Printers’ Ball 2011

Artifice editor James Tadd Adcox, ready to dunk!

This past Friday was Printers’ Ball–a great annual tradition in Chicago at Columbia College put together by Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine with the Center for Book & Paper Arts, the Chicago Underground Library, Columbia College Chicago, and MAKE magazine–under the organizational energies of Fred Sasaki.

The event was covered by Amy Yee of The Economist, here, with comments from Sasaki, Zach Dodson of Featherproof, and Danielle Chapman, director of publishing industry programs at Chicago’s Office of Tourism and Culture.

The piece also features my torso as its lead photo, and a short discussion of the Busted Books: The Great Soak guillotine/dunk tank event, where attendees chose between dunking a book (usually a classic from the “dunking library”) or a Kindle.

Note: Kindles were dunked 70+ times compared to books, which were dunked 25+ times.  We stopped counting after 100 or so dunks, but the general proportion held up for the rest of the evening.

Writing for Publication/Display Formats

Amazon recently announced a new, shorter format for its ereader called Kindle Singles (cue mental image of floppy yellow-orange cheese square). The works to be published will range from 10,000 to 30,000 words. Part of Amazon’s marketing spiel includes a “call to serious writers, thinkers, scientists, business leaders, historians, politicians and publishers” to submit their work. New authors, new revenue for Ama$on. What do you think, writers (“serious” writers, that is)? Will this be an interesting option for you?
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Reading a TINY version of a BIG book about a GIGANTIC whale

I’ve never read Moby Dick. Nor have I ever read the electronic version of a full-length novel in its entirety – as a PDF, with a Kindle, an eBook reader – in any way. But I just moved into a house under construction and must leave everything packed in boxes and I’m traveling a lot and I got an iPhone, with an eBook reader called Stanza, and a wealth of open source texts at my disposal from Project Gutenberg. So I downloaded Moby Dick, as I figure I can carry it in my pocket while all of my other books are packed away.

VS

So my question is: am I asking for trouble? Is it possible to consume epics on a 3.5″ screen?