June 11, 2007

Catching Up

Fantasy is having a good summer so far -- as most eagerly await the latest from Rowling-ville with books and bad ends anticipated. Everyone is eager but booksellers, that is. Yahoo news reports good news for readers, bad news for people trying to make a living from books: the next HP installment is already on deep discount. Many big chain retailers have slashed at most 50% from the $34.99 list price.

On one hand, I've never felt that it makes sense to sell a children's book for twenty-five to thirty dollars -- I mean, shouldn't kidlit be something a kid can buy with their allowance or by turning in a few bottles for recycle? -- and $34.99 is obscene. On the other hand, it pains me to see that once again independent booksellers are being hurt. What other choice do they have but to drop the price of the book as well? Or else not sell any? I'm torn on this one. I hate bullies, and I really try not to procure my books from anywhere but an independent or a library, but I'm also heinously cheap. Maybe I'll just put off reading the last Potter book until the price comes down. (No spoilers, people.)

"Because it's so easy, even an actor can do it (with apologies to cavemen)... "
Okay, if you watch One Life to Live, (or write for it, like my friend MeiMei), you will now be pleased to know that one of the actors is writing a graphic novel. See? So easy. Okay: snark aside, said actor has written a couple of horror novels. Moving on. Speaking of graphic novels, GalleyCat brings us a three minute video segment from The Wall Street Journal, on graphic novels and girls, and Colleen has the awesome Summer Reading List for Booksluts-in-training. Check those out instead.

This isn't a children's book issue -- yet -- I just want to say WHOA to what's happening in federal prisons around the country. Because Books Aren't Our Friends (and they're so gosh-darned easy to ban to control the powerless), hundreds of books are vanishing from prison library shelves around the country. This is, of course, a post September-11th-thing, designed to protect us and prevent violent people from coming into contact with radical works.

Because: violent people AND reading - a noted combination.

I understand the fear, though, so I'm open to listening, right? Until I read this: "'Inmate Moshe Milstein told the judge by telephone that the chaplain at Otisville [NY] removed about 600 books from the chapel library on Memorial Day, including Harold S. Kushner's best-seller "When Bad Things Happen to Good People," a book that Norman Vincent Peale said was "a book that all humanity needs.'"

Well, of course they banned that evil radical Muslim cleric book by a Jewish Rabbi. Of course.

As I said, this isn't a children's literature issue.

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