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Bring on the Books for Everybody: How Literary Culture Became Popular Culture (Hardback)
  • Bring on the Books for Everybody: How Literary Culture Became Popular Culture (Hardback)
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Bring on the Books for Everybody: How Literary Culture Became Popular Culture (Hardback)

(author)
£90.00
Hardback 300 Pages / Published: 30/06/2010
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Bring on the Books for Everybody is an engaging assessment of the robust popular literary culture that has developed in the United States during the past two decades. Jim Collins describes how a once solitary and print-based experience has become an exuberantly social activity, enjoyed as much on the screen as on the page. Fueled by Oprah's Book Club, Miramax film adaptations, superstore bookshops, and new technologies such as the Kindle digital reader, literary fiction has been transformed into best-selling, high-concept entertainment. Collins highlights the infrastructural and cultural changes that have given rise to a flourishing reading public at a time when the future of the book has been called into question. Book reading, he claims, has not become obsolete; it has become integrated into popular visual media.

Collins explores how digital technologies and the convergence of literary, visual, and consumer cultures have changed what counts as a "literary experience" in phenomena ranging from lush film adaptations such as The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love to the customer communities at Amazon. Central to Collins's analysis and, he argues, to contemporary literary culture, is the notion that refined taste is now easily acquired; it is just a matter of knowing where to access it and whose advice to trust. Using recent novels, he shows that the redefined literary landscape has affected not just how books are being read, but also what sort of novels are being written for these passionate readers. Collins connects literary bestsellers from The Jane Austen Book Club and Literacy and Longing in L.A. to Saturday and The Line of Beauty, highlighting their depictions of fictional worlds filled with avid readers and their equations of reading with cultivated consumer taste.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822345886
Number of pages: 300
Weight: 567 g
Dimensions: 236 x 155 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"In this lively, always insightful but never predictable book, Jim Collins claims that literary culture is alive and well today, but that to understand it we must also understand the variety of institutions and technologies that house and drive it, its storage and delivery systems, and its new forms of connoisseurship. He makes us think about what it means to love literature, and how a cultural activity comes to be enjoyed as popular culture."-Linda Hutcheon, author of A Theory of Adaptation
"Bring on the Books for Everybody is a lively and entertaining assault on some widely held shibboleths about popular culture. . . . It is salutary to read a work that takes the ordinary reader seriously while engaging in literary criticism." -- Andrew Hadfield * TLS *
"An extraordinary book about books. . . . This book is full of surprises, from a deft analysis of the true cultural significance of online reader reviews to a fresh look at how an explosion of literary reading has overtaken us from the US to the UK, via Canada, and back again, through the proliferation of book clubs, book superstores, e-retailers, literary festivals, film adaptations etc. Anyone who feels literary culture is threatened by the rise of the digital should read this book; our literary culture is on the cusp of a digital golden age." -- Kate Pullinger * Globe and Mail *
"This is a book about why books matter. It is written in a way that offers a masterclass for researchers in constructing scholarly monographs that are accessible, quirky, different and defiant. To use an Australianism, this book 'issa bloody beaudy.' Buy it. Borrow it. Download it. Now. It is a book that we will remember where we were when we we first read it. This is a game-changer for popular cultural studies, media studies and the new humanities." -- Tara Brabazon * Times Higher Education *
"For those who wonder why they read what they do, for writers who want to know how to cater to an audience, for book marketers who want to know how to reach consumers, for everybody wanting an up-to-date and insightful take on contemporary American culture-bring on this book."

-- Janelle Adsit * Foreword Reviews *

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