Monday Miscellany

Ikea is changing its long-lived Billy bookshelf. Is print dead?

Ikea will make changes to its low-cost, high-volume Billy bookshelf this fall. And to some, that means books are dying.

Ten Crime Books You Have to Read Before You Die

This title is way misleading, since there are two lists of 10 plus numerous alternates. And there’s also some basic information about best-selling crime novelists John Connolly and Declan Hughes.

National SAT reading scores fall to record low

SAT reading scores for the high school class of 2011 were the lowest on record, and combined reading and math scores fell to their lowest point since 1995.

Writers on writing

The Washington Post asked a few writers to complete the following sentences:

  • THE THING I’M HAPPIEST ABOUT IN MY WRITING CAREER IS . . .
  • I WOULD LIKE READERS TO REACT TO MY WORK BY . . .
  • WRITING IS A SPIRITUAL ACTIVITY BECAUSE . . .
  • THE BOOK THAT HAS HAD THE GREATEST INFLUENCE ON ME IS . . .
  • THE BEST SENTENCE I’VE EVER READ IS . . .
  • THE COOLEST THING I’VE EVER DONE AS A RESULT OF MY WRITING IS . . .

Read answers by writers including Russell Banks, Jim Lehrer, Gregory Maguire, Jennifer Egan, Sara Paretsky, and Terry McMillan.

Novelist ditches publisher at book launch for ‘condescending’ treatment 

Novelist Polly Courtney has dropped her publisher HarperCollins for giving her books “condescending and fluffy” covers aimed at the chick lit market.

At the launch of It’s a Man’s World, her third novel published by HarperCollins, Courtney announced that she will be returning to the world of self-publishing.

Five free crime fiction classics – the best!

The Crime Fiction Lover site is making it easy for readers to download free ebook versions of “five of our favourite classic detective fiction reads that are often overlooked but are freely available.” Offerings are these five “gems hidden in the rough”:

  • The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
  • The Murders in Rue Morgue – Edgar Allen Poe
  • The Great Impersonation – E Phillips Oppenheim
  • The Secret Adversary – Agatha Christie
  • The Red House Mystery – AA Milne