And on the subject of book design, I recently stumbled on The Jacket Museum an AMAZING book cover blog curated by Ferran Lopez, a book designer at Random House Mondadori in Spain. With this and The Covered Up Blog now up and running, I might as well pack up my bags and go home…
Comrade Stalin Calling — Will Self on playwright and author Mikhail Bulgakov in The Guardian:
On 18 April 1930, Mikhail Bulgakov ate his lunch in his Moscow flat and then lay down for his customary nap. However, he was soon roused by the telephone ringing, and shortly after that his second wife, Lyuba, came in to tell him that someone from the Central Committee (of the Communist party) wished to speak to him. Bulgakov assumed it was a malicious trick of some kind – such things were common at that time, a grimly antic precursor of the persecutions to come – but when he picked up the handset he heard a voice say, “Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov?” and, when he affirmed this, “Comrade Stalin will talk to you now”.
Metadata is Marketing — Craig Riggs on why publishers need to improve their metadata:
[W]e’re… discovering books in very new ways. For one thing, our filters are shifting. Newspaper review sections are shrinking, and there are fewer independent bookstores hand-selling books. But it’s the Internet that is really moving the needle on book discovery: the Web is where we go to find out about things, and increasingly it’s where we go to find books… This is more than a change in behaviour. It also marks a sea change in book marketing. It used to be that the press release or catalogue was the foundation of the marketing plan. No more. Now it’s the metadata: the title information that publishers send out into the world about their books.
I choose not to say Yes to everything. For to do so would make me too busy, and I think, less effective at what my goals are. I always want to have some margin of my time in reserve, time I’m free to spend in any way I choose, including doing almost nothing at all. I’m free to take detours. I’m open to serendipity. Some of the best thinkers throughout history had some of their best thoughts while going for walks, playing cards with friends, little things things that generally would not be considered the hallmarks of busy people. It’s the ability to pause, to reflect, and relax, to let the mind wander, that’s perhaps the true sign of time mastery, for when the mind returns it’s often sharper and more efficient, but most important perhaps, happier than it was before.