Fun interview with the always witty Fran Lebowitz in the New York Times. Highlights: She reads at every meal, owns 10,000 books and avoids Kindles. She likes Henry Green and Wyndham Lewis but not Faulkner. If she can be this witty in conversation, why isn’t she producing more essays? Martin Scorsese’s 2010 documentary about her, Public Speaking, provided some answers but not enough.
I bought a real book in a real store the other day without researching prices online beforehand and felt wildly self-indulgent. Surely Amazon could better the store’s 30% discount? Not so, it seems. The on-line giant was only offering 25% off on that particular title. Once you could count on Amazon for discounts on hardcovers and trade paperbacks of about 37% and 25% respectively. Not anymore. You can still get great deals, but it’s certainly not guaranteed. A random survey of hardcovers I’m interested in suggests discounts range from 50% to 11%. Slowly but surely online prices seem to be rising, which must give comfort to independent booksellers struggling with thin margins.