It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Lemonpeel-in-a-cup-of-hot-water-and-hope-for-the-best Man! Last week's diseased superhero contest champion was Helen, who came up with LiaCohWaHftB Man and his arch-nemesis, Scurvy Dog. Congratulations, Helen, you actually win a prize—I know, I know, I'm so giving. Please accept these sixteen e-Harlequin romances, that may or may not be free from Barnes & Nobles. Oh, what's that? More of you wish you had participated? Well, ok, you can click through to the romances, but only if you promise to participate in this week's contest below.
Those of you who love e-romance novels might want to keep an eye on Jane Friedman, former HarperCollins CEO, whose new media company is potentially acquiring a ton of backlist romances for e-books. Also check out these instructions for what you should do if you love a writer, and this terribly romantic love note to Borders. A very reputable blog has written that Borders is having some... issues. But, you know, book sales suck across the board and around the world. Canadian publishers were slapped in the face with the huge return rate from Indigo, and that's still better than Venezuela, where imported books require governmental certification (which not a lot get). Venezuelan book laws are so messed that the article mentions free copies of Les Miserables next to a single, $132 copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
That kind of price tag can be justified, though, because Harry Potter now bears the stamp of approval from American Christian academics. Seriously, ignore the rest of the links if you must, but break out your headphones and listen to that NPR clip—there's an extended analogy in which the wand represents the Father, the Sorcerer's Stone represents the Son, and the invisibility cloak represents the Holy Spirit. Plus, you get two Jesuses and two Judases, for the price of... well, seven books, which cost considerably more than a Bible. Sort of but not really more bang for your buck!
It wouldn't be a Friday if I didn't encourage blasphemous behavior at least once a post, so my contest for you: create a religion based around your favorite book. What do you worship? Let us know! Feel free to cast yourself in a position of leadership. No, you can't use one that already has a built-in belief system, and yes, victory is contingent on hilarity, as per always.
But you know what they say about Harry Potter (and, in fact, a lot of children's books): realism and grit don't necessarily make it better. They just make it more realistic. And perhaps reality is not for children! I know I struggle with it, and I am (theoretically) an adult. Some reply smarm cleans up children's classics—I especially liked this version of Peter Pan. Either way, keep your books away from that hungry, hungry caterpillar—not only is he a hungry paper eater, he now also has a crayon and will draw all over your pages.
Again I push the e-reader on you, to avoid paper destruction. Get the new Sony wireless e-reader, just in time for your non-denominational winter holiday. And you can load it up with everything from Google books (that is a lot of stuff). Sony is partnered with a ton of independent book stores. And you get the newest Dan Brown preloaded. Plus it also cures cancer, I hear.
Oh, wait, I won't be getting this reader, because this cancer curing machine isn't free. And I'm cheap. Also, I would miss book covers—they're what make the book an art object, more than just silly words. Something I can't get behind, though: books without jackets. The ability to remove the book jacket is half of the reason I buy hardcovers. How else am I supposed to read Eragon on the subway? Oh, I know, why don't I read something with a giant dragon face on it? Psh. No.
Yes, I know you're impressed by my reading habits. But I prefer it my way—I hear that all great literary authors are hypochondriacs. And would make terrible professors. And only some of them come with matching Ikea furniture, although my apartment is decked out in my own Ikea interpretation of China Mieville's The City and the City. I'm also investing in these literary wine pairings and this $1 million book on fine wines.
I only drink pure class, clearly, but what do I eat? Well, when I cook for myself I use the French cooking bible, now available in English (for those of you not cool enough to cook in French). You can also check out this book vending machine, for light, classy snacks.
Wtf, it seems like I'm out of space (what, I didn't say anything vulgar [Dad, email me and I'll explain what "wtf" means]. But I thought it. And would read this book about the f word. It's classy!). So contribute to my book inspired religion contest, or be deemed a classless boor. Horrors!