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On the Books: Netflix for books expands

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Scribd
Scribd

-Amid ongoing debate about the value of e-readers versus physical books, publishing giant Macmillan has announced a partnership with Scribd and Oyster, two e-reader startups that basically amount to the book equivalent of Netflix or Spotify. For $9 or $10 a month, these services offer hundreds of thousands of books, a number that has only increased now with access to Macmillan, one of the so-called “Big Five” of publishers. As Davey Alba notes at Wired, the publishing industry doesn’t have a reliable source of income like concerts or movie tickets to offset losses by streaming, but services like this will give publishers more access to valuable reader data. [Wired]

-Some Mississippi lawmakers believe that one solution to “all the things going wrong in the world” is to name an official state book. They, naturally, chose the Bible. State representative Tom Miles told the Associated Press that no one would be required to read it and he’s not trying to force religion on anyone, but “the Bible provides a good role model on how to treat people.” It will take a few weeks to see whether the bill, proposed last week, will be successful, but at least one other similar proposal was defeated in Louisiana last April after causing controversy. [Alabama.com]

-Coming up for parole: a man of two names, two cities and two professions (poet and killer). After killing multiple people in Boston, Norman A. Porter Jr. escaped to Chicago, where he rechristened himself J.J. Jameson (after Spider-Man’s newspaper boss) and began writing poetry. He was arrested in 2005, and has already been denied parole once, in 2010. [LA Times]

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