Lives of books, and humour

A few postings that have interested me, and which I haven’t had time to write about since moving Petrona and dealing with all the accumulated emails.

  • On the Big Bad Book Blog (the commaless blog), there is an article on the secret life of books, which details the process (and times) between a book being finished by the author, and actually appearing on the shelves. Here’s the bottom line:


Three months to a year—Book production, including cover design, illustration, compliance, indexing, interior page design, composition and editing

Six to ten weeks—Printing

Two to three weeks*—From printer to first destination

Two to three weeks*—From fulfillment center to wholesaler or retailer

*Includes transit time and time for receiving into recipient’s system


  • John Baker on his consistently interesting blog provides a table (from Fowler) on humour — types of humour, its motive, province, method and, crucially, audience. The sardonic is for an audience of oneself, it turns out, irony for an inner circle, satire for the self-satisfied and invective for the public. I wonder if this travels? Humour is so different even among English-speaking peoples. How often does one read or hear about an American who does not "get" a style of British humour, or vice versa? I will certainly remember in future to limit any cynical comments to the respectable, as advised by Fowler. Thank you, John.
  • Yet another addition this week to my rss reader is a new blog Inside Google Book Search — or perhaps I should write new-ish blog, as it is now 3 days old which is old in the blog world, yes? I liked this analogy, in the inaugural post: "Last year a computer programmer named Luca Mori stumbled upon ancient ruins in the town of Sorbolo, Italy. These ruins lay buried for centuries until a Google Earth satellite photo revealed mysterious rectangular shadows in the landscape — shadows that Mori, an archeology enthusiast, was able to identify as a Roman villa. The villa was there all along — but it took the right person with the right search tool to find it." The post continues the theme of serendipitous discovery: "Here you’ll find members of our team sharing thoughts, tips and the occasional announcement about Book Search. We intend for this to be a place not only for Book Search enthusiasts, but also book lovers of every stripe. We’ll be highlighting cool books we’ve found, discoveries you’ve made, big thoughts about the future of book search and more."

1 thought on “Lives of books, and humour

  1. Sources tell me that from submission to being published is about 18 months. I suppose it’s a bit like house-buying – it could be done quicker if everyone got their finger out!!

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