paper trail

Jun 15, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

Clark Hoyt

Reading the New York Times can be a soporific (#12) experience, but not when the paper mines its data for the fifty Most Frequently Looked-up Words of 2010. Philip B. Corbett, who is charged with pointing out slips of style, grammar, and usage in the Times with alacrity (#36), muses on some of the "fancy words" that appear in the paper, wondering if its readers know what the heck jejune (#25) means. Meanwhile Clark Hoyt, the Times public editor, departs with praise for the paper, despite having to settle solipsistic (#9) internecine (#11) squabbles between the paper's op-ed polemicists (#42) like Maureen Dowd, whose coining of the word baldenfreude (#6) puzzled nearly 5,000 Times readers. But as the Awl writes, complaining about the Times is a one-hundred year old tradition. You can look it up.

Perhaps you have always wanted to read the hefty 11th century novel The Tale of Genji, but the siren call of today's multi-platform media environment has driven you to distraction. Starting today, the Summer of Genji begins, with The Quarterly Conversation and Open Letters Monthly teaming up to produce a reading group website that provides moral support, commentary, and a discussion platform for readers of the 1,200 page novel.

If you're thinking of buying an ebook reader, you'd better get a lay of the land—the Kindle, the Nook, the iPad, and the Alex are all vying for attention, each with promises to improve your reading experience. If you're in publishing and want to cash in on newly entranced ebook consumers, start with GalleyCat's interview with Scott Lindenbaum, co-founder of Electric Literature, on building a literary iPad app. Just don't let anyone tell you that publishing is dying, "because they are reckless and hunting for headlines;" what we see now is only a snapshot of what is to come.