The era of the big box bookstore is coming to an end and I, for one, am saddened by this. Yes, I know they were big, bad corporate giants that came in and destroyed neighborhood bookstores and coffee shops, ending third places and stifling locally-owned businesses in many communities. All that’s true – and awful.
But at this point, the closing of your local Borders isn’t likely to mean that a locally-owned bookstore is going to spring up in its place. (Although I wish that would happen!) It’s really just going to drive more business to Amazon (or iTunes). Yes, I know they’re both big, bad corporations, so why should I care if people buy from Borders or Amazon?
Because I like bookstores – large and small. I like browsing. I like wandering the aisles and touching the books. Picking them up and feeling their weight. I like to pick an edition based on the way the pages feel in my hand. For me, buying a book is a tactile experience. Continue reading
In honor of the release of HP 7.5 this weekend, I bring you an excerpt of my thesis, “The Branding of Harry Potter: How Fanfiction is Challenging Concepts of Owner and Author”. Before jumping in, here’s what you need to know:
I love Harry Potter and I love fanfiction; not in the way that I sit around and read it all the time, but you know, if I’m ever in a really bad mood… I love fanfiction because it teaches people how to write and encourage people, especially young people, to find their voices and develop their skills as storytellers. Everyone knows that Harry Potter struck a chord with a generation, but not many people know how it uniquely impacted creative and bookish teenagers. Millions of their derivative works can be found on fanfiction archives across the internet. Their writing and art, based upon Harry Potter and other fictional stories that became touchstone cultural artifacts, made up some of the earliest examples of Web 2.0. And they did it all because of their love of the stories that inspired them. Here we go… Continue reading