Hugh McGuire

publishing, technology, media, philosophy, a bit of politics.

Category: books

What If the Book Business Collapses

[X-posted at Huffpo & Book Oven] Question: What would happen if, tomorrow, every publisher, and every book store, went out of business? What would you do? The Big Stores About fifteen years ago I walked into my first of the new breed of big book stores, Chapters in Toronto. I thought to myself: how can […]

Information Society, Circa 1981

I think this guy was on to something, when he wrote this in 1980: In the information society (1) information, the axis of socio-economic development, will be produced by the information utility … a computer-based public infrastructure … (2) self-production of information by users will increase; information will accumulate, (3) this accumulated information will expand […]

feria: a poempark & movie

My friend Oana Avasilichioaei recently released her latest book of poetry, feria: a poempark (amazon link): Oana Avasilichioaei deftly dismantles language and landscape in a whirling collection of poetry. feria is a poetic frolic in Vancouver’s Hastings Park eluding boundaries of landscape, time and narrative. Avasilichioaei writes and rewrites over this image, interpreting its evolving […]

Tolstoy and the iPhone

[Also published at Huffpo] I just came into possession of an iPod Touch, which is more or less the iPhone without the phone part (my friend Matt got an iPhone, so I inherited his Touch). I got the little gadget the night before a trip to San Francisco, and I loaded it up with audiobooks […]

Google Books Settlement

I was at the annual meeting of the Open Content Alliance (hosted by the Internet Archive) when news of the big settlement between Google and Authors over use of out-of-print and orphan works in Google’s Book Search. The Open Content Alliance is an open, public domain version of Google’s book scanning endeavour, which is dedicated […]

How Fiction Works

What a wonderful, elegant little book, by James Wood: [openbook booknumber=”0374173400″]

iPod and Philosophy

Dylan Wittkower, LibriVox’s resident philosopher and reader of such gems as Schopenhauer’s Studies in Pessimism, and JS Mill’s Untilitarianism, has edited a new academic/popular text, The iPod and Philosophy. I have a blurb on the back of the book, getting the pole position ahead of Clay Shriky (!).


What a wonderful site is BibliOdyssey … : Books~~Illustrations~~Science~~History~~Visual Materia Obscura~~Eclectic Bookart….eclectic and rare book illustrations derived from many digital repositories, accompanied by some background commentary. A cornucopia of eye candy for biblionerds. You can buy the book too. Pure visual joy.

What Publishing Can Learn from Music

[Cross-posted at HuffingtonPost & the Book Oven Blog] The modern publishing business has been in existence since about 1800, but things are not looking so rosy in the ink-stained world. The publishing business is scared: if stagnating book sales and the creeping digital shakeup were not enough, the market meltdown has many tightening their belts […]

Bookkake – Print-On-Demand Publisher

[cross-posted at the Book Oven Blog] Bookkake, is “an entirely print-on-demand, and web-oriented, publisher,” launched by James Birdle. Either he’s a pervert, or a good marketer, but he’s starting with … well, let’s call them saucy books. Interestingly his first batch of books are all old classics, and out of copyright, such as John Cleland’s […]