Links for readers: Ebooks vs paper redux

“The pile of unread books we have on our bedside tables is often referred to as a graveyard of good intentions. The list of unread books on our Kindles is more of a black hole of fleeting intentions.” — Craig Mod

The New York Times says print is far from dead, and Craig Mod asks if digital books will ever replace print. After a torrid but brief love affair, I admit that I have been reading less on the Kindle and succumbing more to the allure of physical books. I still use the Kindle for throwaway books, travel, library books, and sampling. I think it is a terrific tool that has its uses, but it is not a replacement for books as objects. When I catalog my reads, I always categorize Kindle books as “read but unowned,” because books on the Kindle do not feel like they are really mine.

Margaret Atwood again: She says now is not the time for realistic fiction. When is it ever the time? If you’re looking for some wonderfully unrealistic fiction, try Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, among the best books I’ve read all year; here’s a piece about writing it by VanderMeer in The Atlantic.

Let’s wrap up with a couple of fun infographics: one celebrating banned books week, and one celebrating Halloween monsters.

A few recent links about writing and similar creative pursuits…

Stephen King asks: Can a novelist be too productive?

We are all artists now, though.

But if you don’t click on this story, the writer doesn’t get paid.

On Harper Lee…

It seems fitting to highlight this great piece about Harper Lee by Roy Hoffman in the New York Times now that Go Set a Watchman has come out and blown up the Internet.

Are women-only book prizes necessary?

Maybe for a century or more to come, we’ll continue to need cultural spaces in which “women’s writing” is protected and encouraged to flourish as something separate from “men’s.” But that same small part of me fears that the gated-off arena can too easily become a prison. There’s something ironic, and a little depressing, in the fact that the digital archive of a major American university now displays the poems of the boldly gender-­ambiguous, literary-drag-­wearing Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell under the festively decorated but irredeemably patronizing heading “A Celebration of Women Writers.”

via Does an Award Like the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Help or Hurt the Cause of Women Writers? –; quote by Dana Stevens; Zoe Heller also answered the question.

It’s election season…

I felt moved to comment on this story posted on the New York Times today: In Democratic Election Ads in South, a Focus on Racial Scars.

Here is my comment, which is a NYT Pick and one of the top recommended comments:

We have all seen ads that invoke race to get white voters out to the polls. Why is it shocking to turn it around, especially when there is no denying facts like the overwhelmingly high numbers of African Americans who are suspended from school, jailed and otherwise targeted? African Americans fought hard for the right to vote and some even gave their lives. Even half a century later, Republicans in states like mine are trying to curtail that right any way they can. African Americans need to get out to the polls and vote just to protect their basic rights. These ads aren’t hyperbole.

The New York Times’ Lens blog tried an experiment…

Our moment in time

Our moment in time.

On Sunday, May 2, the New York Times’ Lens blog tried an experiment. They asked readers to take a photograph of wherever they were or whatever they were doing at the same moment on May 2 (11 a.m. for us) and send them in. Then they compiled the photos into a worldwide (and extraterrestrial — the Mars Rover sent in a photo, as well) moment, which you can interactively play with here.

Our son and our dog is in there, somewhere. (That’s the photo we submitted above — a little blurry, but so are our Sunday mornings.)

A Moment in Time, a selection of submitted photos and read more about the experiment (Lens Blog)

Update: Here is our photo!

Update 2: Here is the Mars Rover photo!