Friday Links V2

An assortment of links offered with no guarantees, and no hope for re-election.

Will Furguson wins the 2012 Giller Prize. I guess this surprises no one but me. I thought for sure MY novel would win. The one I haven’t written yet. Or started. Or thought about much, to be honest. I’ve got a Starbucks napkin with some ideas scrawled on it, though!

Al Purdy’s A Frame House Saved from Demolition

After several years of fundraising and public appeal comes word that Al Purdy’s A-frame house will be saved from demolition, and is on track to become the centre for a new writers’ residency.

This is welcome news for lovers of Purdy’s work, and for Canadian history in general.

How to get your readers to love paywalls. Although I laughed out loud at the headline, this is a good piece about framing paywalls for consumers. At the end of the day, someone has to pay for the news, but it’s pretty tough to sell a product that hitherto has been free.

Have we already reached ‘peak E-book’? This headline is slightly hyperbolic / overly optimistic but it’s true that the E-book market is a mess with several competing, proprietary platforms vying for consumer buy-in. Undoubtedly Amazon leads the pack with its now stupefying array of Kindle devices and popular iOS application (which is crippled by Apple’s imposed lack of in-app purchasing). The Kobo and Apple’s iBooks continue to hold their own. Without doubt, the publishing business has changed irrevocably. It’s up to authors themselves and trusted tastemakers to turn us on to new content. [via Alice Major]

— Just for funsies, here’s a great review of the new Kindle Paperwhite from Shawn Blanc. Sounds like a decent device.

Why do so many people want to write? So asks Edmonton writer Alexis Kienlen.

If you think about it, writing is kind of dumb. A writer just strings words together. It generally doesn’t result in wealth, fame or killer abs. Most writers have day jobs and writing becomes something that people try to sneak in on the side. The writing process can be frustrating and isolating. Writers have to spend a lot of time alone with their thoughts, which is not always the best way to live. The industry is pretty depressing, as local bookstores close, publishers go bankrupt, and newspapers continue to lose sales.

It’s an interesting question to ponder given the current state of publishing. I agree with Alexis – we write because we love stories and we love making things – even if the cost is great, and arguably, especially when the cost is great.

— From the National Post, The Apology Lance Armstrong Will Never Give. The public shaming of Lance Armstrong is stupefying, and this fantasy apology piece from Bruce Arthur hits it home (or rides it home, in this case). The rebuilding of Lance Armstrong begins with a public apology and acknowledgment of wrongdoing. He owes it to sports fans, and to all of us. Ditto for the NHL Players and owners who have (long ago, truth be told) sullied the sport of hockey into a crass game of “who gets the bigger share of the pie”. 2012 will go down as a dark year for sport.

The Atlantic’s In Focus – Hurricane Sandy Aftermath. There is a perception that things are “returning to normal” in New York and New Jersey. These photos say otherwise. The devastation is terrible. And let’s not forget that Haiti and Jamaica were hit as well, with many deaths and much damage.