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03 SEPTEMBER 2014

Umberto Eco: The Virtual Imagination

"But many internet programs suggest that a story is enriched by successive contributions. … This has sometimes happened in the past without disturbing authorship. With the Commedia dell'arte, every performance was different. We cannot identify a single work due to a single author. Another example is a jazz jam session. We may believe there is a privileged performance of 'Basin Street Blues' because a recording survives. But there were as many Basin Street Blues as there were performances. ... There are books that we cannot rewrite because their function is to teach us about Necessity, and only if they are respected as they are can they provide us with such wisdom. Their repressive lesson is indispensable to reach a higher state of intellectual and moral freedom."

(Umberto Eco, 7 November 2000)

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TAGS

2000authorial signatureauthoritative workauthorship • Basin Street Blues • biographybooks • books-to-be-read • booksellersbookstoresCinderella • closed universe • Commedia dellarte • comprehending languagecomputers • copying machine • e-bookelectronic literatureencyclopaediaend of booksend of print • enriched by successive contributions • every performance is different • evolving formfairy talefatefolioFranz Kafkafuture of the book • god passed over • grammatical rulesheroeshypertexthypertext fiction • hypertextual programme • hypertextual structures • Immanuel Kant • infinite possibilities • infinite texts • intellectual freedom • intellectual needs • jazz jam session • Les Miserables • library catalogue • linear narrative • linearityLittle Red Riding Hoodmanuscripts • moral freedom • Napoleon Bonapartenatural language • necessity • new forms of literacy • obsolete form • open work • Penguin edition • photocopierprint on demand • printed books • printed version • privileged performance • publishing houses • publishing modelreaderly textsreading • reading process • revisionscanningselectionshift to digital • single author • specificity of print • systems and text • tailored consumer experience • texts which can be interpreted in infinite ways • theories of interpretation • tragic beauty • tragic literature • Umberto Eco • unlimited texts • utilitarian value • Victor Hugo • War and Peace • Waterloo • William Shakespeare

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
25 SEPTEMBER 2013

It's time to kill the idea that Amazon is killing independent bookstores

"Big bookstores are the ones most affected by Amazon's dominance. Borders is long gone. Barnes and Noble isn't in the best health. And Waterstones in Britain has started selling Kindles. The reason? There is very little difference between big, impersonal chain stores selling books and a big, impersonal website selling books. Independent retailers, on the other hand, have a lot to offer that Amazon cannot: niche coffee, atmosphere, serendipitous discoverability of new titles and authors, recommendations from knowledgable staff, signings and events, to name a few."

(Leo Mirani, 24 September 2013, Quartz)

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TAGS

Amazon KindleAmazon.comambience • American Booksellers Association • Barnes and Noblebooksellersbookstores • Borders (bookshop) • boutique • boutique-publishing • chain storecoffee shopconsumer behaviourconsumptiondiscoverabilityeconomies of scale • Espresso Book Machine • eventsexperience creation • impersonal experience • in-store experienceindependent retailers • knowledgeable staff • market dominancemonopoly • Nate Hoffelder • niche market • obscure titles • recommended by the retailerself-publishingserendipitous discoverabilityserendipityshopping behaviour • signings • small businessesstumbling acrossunexpected gemsWaterstones

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
17 DECEMBER 2012

Designing the Bookshop of the Future

"What makes a good bookshop? Should second–hand be in the mix too? Is a café important? How do you incorporate digital? Foyles' clarion call at the Bookseller's FutureBook conference in London last week seeks to answer some of these questions.

The retailer has joined forces with the Bookseller to invite customers and industry experts to help design its new flagship on Charing Cross Road, which it will move into in early 2014. With discoverability of increasing importance, the timing couldn't be more apposite. Everyone is agreed that bricks and mortar bookshops are under threat, but what elements are needed to make a physical bookstore survive in an increasingly digital world? ...

'Foyles has to create something that gives people an experience,' said former London Book Fair Director Alistair Burtenshaw. 'It has to be a destination store, a shop in which people want to spend a considerable amount of time. It has to be an environment that adds value. When you make it a more personalized experience, you are happy to pay more."

(Roger Tagholm, 12 December 2012)

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TAGS

2014 • Alistair Burtenshaw • booksellersbookshop • bookshop of the future • bricks and mortarcafeCharing Cross Roadconference • consumer destination • Covent Gardencustomersdestination imagedestination storedigital worlddiscoverabilitydwell timeeconomic recessionenvironment that adds valueexperience design • Foyles (shop) • FutureBook (conference) • high streethigh street shopsincorporate digital • Livraria Cultura • London • London Book Fair • Miriam Robinson • personalised experience • Philip Jones • physical bookstorephysical presencephysical storeretailerSao Paolo • second-hand • shift to digitalshopspatial environmentsspend time • Stanfords Travel Bookshop • The Bookseller • UK

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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