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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Strictly
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum