Richard Russo's new 'book book'

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Novelist Richard Russo poses with his newest book, Interventions, at his home in Camden, Maine last week (The Associated Press)

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo pays tribute to the printed book in Interventions, his latest work — and in keeping with this theme, it won't be available in an electronic version, the Associated Press reports.

Interventions is a collection of four stories. In the first three, Russo explores the psyche of a real estate agent, a Belgian nun and a young professor, respectively, as each character obsesses over something to such an extent that somebody has to step in and intervene. The final piece is a reflection on Russo's relationship with the town he grew up in, Gloversville, N.Y., and its decline with the dwindling of the manufacturing industry.

Interventions is the kind of polished production that will delight book lovers. Each of the stories is separately bound, and is accompanied by a postcard-sized colour print of a painting by Russo's daughter, Kate. The collection is published on top quality, sustainably harvested paper and comes in a slipcover.

Russo said this new book is intended to give readers a "book book" — as he calls printed books — experience.

"It's the idea of buying locally," Russo said in an interview from his home near Maine. "I think this particular book is part of that groundswell of people who are beginning to understand that buying all of your books through online booksellers is like buying everything from online sellers, whether it's flat-screen TVs or flowers or whatever. I think there's a groundswell of people who are beginning to understand the implications of that."

He sees this groundswell as a positive sign. "And that's the only justification I have for saying print books are unlikely to disappear."

The acclaimed author, who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2002 for his novel Empire Falls, has been a vocal critic of e-books and e-retailers like Amazon. But he says he's not against the electronic medium (after all, he reads books on his iPad when he's travelling), he's just passionate about preserving the diversity in how books are published, sold and read.

"I'm fine with online booksellers," he said. "I just don't want them to control the world."

-With files from the Associated Press