Does it matter what an author looks like?

I do a lot of thinking about ebooks and digital media, but Readerville pointed the way to a post by author Jennifer Weiner about something I have never really thought about: does it matter what an author looks like? Their example given is a good one:

the idea that she would likely have reacted differently to the author’s tale of marital woe had she known she was a gorgeous blonde who’d have no trouble finding a new mate.

I have to admit to often deciphering an author’s name as I reach for a book in the bookstore. Especially in the Current Events topic areas. You really do get different points of view from people living in different places, but I never applied to the sympathy and believability side of things.

I’m going to have to go through LibraryThing’s author database and look up all of my authors to see who lives up the image in my mind and who surprises me.

Most Influential Southern Novel

Academics from a few southern universities have compiled a short-list of “the greatest in Southern Literature” and will discuss/announce the “winner” this Wednesday night on South Carolina Education TV. There is also an “online poll” tab to click on so you can vote for your favorite.

The list of 20 titles that they compiled is:

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Little, Brown’s new Logo

Little, Brown and Company have a new logo. They are ditching the 70-year-old etching of some Boston-based revolutionary war era memorial called the Bullfinch Monument, for an updated type-only design. Here’s a link to the short New York Observer article, which is worth the read because they take a couple of paragraphs to talk with the font designer who behind the new “L” and “B” letterforms.

If you dig vintage colophons and publisher marks, visit this site (via Penguin blog). Most seem to be scanned from pulp serial paperbacks and it’s pretty fun to look through. I do hope they’ll keep updating it.

Mobile Books Climbing the Ladder

The folks over at the O’Reilly RADAR blog crunched some numbers and churned out some graphs. With the iPhone Apps store about to sell its one billionth app download,  the “books” category is by far and wide the largest mover and shaker. It saw 279% growth over the past week and while sporting only 11% of the Apps Store’s total offerings. Granted it’s not as popular as the Games and Entertainment categories and the growth probably has a lot to do with the Kindle App, but with all of the geo-synching-motion-controlling-gesture-detecting-music-blasting features that the iPhone can do… look what all those iPhone owners are wanting to explore on their gadgets… books.