Today in books and publishing: William Lynch is a Nook guy; a sort-of-star-studded shoot; Kurt Vonnegut warns against shacking up with students; Michiko Kakutani writes reviews in verse now.
Barnes & Noble CEO is so over physical books. Go into any Barnes & Noble store and you'll find walls and walls of books. Real books made from real paper. Books that Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch would never buy. Whether he's reading magazines like Field & Stream and The Economist, dipping into Fifty Shades of Grey, or pouring over thrillers by Vince Flynn and Lee Child, William Lynch gets his reading done on the Nook these days. "I don't really read physical books that much anymore," he told Bloomberg's Nicole Lapin. The statement probably wasn't meant to signal a huge shift for the business, but there's something strange about a chain store's top executive admitting that he's gone fully digital. It's enough to raise a few eyebrows amongst readers who prefer analog reading and in-store shopping. [Bloomberg]
Director assembles a huge, literary cast. If you were to picture a gathering of 43 famous New York-based writers, where would they be? A cocktail party you weren't invited to? Maybe a reading by a Romanian poet you've never heard of? Try the coffee shop just around the corner. Filmmaker Michael Maren was able to convince dozens of well-known writers such as Michael Cunningham, Gary Shteyngart, Jennifer Egan, Nick Flynn, and Kurt Andersen to show up at the ungodly hour of 4:00 a.m. at the Kos Kaffe in Park Slope to shoot a scene for his movie, A Short History of Decay. At this point in the film, the protagonist has just been dumped by his writer girlfriend, who left him for a literary agent. Just when he's trying to leave that bookish world behind, who should he stumble upon in a local cafe but every major living author. Except Martin Amis and Paul Auster, two of the shoot's biggest no-shows. [Vulture]