Monday News: Haruki Murakami’s library records published, Barnes & Noble expands, Wally Lamb book as app, and Traits of Classic Romance Novels
Novelist Haruki Murakami’s privacy violated by publication of library details – Apparently some old books at Murakami’s Kobe high school library were being discarded, and the cards showing the check-out records were discovered by someone going through the books. The cards were then shared with a local newspaper, which photographed and published several, with more names than just Murakami’s. The privacy violation has outraged the Japan Library Association, and the incident raises a number of issues regarding how these records should be treated (aka protected). The newspaper is claiming a public interest defense, although that does not extend to the non-famous individuals whose borrowing habits were also given a public viewing by the paper.
The Japan Library Association states in its declaration concerning the freedom of a library that information on individuals who checked out books and when borrowers came and left should not be leaked except for cases involving a warrant issued by authorities. . . .
Hideaki Ono, an editor with The Kobe Shimbun, defended the paper’s decision to run the piece, saying Murakami, 66, is a writer representing Japan and things related to him are of “social interest.” – The Asahi Shimbun
Barnes & Noble Wants to Become More Than Books – Desperation or innovation? This article provided a little bit of deja vu, This time, though, the stakes are a little bit higher, considering Barnes & Noble’s current financial situation and the death of other chains like Borders. Still, Barnes & Noble’s plan to expand beyond books (one example cited was a coloring event- ostensibly to cash in on the new trend) is being touted right before the holidays, so maybe they’ll get a boost from the coverage. Will it be enough in the long run? Has it been in the past, and what’s different now?
Now Mr. Boire, 54, the former chief executive of Sears Canada and a retail veteran who has worked at Brookstone, Best Buy and Toys “R” Us, is under pressure to reverse the fortunes of the beleaguered bookstore chain, which has been stung in recent years by the rise of Amazon, steep losses from its Nook e-reader division and a string of store closings.
To that end, Mr. Boire is leading a push to rebrand Barnes & Noble as more than just a bookstore by expanding its offerings of toys, games, gadgets and other gifts and reshaping the nation’s largest bookstore chain into a “lifestyle brand.” – The New York Times
Wally Lamb’s Latest Novel to Be Released Exclusively as Book App – I generally avoid two stories from the same news source, but I couldn’t find another source for either of these, and I’d already held the B&N story from last week. So pretend one of these is from another source. Anyway, Wally Lamb is releasing his sixth book through a new company called Metabook, and it’s going to be released solely as an app. Which is a risk, of course, but it reminds me of the “original” audiobooks from Audible that are basically radio plays. The new Lamb book sounds pretty similar (and is this going to be the new thing?):
“I’ll Take You There” centers on a film professor who runs a Monday night film club in an old theater that turns out to be haunted by the ghost of Lois Weber, a trailblazing actress, producer and director from the silent film era. Lois’s ghost becomes a guiding spirit of sorts for the narrator, Felix. In addition to the written narrative, which makes up the core of the story, the app weaves in other features, including an original soundtrack, a full cast audio drama narrating the story, and a documentary about Mr. Lamb, shot in the movie theater that inspired the novel.
There are obvious downsides to releasing a book exclusively as an app. “I’ll Take You There” won’t be available in bookstores or even from e-book retailers like Amazon or Barnes & Noble when it comes out next spring. Instead, Mr. Lamb’s fans will have to buy it from the iTunes app store, and it will work only on Apple devices. – The New York Times
The Traits of Classic Romance Novels: INFOGRAPHIC – An infographic from earlier this year, but apparently both GalleyCat and I missed it. There is some interesting data here, from books by Austen, the Brontes, and others. From repetition of works like “love” and “kiss” to a histogram of how often “love” was used in books between the early 19th century and the first decade of the 21st century. Not dissertation-worthy or anything, but just enough information to make you curious for more. – GalleyCat