Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Prior to having a child, I loved e-books. After she was born, I appreciated them even more because when I would cradle my newborn daughter in one arm, I loved that I could hold my Kindle in the other arm and flip a page with my thumb, one handed. It was convenient, it was handy. Now that my daughter is 20 months old and reading her own books, I'm equivocating.My daughter loves to read. "Book, ook, ook," she'll say, trying to form the right word that will get my attention to plop onto a beanbag chair, pull her into my lap, and read to her from her growing library of small, square board books. There are some A-Z books, some "colors" and "shapes" books, some Dr. Seuss and Richard Scarry. But most often, what she wants is something by Sandra Boynton - Barnyard Dance, Horns to Toes - books that are age-appropriate. These are books full of sing-songy prose and hippos, elephants, and dogs doing things like bathing, brushing their teeth, and pulling on pajamas - all the things she's now learning to do herself. My daughter loves these books so much that she literally tries to climb inside them. Now that's commitment. (read on...)
It has seemed like every week this summer there has been a new announcement about a large quantity of titles being added to one e-bookstore or another. Whether it's Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Sony or Google, the message has been consistent: "My e-book store is bigger!", "No, my e-book store is bigger!" It's a bit like children shouting at each other, "My, dad could beat up your Dad," "No, my dad could beat up your dad." Of course, it's a silly exchange: one's dad is beating up the other kid's dad. Never gonna happen. (read on...)