Between the Covers 11/11/2012

Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books

Thanks to The Believer magazine, formerly known as The Optimist, for a touching and funny interview with Maurice Sendak from last year. The Where The Wild Things Are writer and illustrator, who died this May, had lost none of his mischievous irascibility, setting about publishers ("Well, nobody knows what they're doing"), especially his own, HarperCollins ("Rupert Murdoch … represents how bad things have become"), Roald Dahl ("I read as little of him as I could get away with") and being called a "children's illustrator" ("What is a children's-book artist? A moron! Some ugly fat pip-squick of a person who can't be bothered to grow up. That's the way we're treated in the adult world of publishing"). But his greatest ire was reserved for ebooks. "I hate them," he said. "It's like making believe there's another kind of sex. There isn't another kind of sex. There isn't another kind of book. A book is a book is a book. I know that's terribly old-fashioned. I'm old, and when I'm gone they'll probably try to make my books on all these things, but I'm going to fight it like hell." The full, wonderful interview can be read at www.believermag.com.

...

Bookshops in America are proving strangely unwilling to find shelf space for books published by the giant online retailer Amazon, it turns out. The USA's biggest bookstore chain, Barnes & Noble, refused in January to stock any books by the tax-avoiding bookshop-turned-publisher, and now smaller chains are following suit, according to a report in International Business Times. The reasons are too many to mention, but fortunately a list can be found here: http://bbpbooks.teachingforchange.org/whatswrongwithamazon.

...

Also in the United States, Macmillan Publishers has ceased publishing the print edition of its dictionaries, saying that there is no longer any call for the paper books. The primary markets for printed books are now Asia and South America, whereas the online dictionary generates 10 million hits a month. Final hard copies of the dictionary are rolling off the presses now, as Maurice Sendak quietly turns in his grave .…

...

Meanwhile, HarperCollins is gearing up for the film release of The Hobbit, starring Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, with a range of Hobbit-related ebooks, including The Visual Companion and The Official Movie Guide. They will feature interactive maps of Hobbiton and Rivendell, and a height chart on which to compare goblins, elves and wizards. Technology fans will be glad to hear there will be scrolling sidebars, pop-over widgets and retina-display enhancements. Remind us: were the pop-over widgets goodies or baddies in the original book?

...

If you thought David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas was unfilmable, you're not alone: so did he. The film, which will not hit UK screens until February 2013, was released last month in the USA. In an interview with The New Yorker, Mitchell said: "As I was writing Cloud Atlas, I thought, 'It's a shame this is unfilmable'," Fortunately, having seen the script, he decided: "This could be one of those movies that are better than the book." Watch out for Mitchell's cameo as a union spy.

Arts and Entertainment
By Seuss! ‘What Pet Shall I Get?’ hits the bookshops this week
Books
Arts and Entertainment
The mushroom cloud over Hiroshima after Enola Gray and her crew dropped the bomb
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Elliott outside his stationery store that houses a Post Office
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

Film review Tom Cruise, 50, is still like a puppy in this relentless action soap opera

Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams in True Detective season 2

TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

    I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
    Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

    Margaret Attwood on climate change

    The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

    What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
    Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

    The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

    Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
    Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

    Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

    The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
    Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

    Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

    The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
    Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

    Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

    Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

    Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
    Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

    Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

    The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
    10 best waterproof mascaras

    Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

    We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
    Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

    Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

    Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
    Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

    England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

    The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
    Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

    Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

    British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'