Lost This Year — In Print

by the Editors

The 150-year-old regional newspaper, Rocky Mountain News, had its presses shut down this year, ending the battle for readership it waged since 1926 with competitor The Denver Post. The newspaper won four Pulitzers since 2000, the last two being for coverage of a Marine major assigned to casualty notification of those fallen in Iraq.

For 2009, the most-often, stolen book in the UK is The London A-Z, a pocket-sized street guide first published in 1935.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists' annual Impunity Index, Iraq is still ranked the worst country for journalists, with at least 88 journalists murdered since the war began and without a single conviction being obtained. Two of those 88 were killed in 2009.

Louise Erdrich's The Plague of Doves and Christine Schutt's All Souls were finalists this year for the Pulitzer Prize in Literature, both losing out to Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge.

Iconic San Francisco shop, Stacey's Bookstore, closed its doors after 85 years. Known for an extensive inventory of professional and technical titles, Stacey's was named by Publishers Weekly as "the most modern bookstore in the country" when, in 1947, it began selling some of the first books on computers. Ironic.

The number of traditional book buyers, down ever so slightly after the May release of the revamped Amazon Kindle DX.

Among the top ten most requested out-of-print books for this year are:  works on knitting, woodworking, and carpentry; Madonna's sex book; an early novel by Nora Roberts that she refuses to reprint; and A Lion Called Christian, the story of two Australians and the lion cub they bought – however, a recent video of which has been seen on YouTube by 44 million viewers. Not surprisingly the book has just been reprinted.

As testament to the economic woes of the publishing industry, Oscar-nominated filmmaker John Sayles has been unsuccessfully shopping around a 1,000-page novel about racism and the dawn of U.S. imperialism. Sayles' 1977 novel Union Dues was nominated for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

President Obama announced a slight funding hike for public libraries. Alas, the news was followed by the announcement that funding for school libraries would be frozen.


Articles in this Issue

Introduction, by the Editors
Newspapers at Season's End: Journalism, Farming, and Other Lives, by Bob Sheasley
Images from the Liquidation of Stacey's Bookstore, by Ted Weinstein
In Memory of Ink and Journalism, by Keith Miles
Writers in a Digital Future, by Jeff Gomez
Assyriology: How the Epic of Gilgamesh Moved a City, by David Damrosch
Bibliography: Ovid's Art of Love, by Stuart Kelly
Lost This Year — In Print, by the Editors
The Inscrutable History of Invisible Ink, by Penn Van Isch