The Subway: Let the Love-Hate Clichés Roll

When I first moved to New York City, I lived on 95th Street in Manhattan and rode down to 42nd Street for my graduate seminars.  My first commute on the subways was blindingly quick: I took the 2 or 3 downtown express at 96th and Broadway and one stop later (at 72nd Street) I disembarkedContinue reading “The Subway: Let the Love-Hate Clichés Roll”

The ‘Long Live the Paper Book’ Argument Needs To Mention DRM

Justin Hollander’s defense of the traditional paper book  (‘Long Live Paper’, New York Times, 10 October 2012) is well-meant but given the severity of the challenge it faces from e-books, it is a relatively milquetoast argument. It gets to the nitty-gritty late, and as such is unlikely to convince those enamored of their convenient, pocket-stuffing e-readers.Continue reading “The ‘Long Live the Paper Book’ Argument Needs To Mention DRM”

One Read, Another One Beckons. What Could Be Simpler? Or So You’d Think

It never gets old: I still get a thrill out of finishing one book, and then walking over to my book shelves to pick out the next one to be read.  There are many unread tomes in there; who knows what pleasures lurk in them, waiting to be delved into, savored, and hopefully, treasured forContinue reading “One Read, Another One Beckons. What Could Be Simpler? Or So You’d Think”

Readin’ and Ridin’: The Subway Car as Reading Room

Like many New Yorkers, I do a lot of reading on the subway, standing or sitting. (It is a depressing fact, of course, that too many of us now seem fixated by smartphones, playing video games, or texting endlessly.) Sometimes I walk into  a car with a book already open, sometimes I seat myself, openContinue reading “Readin’ and Ridin’: The Subway Car as Reading Room”

Fiction, Non-Fiction, “Popularity,” and “Seriousness”

Back in December-January, I wrote a series of posts on fiction and non-fiction writers, in particular, on the relative endurance of their writings in posterity. I wondered whether essayists and non-fiction writers stood less of a chance of having their work read by future generations than did novelists and fiction writers, what the causes forContinue reading “Fiction, Non-Fiction, “Popularity,” and “Seriousness””