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Political Bookworm
Posted at 09:48 AM ET, 08/05/2011

This week’s news: market tumble, book prices, waterproof paperbacks, 7-year-old author, teen hacker, Charlie Sheen, China healthcare hoaxes

Here’s a roundup of news on books, publishing and e-reading that I tweeted this week. If you’d like to follow me on Twitter, the handle is @SteveLevingston.

Financial author: don’t underestimate possible market recovery

Mohamed A. El-Erian, CEO of PIMCO and author of “When Markets Collide,”writes on CNBC blog:

“We should not underestimate the markets’ ability to recover if, for once, policymakers were to surprise on the upside. After all, there is lots of cash on the sidelines and most large companies (particularly multinationals) have impressive rock-solid balance sheets.

If, however, policymakers continue to disappoint, markets are staring at the regrettable prospects over the next few weeks of continued volatility and further losses.”

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What accounts for the price of a book?

William Skidelsky writes on the Guardian’s book blog:

“In his forthcoming book “Free Ride: How Digital Parasites Are Destroying the Culture Business and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back,” the American author Robert Levine has an excellent chapter on publishing in which he interrogates the forces driving the pricing of books, in both their paper and digital forms. . . .

“Most people instinctively feel that ebooks should be substantially cheaper than paper books, because an ebook is not physically ‘made’: there are no printing costs. But if, says Levine, the real value of a book resides in the “text itself”, then the delivery method shouldn’t much matter. The fixed costs – acquiring, editing, marketing – remain unchanged.”

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Go ahead, read in the shower. Waterproof paperback is coming

The Daily Mail reports:

A clear wax sealant will prevent running ink and stop pages from becoming soggy and tearing when wet.

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Boy author raises enough money to satisfy his health needs

In a follow-up to a story The Post reported last week, Tom Jackman writes:

Author Evan Moss, 7, whose best-selling debut “My Seizure Dog” shot him to the top of an Amazon.com best-seller list, has raised far more than the $13,000 he needed to buy a service dog and will be getting one, his mother said Tuesday. In fact, he raised so much money that several other children will be getting dogs as well — about $20,000, with more still coming in.

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Alleged teen hacker gives book a boost

The BBC reports that after teen Jake Davis was photographed holding a copy of “Free Radicals: The Secret Anarchy of Science” as heemerged from court charged in connection with alleged computer hacking, the book took off up the Amazon bestseller list.

The book’s author, Michael Brooks, told the BBC: “It was interesting that he’s chosen to wave it around in front of journalists,” adding he wasn’t surprised the kid would be reading the book, which explores the lengths to which scientists will go for the sake of new discoveries.

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Charlie Sheen to ex-wife Denise Richards: “Your book rocks!”

iVillage reports that Charlie Sheen tweeted Richards on his view of her memoir “The Real Girl Next Door.”

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China pulls more than 100 healthcare books by charlatans

AsianScientist reports:

“Through a variety of means, some phony doctors and experts have been writing books and misleading the public by spreading their unscientific healthcare methods for quite some time,” said Liu Binjie, head of China’s General Administration of Press and Publication, the administrative agency responsible for regulating print, Internet publications, and news in China,

In a notable hoax last year, Zhang Wuben, author of a popular healthcare book entitled “Eat Out the Disease You Have Eaten,” claimed mung bean could cure nearly every disease. His theory convinced so many people that the price of mung bean was driven up in Beijing.

By  |  09:48 AM ET, 08/05/2011

 
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