Thursday News: The Bookseller’s “digital census;” Maurice Sendak estate sued; discussing A Wrinkle in Time; and online World War I resources
Digital Census: 10 key findings – This “census” was apparently the result of surveying 1000 people. Which people and where? The article does not say. Apparently, though, if you’re a FutureBook delegate, you’ll get a copy of the original 25-page report. Sooooo, take these “findings” with a boulder of salt.
4. Digital sales are growing, but slowing
Half (50.0%) of publishers said digital formats now account for more than 10% of their total sales, but nearly a quarter (23.6%) say they account for 3% or less. Less than a third (30.7%) of respondents think digital will generate more than 50% of their sales (in value terms) by the end of 2020—substantially down from nearly half (48.2%) in the 2012 Census. –The Bookseller/FutureBook
Rosenbach sues Sendak Foundation over rare books – A really sad lawsuit that, given the fact that Maurice Sendak actually had a valid will, should never have had to be filed. It’s unclear from the article whether Sendak’s will bequeathed his rare book collection outright to the Rosenbach Museum and Library or whether the estate and the Library were supposed to negotiate which books would be donated. Either way, Sendak passed away more than two years ago, and no agreement has been reached. Moreover, the estate is going to auction off some of Sendak’s books at Christie’s in January, and Rosenbach is worried that some of the books that should be donated to them are going to be sold by the estate.
According to the suit, the Sendak trustees have turned over fewer than half the hundreds of items in Sendak’s rare-book collection. In fact, the estate has told the Rosenbach it had no intention of transferring ownership of several extremely valuable volumes by Peter Rabbit author Beatrix Potter because they are children’s books, not rare books, the suit states. The Rosenbach calls that reasoning not only faulty but rife with irony: Sendak argued that divisions between adult and children’s literature were invalid – in his work as well as that of others. He called Potter’s works “the literary equivalent of the greatest English prose writers that have lived.” –Philadelphia Inquirer
In Which Three Adults Discuss A Wrinkle in Time Seriously and At Length – I love this conversation about Madeline L’Engle’s beloved A Wrinkle in Time. One of the participants is an archaeologist studying Medieval Armenia, and the way the book reflects some of her interests is fascinating. A great example of critical analysis that’s both fun and challenging.
JOHANNAH: Something that was interesting to me about this book is that it’s really, really hard to visualize a lot of what she’s talking about, but then there are those illustrations about time wrinkling, with the ant and the skirt.
KATE: Exactly– the whole episode where Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which explain the tesseract is premised on exactly this, that you can operate in a universe that you know runs on principles beyond your comprehension. (And I also kind of want to know about warp drives. I mean, what is their FUEL? Which is why solutions like Spice in Dune are so interesting.)
JOE: She’s clearly dealing with a modern physics, but it also is an “in” for her religious interests. –The Toast
A Guide to World War I Materials – In the process of pulling together a variety of World War I resources, I came across this collection of web resources that includes digital collections of photos, newspapers, contemporary accounts and other materials. The vast majority of the resources are from an American perspective, however, so it’s definitely limited in that way. –Library of Congress