- Specialise to succeed
June 29, 2013
Despite its sudden closure in 2006, Lotus Books lives on in dog-eared snippets of memory among a certain section of Mumbai readers.
- In here, it's always story time
June 29, 2013
Dayanita Singh launched an informal project on Facebook by asking her fellow photographers to document India's independent bookstores.
- Want some spine? Drop right in
June 29, 2013
There is no method to the madness in the shelves that line Ram Advani's eponymous bookstore.
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Fifty Shades Of Grey has become the fastest paperback to hit one million sales in the UK - and smashed its own one-week sales record. The erotic tale of bondage, the first in a trilogy by E L James, reached seven-figure sales in only 11 weeks. It hit the target 25 weeks faster than the previous record-holder, Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. James - whose real name is Erika Leonard and who is a mother of two - has already sold the film rights to Fifty Shades Of Grey, which began as an online tale.
Fifty Shades sold 397, 889 paperbacks in a week, bettering the 205, 130 it established just a few days earlier. It has also beaten the one-week sale of J K Rowling's children's book The Tales Of Beedle the Bard, which sold 367, 625 when it was released in 2008. Sales have also been huge for digital copies of the books. Earlier this week Amazon announced that Fifty Shades has become the first title to sell more than one million copies for its Kindle device. Despite the massive sales so far, Fifty Shades has some catching up to do with Harry Potter in hardback sales. One of Rowling's Harry Potter titles sold 1. 8 million hardback copies in a week.
And on the subject of Harry Potter, he is rarely out of the news despite Rowling having officially ended the series. A new graphic novel by Alan Moore - the acclaimed creator of Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell - has parodied Harry as the Antichrist.
In Moore's Century 2009, though the words 'Harry Potter' are never mentioned, the allusions are unmistakable. One section features a magical train hidden between platforms at King's Cross station which leads to a magical school. The Antichrist character has a hidden scar and a mentor named Riddle. (Lord Voldemort, born Tom Riddle, is Harry Potter's arch enemy in the Potter series. ) Characters resembling both Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger also appear and, at one point, the Potter character kills someone with a lightning bolt from his flaccid penis. The story weaves history and fiction together, taking readers through different periods in British history - 1910, 1969 and finally 2009. The final installment sees the three main characters confront the Antichrist.
Not so classic
The classics are being re-invented. Publishers are wrapping books by Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Emily Bronte in new covers aimed at teens raised on Twilight and The Hunger Games. Romeo is shown in a tight white tank top in a new Penguin edition of Romeo and Juliet while HarperCollins' cover for Wuthering Heights has a close-up of a red rose and the inscription: 'Bella & Edward's favourite book'.
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