step further. How about an iPod reader? With all of the talk about a resurrection of an Apple Newton, perhaps that’s what Mr. Jobs has in mind already.

As to Jobs’ remarks about those 40 percent of Americans who haven’t cracked a book all year, Engst writes: “I don’t know where you got that 40 percent number, but other statistics would seem to disagree. For instance, the Book Industry Study Group, which has been tracking the U.S. publishing industry for 30 years, estimates that U.S. book sales in 2006 exceeded 3.1 billion copies, generating net revenues for U.S. publishers in excess of $35 billion. That’s a 3.2 percent increase in revenues over 2005. The book industry is growing, not shrinking. And if 40 percent of the people in the U.S. are reading one book or less per year, the other 182 million of us must be averaging over 16 books per year.”

Posted by Joel on March 22 2008 • Multimedia

Book Lust

Timothy Egan has a nice follow-up in the New York Times about Steve Jobs thoughts regarding the Kindle and reading. Is reading dead? “This year, about 400 million books will be sold in the United States. Overall, business is up 1 percent — not bad, in a rough economy, for a $15 billion industry still populated by people whose idea of how to sell books dates to Bartleby the Scrivener,” writes Egan.

“Reading is something else, an engagement of the imagination with life experience. It’s fad-resistant, precisely because human beings are hard-wired for story, and intrinsically curious. Reading is not about product.”

Let’s hear it for reading, digital or otherwise. Check out the rest of his comments here.

Posted by Joel on March 01 2008 • Books