@READING IN THE AGE OF @AUTHOR

Book Bench – “Last week, Amazon announced the launch of @Author, a new feature for the Kindle that will enable readers to highlight a particular passage of an e-book in order to ask its author a question about it. As yet, it’s operating only in a limited beta version, but a number of high-profile writers—among them Susan Orlean, Steven Johnson, and Timothy Ferriss—have already signed up. (There’s been no announcement thus far on whether Thomas Pynchon and Cormac McCarthy plan to get on board). It’s a development of which Holden Caulfield might have approved. “What really knocks me out,” as he put it, “is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.” Holden’s creator, it should be said, was not himself noted for his openness to such overtures from readers”

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