Luddites shake fists at Apple iBook 2; Birds of America sold for US$8m; Rushdie kept out of Jaipur book festival by police; Waterstones’s apostrophe sends a postcard from retirement. And that’s a Week in Book News.

It’s only January and there isn’t a dull moment in the book world this week.

Antiquarian and collectible books

John James Audubon’s The Birds of America fetched $7.9M at recent Christie’s auction, making it the world’s most expensive book.

NY Daily News (20 Jan)Audubon’s ‘Birds of America’ book soars to $7.9M at Christie’s auction

Fine feathers indeed.

Here are 10 most expensive books in the world at the moment:

FlavorWire (20 Jan)The 10 Most Expensive Books in the World


Book technology

Apple’s iBooks 2 launch has caused a stir in the digital publishing world. It is said to reinvent the textbooks, where the software will let students watch videos and take notes inside the virtual books. Several technology sceptics have described it as “Lulu on steroids”, “destroyer” and “will never work”.

Ars Technica (18 Jan) – Apple to announce tools, platform to “digitally destroy” textbook publishing
The Guardian (19 Jan)
Apple: iBooks 2 will ‘reinvent textbooks’
Publishers Weekly (20 Jan)iBooks 2: Reinventing Textbooks Or Lulu on Steroids?
ZDNet (23 Jan)Why the Apple textbook program will never work

Frame-breaking Luddites (c.1812). Typically, a reformation is always met by counter reformation.


Authors in the spotlight

Scottish poet John Burnside has won the 2011 Forward Prize and TS Eliot Prize 2011 with Black Cat Bone.

The Telegraph (16 Jan)John Burnside wins the TS Eliot prize

Salman Rushdie pulled out from Jaipur Literature Festival due to reported ‘death threats’. Later, it emerged that the story was cooked up by Rajashtan police to keep him out from the festival. The plot thickens.

The News Statesman (20 Jan)Salman Rushdie pulls out from Jaipur Literature Festival

@SalmanRushdie on Twitter (22 Jan): ” ‘Rajasthan police invented plot to keep away Rushdie’ I’ve investigated, & believe that I was indeed lied to. I am outraged and very angry.”

Times of India (23 Jan)Salman Rushdie: The police lied to me


Book art and design

DC Comics unveiled new brand identity to match digital publication on the iPhone. However, some print comic fans are not thrilled with the shiny, video game-y look.

Creative Review blog (23 Jan)Peel slowly and see

Waterstones has caused outrage among pedants for dropping the apostrophe in its logo. “McDonald’s & Sainsbury’s manage!” cried an angry grammar police on Twitter.

BBC News (12 Jan)Waterstone’s drops name apostrophe

@WstonesOxfordSt on Twitter (19 Jan): “We received a postcard from the apostrophe today. Sounds like it’s having a nice time at the brand retirement village.” (See picture below)

Postcard from the retired apostrophe.


3 comments on “Apple iBook2 “will reinvent textbooks”

  1. Pingback: A Week in Book News (31/01/2012) « Story Of Books

  2. I agree with you, Mr. Smith. We love apostrophe, but it is a real inconvenience to fit them into 140 characters.

  3. I think Waterstones removing the apostrophe is perfectly understandable and nothing to get too worked up about, but that postcard has just reminded me about Jif/Cif – now that’s unforgivable!

    Here’s my rant on apostrophe-gate:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.