Garth Nix kicks off this year’s Book Festival

via The List
Garth Nix, the bestselling Australian author of young people’s fantasy fiction, is both honoured and alarmed that he’ll be kicking off this year’s Book Festival with its very first session. ‘I have a new one I’ve been working on.’ Nix will also be talking about how he goes about making stories up and how he then writes them down, and he’ll be reading from his latest book, Lord Sunday, the seventh and final book in The Keys to the Kingdom series, before taking questions: ‘Interestingly, it is often the younger members of the audience who ask the most sophisticated questions.’

Speaking of which, why does Nix think the current renaissance in young people’s literature has been focused on fantasy? ‘Much of this is down to JK Rowling and Harry Potter,’ Nix says. ‘But like most social phenomena it is impossible to work out why fantasy has become so attractive to readers, though one theory I have heard is that it is a reaction to the technological world we now live in; we seek out the wonderful and mysterious in fiction.’

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Random House CEO on the E-Book Age: ‘The Printed Book Will Still Dominate for a Long Time to Come’

via Spiegel
In a SPIEGEL interview, Random House CEO Markus Dohle, 42, discusses the world’s biggest publisher’s plans for the e-book age, his company’s tough negotiations with Apple and why the printed book will continue to dominate publishing.

SPIEGEL: The online retailer Amazon has announced that in June it sold 180 digital titles for every 100 hardcover books in the United States. Analysts estimate that in 10 years’ time only a quarter of all books will go to readers in printed form. Do you think that’s realistic?

Dohle: I don’t agree with that prognosis. I think it’s too aggressive, too much hype. The market share for electronic books, even in the United States, will more likely be between 25 and 50 percent by 2015. But this development still represents a huge opportunity for us. It creates new growth. I meet people in America who say: I started reading again because of my e-reader — and so did my children.

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I don’t think printed books will ever go extinct. There’s something cathartic (for me, anyway) about walking into a bookstore and picking something out and taking it home. I love just being in bookstores. And I like being able to see how far I am in a book, and that’s something you can’t do with e-books.

Why do you think fantasy is becoming so popular (again)? What effect do you think e-books will have on printed books?