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May-June 2011

This45: Christina Palassio on book futurist Hugh McGuire

Christina PalassioWebsite

Imagine Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness read by a woman with a girlish, high-pitched voice. How would it affect your interpretation of the text? What elements of the story would be heightened, and which ones muted? What effect can a reader have on a text? These are a few of the questions that arise when […] More »
May-June 2011

This45: Alana Wilcox on book collective Invisible Publishing

Alana WilcoxWebsite

Even when it’s not faced with an uncertain digital future, the publishing industry occupies a very uncomfortable place at the intersection of art and commerce. “Intersection” may not be the right word; it’s more like art is one end of a teeter totter and money is the other, with publishing in the middle, trying to […] More »
November-December 2010

In the fight for readers, the most beautiful books survive

Christina PalassioWebsite

In the last year, U.S. publisher New Directions released two irresistible books: Nox: An Epitaph for my Brother, by Canadian poet and classicist Anne Carson, and Microscripts, by Swiss modernist writer Robert Walser. They’re irresistible by virtue of their content, of course, but also their presentation: Nox is a striking accordion of a book, made […] More »
March-April 2010

In some corners of the web, pirates serve as curators of high culture

Navneet AlangWebsite

There’s more to online piracy than Beyoncé singles and porn In the summer of 1999, a terrifying rumour began circulating on the then-young internet, gluing millions to their screens: Napster, the illegal music service, was about to be shut down. It seemed like the party with an endless soundtrack was coming to an end. The […] More »
March-April 2010

E-books may be efficient, but they have no sex appeal

Darryl WhetterWebsite

In the documentary Helvetica, incensed graphic designer Michael Bierut hilariously critiques ads from old copies of Life Magazine. He attacks the verbosity and shrill insistence of early 1950s Coke ads prior to the introduction of Helvetica then flips admiringly to a minimalist ad set in the new font. Here again is a reminder of how […] More »
May-June 2009

B.C. libraries introducing homegrown e-books — for free

Peter TupperWebsite

Publishers, libraries co-operating to get locally published e-books into the public’s hands If the Association of Book Publishers of B.C. gets its way, the province’s libraries will be making a major acquisition this summer without gaining any weight. The association’s Best of B.C. Books Online project plans to purchase electronic rights to a collection of […] More »