It happened with the internet. It happened with the VHS video. It even happened with the Mutoscope (now better known as the "What The Butler Saw Machine"). So it's no surprise that the Amazon Kindle, an electronic reading device, also proves the Hefner Hypothesis: any technological advancement is an opportunity to hawk smut. As reported on The Silicon Alley Insider, the Kindle has a wide selection of blue titles – but for some peculiar reason, they aren't included on the
An open Booker
With the Man Booker 2008 longlist due to be announced this Tuesday, a number of blogs are taking a punt at predicting the outcome. In terms of previous shortlisted authors, Tim Winton, Zo Heller, Peter Carey and Damon Galgut seem to be doing well. Alexis Wright, below, winner of the Miles Franklin Award, looks a good bet. Of the Scots, Andrew Crumey just pips John Burnside. Couple of outsiders: Kenneth Harvey's Blackstrap Hawco and Steve Toltz's A Fraction Of The Whole could sneak through. It should be an interesting year, especially since two of the judges – the formidable Alex Clark and Louise Doughty, who wrote a novel in a year for the Telegraph, appear to have rather diverging tastes. Cue horse-trading.
Holy Bookworm, I'm your man!
With The Dark Knight in cinemas, there's a flurry of Batman publications – including the Essential Batman Encyclopaedia, which deserves some kind of doctorate of geekology. Flicking through it, it struck me that there are plenty of villains to spruce up future films: I particularly liked the The Eraser (his head was like a pencil rubber) and Crazy Quilt. Then I hit on the best – as played by Roddy McDowall in the Sixties TV series – the Bookworm! If Warner Brothers want to bring him back, I'll be waiting for the call.
Lady Stair's way to bibliophile heaven
Shamefully, I hadn't visited the Writers' Museum in Edinburgh's Lady Stair's House until recently. Reading Paul Scott's new addendum to his memoirs, with its calls for a proper Museum of Literature, I decided to redress the omission, and what a charming exhibition space it is. Some of the mannequins are a bit auld-farrant – Walter Scott looks a bit like the kid from Mad magazine – but on the whole it's informative and delightful (I learned that "nail your colours to the mast", "apple of my eye"