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Friday News: Scribd’s most downloaded books, Amazon Prime’s price increase, what sexual assault victims were wearing, and Microsoft and Nook renegotiate

Friday News: Scribd’s most downloaded books, Amazon Prime’s price increase, what...

The Most Popular Book in Each of the 50 States – So the first caveat here is the results are limited to Scribd downloads, which makes the results both narrower and more interesting. Alabama, for example, was Lisa Kleypas’s Midnight Angel, Missouri, The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, Tennessee, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max, and in Texas, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express.  –Parade

Amazon raises price of Prime membership to $99 – For anyone who joins Prime after March 20th or renews an exiting Prime membership after April 17th, the cost will now be $99, instead of $79. Since Amazon originally floated the possibility of a $40 increase, this almost seems like a bargain, and since Prime members spend more money at Amazon (well, duh), it’s definitely a long-term win (again) for Amazon. Not to mention all of us Prime Members who will likely buy even more stuff to justify that extra $20 (suckers that we are). Seriously, though, Amazon Prime has to be one of the best advertising strategies of all time.

“Even as fuel and transportation costs have increased, the price of Prime has remained the same. If you consider things like inflation and fuel costs, a Prime membership valued at $79 in 2005 would be worth more than $100 today,” she said. –USA Today

Sexual Assault Survivors Answer The Question “What Were You Wearing When You Were Assaulted?” – MAJOR TRIGGER WARNING! I’m not even going to quote any of this piece, it’s so heartbreaking and infuriating. Still, it’s always important (albeit sadly necessary), to battle the bullshit ‘women are asking for it’ insinuations. –Buzzfeed

Microsoft and Nook redo their agreement; no Microsoft e-reader in the works – So apparently it’s official now, and the expected Microsoft digital reading device is now dust in the wind. Or, more properly, merely an ereading app. I admit to being kind of excited by the idea of an Office Reader App, which apparently is in development, but it appears that Nook is the real winner in this deal, at least in terms of the way it will continue to deliver digital content via Nook ereaders and Windows Phones.

Here’s exactly what the 8-K says:

“Pursuant to the Amendment, NOOK Media LLC (“NOOK Media”) and Microsoft agreed to co-branding within the Microsoft Consumer Reader for reading content delivered by NOOK Media. The Amendment also provided that subject to certain conditions NOOK Media would be permitted to discontinue distributing the NOOK Windows app and will cooperate in good faith with Microsoft to transition users to the Microsoft Consumer Reader. Microsoft and NOOK Media also agreed to updated revenue sharing to address this possibility. The Amendment also permits NOOK Media to cease efforts with respect to a Windows phone app.” –ZDNet

Thursday News: Cool sentence diagramming art, Barnes & Noble’s new Nook, cultivating Pride & Prejudice style, and petitioning Jeff Bezos

Thursday News: Cool sentence diagramming art, Barnes & Noble’s new Nook,...

25 Literary Opening Lines Diagrammed on One Giant Poster – Using the Reed-Kellogg sentence diagramming model, Pop Chart Lab has created a poster consisting of 25 opening lines from classic works of fiction. “Call Me Ishmael,” (Moby Dick) to “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was going in New York (Plath’s The Bell Jar), this “Diagrammatical Dissertation” is a feat of grammatical construction, literary analysis, and visual art, all in one, and it’s even for sale (of course I’ll be buying one) –Mental Floss

As Barnes & Noble Nook revenues slide 50%, the company says it’s launching another tablet – For those of you following the soap opera that is now Barnes & Noble’s corporate strategic planning, and despite the continuing (current) losses and layoffs, the company is planning to release a new Nook color tablet “in early fiscal 2015.” According to the Gigaom article, “The goal is to ‘reverse the content sales decline,’” and the company is apparently trying to partner with a hardware developer to design and produce the new device.

The company laid off or lost 190 Nook employees during the quarter — 26 percent of the Nook team, according to CEO Michael Huseby on the earnings call Wednesday — and about 500 Nook employees remaining in Palo Alto and New York. The company also suggested more cuts are on the way. From the release: “[S]taffing levels in certain areas of the organization have changed, leading to certain job eliminations after the quarter ended. These ongoing efforts may involve additional actions.” –Gigaom

What to Wear: Sleepwear for the Ruined, Inspired by Pride & Prejudice – It surprises me that considering I’m not really into the whole Pride and Prejudice phenom, I still find stuff like this cute. But I do, and therefore I’m sharing it with you. A series of blog posts in which episodes of the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice are used as inspiration for fashion styling. And it’s pretty remarkable how well current fashions seem to reflect the Regency-esque costumes.Also, who can resist the blog title “Sleepwear for the Ruined”? –Emily Style

Protect Amazon.com Users and Indie Publishing Authors from Bullying and Harassment by Removing Anonymity and Requiring Identity Verification for Reviewing and Forum Participation – I hesitated posting about this, because I wasn’t sure I wanted to give it more publicity, but in the end, I could not resist Ann Rice’s reference to Amazon “gangster bullies.” This petition, drafted by Todd Barselow, senior editor at Imajin Books, and supported by Rice, asks Amazon to require that everyone who leaves a review does so without the protection of a pseudonym.

I’m not exactly sure how that’s a “flaw in the system.” Also, I didn’t check, but I’m wondering how many petition signatures have been made anonymously or under author pseudonyms…

I believe, as do countless others—many who will have signed this petition—that the reason this bullying and harassment is able to take place is because of the allowance of anonymity on Amazon. People have found ways to exploit this flaw in the system and are using it to bully, harass, and generally make life miserable for certain authors on Amazon –Change.org