Money for Nothing, Books for Free

Phil at Brandywine Books ruminates on Simon Lipskar’s essay on Bookangst 101 on the subject of “Too Many Books.” Lipskar’s essay is in two parts; it’s well written and well reasoned, and if you’re absorbed by the publishing industry’s ongoing efforts to drive itself crazy Lipskar blows the whistle and calls for a time out. In related news P Daddy must now be the hero of the too many books crowd as he took one for the team by not writing one. Before embarking on his non-writing career, though, he collected three hundred thousand dollars from Random House. Genius? Not so fast. Lawyers are humming on the IRT this morning; Random House wants its money back.

Paying celebrities not to write their books might be worth looking into. If the concept isn’t commercially viable then perhaps a series of publicly funded grants should be established. A blue ribbon panel could oversee proposals from individuals in the public eye, award funding based on a sliding scale of relative fame measured against the number of books currently in print divided by the number of days the individual has been famous minus their age. Obviously if the final value is negative the candidate stands an excellent chance of receiving P Daddy’s biography as a consolation prize.