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Borders' Bankruptcy Is Latest in Disturbing Trend, Watson's Unfinished E-Book, and More

Daily News

Online Only, posted 2.16.11

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today's stories:

The number two bookstore chain in the United States filed for bankruptcy today. Despite owing $1.29 billion to creditors, Borders plans to shut down 30 percent of its stores, restructure, and continue operations. "Borders Group does not have the capital resources it needs to be a viable competitor,” the company’s president, Mike Edwards, said in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Speaking of creditors, Canadian distributor H. B. Fenn, which also recently filed for bankruptcy, owes the American publisher Macmillan ten million dollars. (Publishers Weekly)

And again: Book retailer British Bookshops, which recently went into administration—a U.K. version of bankruptcy—will close its remaining twenty-eight stores within a month unless last-minute deals to save some of them on an individual basis can be made. (Bookseller)

Web sites such as Lendle and BookLending.com have popped up to allow Kindle users to take full advantage of the device's e-book lending policy. (Guardian)

The massive protests in England over wide-spread library closures appear to be having some effect: The Guardian reported yesterday that at least one county has withdrawn plans to close four libraries, and other local authorities are reconsidering cuts.

As a computer named Watson competes with knowledgable humans on Jeopardy, an e-book chronicling the contest has already been released—even though neither the book nor the competition it describes are complete. Early purchasers of the book will receive an update with the final results and the end of the story. (Jacket Copy)

A day after the House of Representatives approved a ten-month extension to the Patriot Act, a bipartisan group of representatives announced plans to add an amendment to another bill "that will restore the safeguards for bookstore and library records that were eliminated by the Patriot Act." (PEN American Center)

The movie trailer for the first installment of a film adaptation of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is now online, and as Jacket Copy's Carolyn Kellogg notes, the celluloid retelling could prove as divisive for audiences and critics as was the book itself at its release in 1957. Check out the trailer over in Clips.

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