Today in books and publishing: Animating the books in Moonrise Kingdom; Barnes & Noble fights back against the government's e-book settlement; a familiar cover design hits the Vice fiction issue; why we need to read books on the subway.
Here is a lovely little piece for Wes Anderson fans on how the director animated the (fictitious) library books Suzy takes with her when she runs away with Sam in Moonrise Kingdom "as a supplementary treat to the film itself." In the movie, Anderson shows the faces of the people Suzy reads to (he also had artists create the books' jacket covers.) The animated shorts provide "this piece where our narrator, Bob Balaban’s character, takes us through these little sections of each of these books,” says Anderson. [EW]
There's more in the e-book lawsuit controversy: Barnes & Noble, engaged in a battle with Amazon.com Inc over e-books, has filed a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department saying that the government's proposed settlement of its price-fixing lawsuit against top publishers would hurt both booksellers and book buyers, leading to "higher overall average e-book and hardback prices and less choice, both in how to obtain books and in what books are available." (They're standing up for the little consumer... Except, of course, they're worried about themselves, too; they've said they were losing money before they adopted the pricing the government objects to.) In April, the Justice Department had sued Apple and several publishers—three with which settled—saying they'd conspired to fix e-books prices "to break Amazon's dominance in the market." Expect this spat to go on a while longer, Apple has said it wants to go to trial with the case. [Reuters]
The 2012 Fiction issue of Vice looks familiar. Rather like the well-worn copy of your favorite J.D. Salinger tome, the one with those rainbow stripes in the upper left corner. The story behind that simple design (one of several seen on the author's books), as reported by Dot Dot Dot via The Book Cover Archive: "In the 1950s Salinger had a clause put in his publisher’s contracts that insisted only the text of the title of the book and his name were to appear on any future editions of his work, and absolutely no images. This hard line was particularly prompted by an early fatal experience with a publisher who covered a collection of short stories, then titled for Esmé – with Love and Squalour (after one of them) with a dramatic illustrated portrait of a seductive blonde. Salinger’s outrage is understandable: his Esmé is a precocious young girl of seven, and the story depicts a chance encounter and redemptive conversation with a solider on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Nevertheless, it’s instructive to see how various publishers and nationalities have dealt with Salinger’s legal one-liner over the past half-decade of reprints and new editions." Also, yeah, the Vice Fiction issue is out. [Vice]
Further in paper v. e-books, here's an ode (of sorts) to the maybe nostalgic act of reading books on public transportation. "You may not say anything to each other," reader Thea Crum said, "you may never even acknowledge the other person. But looking quick at the cover of what a stranger is reading, you still feel you've had some engagement. It's like peeping through a window and getting a glimpse into another life. And it seems to be disappearing now." [Chicago Tribune]
The mood for kids' books at Book Expo America was particularly bright, though adult books have taken a bit of a hit: "Publishers of discount books have noticed two strong trends in recent years. Fiction sales have fallen sharply, while children’s books have taken off." Part of the reason for this, they say, is that more adult books are going the e-book route, while kids' books persist in paper. But, “The industry is a lot healthier than we would have predicted,” said Carolyn Reidy, CEO of Simon & Schuster." [Washington Post]
Also a trend at Book Expo America: Authors talking about Fifty Shades of Grey. E.L. James was not in attendance. [USA Today]