Good morning bookies! Stand by for news and comment.

*** There appears to be an interesting change in online sales this season. It’s too early to go into detail, I’ll wait until January and look by to see if I’m correct. But, if I am, then there is a sea change at work here and it bodes ill for the Ebays of the world, who believe they can bully the marketplace into doing as they wish instead of giving the market what it wants. Anyway, the sampling is still too small to be conclusive.

*** Dorothy Sterling has died, aged 95. Her 1954 book Freedom Train was an early inspiration as the Civil Tights movement was gaining steam.

*** There is a major re-organization underway at Random House. Now, this isn’t necessarily a normal topic for this blog, but the linked article is a pretty interesting behind-the-scenes look at the people who select and publish the books that are a normal concern here-abouts, so it seemed appropriate.

Watching Random morph

*** In another life I could easily have been quite happy as a bookbinder. No kidding. I’ve never done it, of course, I doubt many people have these days, but I suspect I would have been good at it. As a kid I built model airplanes and did quite well, I was a fine painter and could see myself working with signatures and goatskin and parchment.

Anyway, in a world that is overwhelmed with awards and best-of lists, one of the few that impress me are the awards given out by the Bookbinder’s Guild of New York. These are the people are publishers who still give a damn.

A craft not yet lost

*** A follow-up article to the blog entry about the world’s most expensive new book. The $126,000 table sized book (literally) of Michelangelo’s work has gone on display in, where else?, New York. With my luck I would own a copy and one of my dogs would chew the corners.

This book or a house, which would you choose?