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Paul Theroux Speaks Out on eBooks

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On this morning’s episode of Morning Media Menu, Jason Boog’s guest was novelist and nonfiction writer Paul Theroux, author most recently of A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta.

On the show (which you can listen to using the player to the right), they discussed Theroux’s new book as well as his thoughts and anxieties on eBooks. Theroux is excited about the technological possibilities of eBooks, but worries about the copyright implications, a topic ever on the book world’s collective mind, especially with today’s news that Judge Denny Chin won’t make his decision about the Google settlement at today’s hearing.

Here’s an excerpt from Theroux’s comments on today’s show: “I think it’s a very, very strange thing. I can’t say it’s good or bad. The big danger is copyright infringement. Stealing books and sharing books without paying for them. What could happen to the publishing industry is what happened to the music industry. It was destroyed. Absolutely destroyed. People don’t buy cd’s anymore, they share [MP3s], they swap them, and they steal them. That could happen with books. The upside is that … my [Atlantic piece] is a 17,000 word story. You could open the New Yorker and you won’t find a 17,000 word story. That’s a big, it’s more than twice as long as the longest story … The technological part is great, but the legal part, the copyright part, I don’t know what will happen.”

Author photo courtesy of Yingyong Un-anongrak.

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