A few interesting items I spotted in the cyberstreams today related to twitter, books, and reading:
Seth Finkelstein has a nice post summing up what Twitter is all about (in short, ego): Twitter — I'm not getting suckered again.
Nicholas Carr wrote a very funny piece (Tim Writes a Book) about Tim O'Reilly's new simplified book for the twitter set called The Twitter Book. O'Reilly has said it "reinvents the book in the age of the web" by omitting such troubling things as "a sustained narrative." This book does sound silly and a bit pointless, but to his credit, O'Reilly has also published Steve Talbott's thoughtful critiques of technology (and they're nothing if not sustained narratives), so maybe it balances out.
Meanwhile, in that alternate reality where people still read complicated works of fiction, Spanish novelist Enrique Vila-Matas puts out a call not just for more readers but for new, active "readers of talent":
"In the flames of this dream of mortgages and the golden calf of the
gothic novel, the stupid legend of the passive reader was forged. This
monster’s fall is giving way to the reappearance of the reader of
talent, and the terms of the moral contract between author and the
public are being reframed. Those writers breathe once more who are
desperate for an active reader, for a reader open enough to permit into
her mind the figure of a conscience radically different from her own."
If you read Spanish (I don't) you can follow that link to the whole column. Two of Vila-Matas's books are available in English and I highly recommend them. I liked Bartleby & Co. so much I accidentally bought it twice.