W.G. Sebald

In a letter to shareholders filed with the S.E.C., Barnes and Noble's board of directors write that they believe Los Angeles-based investor Ronald Burkle has "a self-serving agenda to seize control of Barnes and Noble," and outline actions that the shareholders can take to thwart the coup. They write: "Burkle has provided no strategic vision and offered no plan for the Company’s future. Instead, he continues to take conflicting positions, hoping shareholders will be taken in. We think only one conclusion is clear—you cannot believe what Burkle says, and you certainly do not want him in a position to control your Company!" Meanwhile, one of Barnes and Noble's major locations, near Lincoln Center in Manhattan, is closing early next year, and will be replaced by discount fashion store Century 21.

Steve Jobs announced yesterday that consumers have downloaded 35 million books using iTunes. It's interesting to note that iTunes music downloads (which are approaching 12 billion) will soon pass up CD sales.

The New Republic's Ruth Franklin gives a smart, entertaining peek into the world of alikewise.com, the new dating site for book lovers, where she searches for Sebald fans in vain. In the process, she points out that there's "something narcissistic about choosing a partner based on the congruency of his or her tastes with one’s own."

So you've got an iPad, and are feeling very smart and cutting edge—after all, it is the coolest gadget the 21st century has to offer. But then you start to realize that the things are awfully fragile. It's time to buy a case, and there are thousands to choose from. Feeling nostalgic? There are cases that make your iPad look like an Etch-A-Sketch or a sketchbook. There are leather cases, chrome cases, and Noprene sleeves. There is a whole cottage industry of cases, but none of them are quite right. Perhaps it is time to look into the new Kindle.

John le Carre reveals that the intelligence agency he worked for "carried out assassinations during the Cold War."

If you're looking for holiday-weekend reading material, InDigest has posted reading lists by, among others, poet-critic Stephen Burt, fiction writer (and Bookforum contributor) Justin Taylor, and commedian Murray Hill.

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