requiemI love books, I probably learned to read before I learned to walk. Alas books have given way to iThings. Who needs a book when you can play Angry Birds on your iThing?

I was discussing this disturbing trend with friend and author Sam Moffie. Far too few people pick up a good book any more. To me nothing beats a book. I love the smell of a freshly printed book, it is akin to that ‘new car’ smell. I love the tactile sensation of the paper used. I love the cover art. My mother had a saying, that you should not judge a book by its cover. What she was talking about was people, you should not judge a person on the way they look or the clothes they wear, instead look inside, find the good inside them.

My mother was right, however as a book reviewer, I do tend to partially judge a book by its cover. The cover art is important. How well does it describe the contents within? Sam has not settled on the final cover art, but the picture above very much sums the book up.

I am a book snob! There, I said it!

Sam and I had a long discussion on what it would take to get people back to the wonderful world of books. He has just finished his 6th book Requiem For A Casanova. I have read the draft and it is in my mind his best book yet. It even eclipses To Kill The Duke.

Sam made this observation:

Sales of books in old fashioned book stores are down 17.2% since 2008. Is it any wonder that Borders went belly-up? Meanwhile sales of books on the internet in any way shape or form are up a gazillion percent in the same period.  What is a writer to do?

We have agreed to try something new, well maybe not new, we are going to do what the great Saturday Evening Post made popular in print media. We are going to serialize Requiem For A Casanova here on Blogger News.

It worked for some great writers, from the web page:

 The Saturday Evening Post mirrors cherished American ideals and values, most memorably illustrated by its iconic cover artist Norman Rockwell. The Post is also known for publishing such literary greats as Ray Bradbury, Agatha Christie, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edgar Allan Poe, J.D. Salinger, and Kurt Vonnegut, and continues to seek out and discover emerging writers of the 21st century.

Yes, it is an old idea, reinvented for the modern world. I was concerned that the approach would hurt sales, but as Sam pointed out, it did not harm any other authors.

Best of all, unlike a regular book, we will be providing a way for readers to leave comments and ask questions.

Look forward to the first installment which we are hoping to have running on March/1.

Simon Barrett

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