Howard Jacobson: Asking for pornography that's life-affirming is like asking for tragedy with a happy ending

Porn that’s good to us, enhancing rather than degrading, by definition ceases to be porn

The last chapter?: Waterstones (in the days when it still had an apostrophe) championed the printed word; (left) the Amazon Kindle, soon to be sold in the chain

Trending: Hardbacks vs e-books: the sequel

Does the announcement that Waterstones is to sell Amazon's Kindle mean that bookshops are giving up, asks John Walsh

Waterstones unveils partnership with Amazon

Waterstones unveiled a partnership with the internet giant Amazon today in a move that will see it offer Kindle e-reading devices through its shops.

The poster boy of a new generation of on-screen historians, Dan Snow started in 2003 with a documentary on the battle of El Alamein co-presented with his journalist father, Peter Snow.

Young historians 'are damaging academia' in their bid for stardom

Research is being jazzed up too much in the dash for the bestseller lists, says Wolfson judge

HMV eyes profits recovery

Music and film retailer HMV offset anticipated annual losses of £16 million today by predicting a surprise return to profit in the following year.

Parikian: she combined expertise, a scholarly approach and joie de vivre

Diana Parikian: Noted antiquarian bookseller

When she realised the mark-up on an array of Erasmus first editions she knew she had to become a dealer

Take your pick: Amazon staff in a typical distribution centre in Milton Keynes. The US firm is now moving into the industrial-supply business

Amazon aims for supply and command as it moves into industrial supplies

The online giant has already conquered most of the retail world – now it's moving into industrial supplies. Mark Piesing asks what that means for the rest of the industry.

The Blagger's Guide To ...World Book Night

A million books, 25 titles, one big giveaway

Tom Hodgkinson: The bohemian spirit is alive and well

While our image of Notting Hill today may be of a wealthy person's retreat, the area had a more bohemian and radical reputation when I was growing up. A combination of West Indian culture and a punky vibe made it irresistibly glamorous and edgy to me and my friends. It was the land of sound systems, skateboarders, the Clash, the Westway, the Mutoid Waste Company, the carnival and head shops on Portobello Road. It was home to Rough Trade (where I worked for a year when I was 21), Whole Earth foods, second-hand clothes shops and stalls on Portobello Green run by artists. It was the Notting Hill of Jimi Hendrix and of John Michell, the celebrated late cosmologist and author. I suppose it represented creative freedom.

WH Smith looks abroad for travel expansion

WH Smith is stepping up the expansion of its travel shops overseas to places as far flung as Fiji after the division helped to raise its half-year profits and dividend.

Dial M for Murdoch: Details of the book’s publication were kept secret fearing News International would try to damage its launch

New book 'exposes links between Murdoch, politicians and police'

A new book which promises to expose the connections between Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper group and senior politicians and police officers is to be published this week.

Protests over’s China’s inclusion in the book fair

London book fair interrupted by protest at China's rights abuses

Beneath the lavish pavilion devoted to the Chinese publishing at the London Book Fair, Dame Margaret Drabble is discussing the super-power's cultural heritage to approving nods from Beijing officials.

JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy concerns parish-council elections

'Blackly comic' Rowling book far from Harry

JK Rowling was not joking when she said her next book would be "very different" to the magical world of Harry Potter. Yesterday it emerged her first novel aimed at adults would follow parish council elections in an English market town. The celebrated British author's first book in five years will be called The Casual Vacancy, and will be a "blackly comic" tale of an idyllic English town at war itself, the publishers revealed.

'Independent' Foreign Fiction Prize shortlist: A whole world in their words

It called for soul-searching and sacrifice but, after much impassioned debate, the shortlist for this year's Independent Foreign Fiction Prize took the shape that you see here. If anything, the panel of judges – Xiaolu Guo, Jon Cook, Nick Barley, Hephzibah Anderson and myself – had to contend with an embarrassment of riches. Whatever our perennial regrets about the limited quantity of fiction brought into English from other languages, the quality of translations felt as bold and bright as ever. In Britain, we owe so much of our view of global fiction to independent publishers of various shapes and sizes. Responsible for around two-thirds of all submissions for the Independent prize, they contribute five out of the six titles on this list – although I ought to stress that neither commercial nor geographical provenance ever sways the decision.

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