• October 23, 2013

    Bookforum editor Albert Mobilio pays a visit to John Ashbery’s Hudson, New York, home—as it has been reproduced in the city for a new show at the Loretta Howard Gallery. In addition to “a selection of Ashbery’s own paintings, prints, collages, bric-a-brac, and furniture,” the exhibition includes “kitschy figurines, VHS tapes, … bawdy toys,” all of which “evoke the multifariousness of consciousness” and create the impression of “standing inside one of Ashbery’s poems.”

    John Ashbery, photo by Bill Hayward

    John Ashbery, photo by Bill Hayward

    From October 18 to 25, indie publisher OR Books will be running a pop-up bookshop at Alexandra, a restaurant in the West Village. OR authors will be dining at the restORrant (get it?) throughout the week, and free e-books will be distributed with each meal.

    The world’s oldest university press, Oxford University Press, is gearing up to publish a lavish, five-volume history of itself. The first volume will span the press’s beginnings, from 1478 to 1780; the next, which covers 1780-1896, will look at the way books were printed and distributed; and the third will examine the globalization of the press. Further volumes will come out in 2014.

    How much do online magazines pay their writers? And how do editors decide what to pay? A roundtable with editors from The Toast, Slate, and The Atlantic.

    While publishing has traditionally relied on editors to predict which which books might strike it big, in the age of the internet, the public has often already voted, and their demands can be ugly. At The New Republic, Noreen Malone profiles Simon and Schuster editor Jeremie Ruby-Strauss, whose authors include a number of blog-to-book writers, and such literary giants as Tucker Max and Snooki.

    If you’re looking to read the really dirty stuff, a good place to find it is in the world of self-published books. A new study of “tens of thousands of books” conducted through the Book Genome Project found that self-published books contain more depictions of illegal sexual acts (like incest and bestiality) than traditionally published books “by a ratio of nearly 10 to 1.” While erotica makes up only 1.1. percent of traditional publishers’ catalogs, 28.6 percent of all self-published books fall into that category.