Books and Book CultureBe sure to check out the list of UPCOMING BOOK EVENTS and the growing roster of local BOOKSTORE PHOTO-TOURS.
It looks like famed bibliophile Nicholas Basbanes and Knopf have put the finishing touches on Basbanes’ long awaited new book “On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History”. It has an official street date of October 15, 2013. Basbanes started researching paper and paper ephemera back in 2005. The new Basbanes book was first mentioned in a CSPAN video interview the author did back in 2008, where he gave the cameras a tour of his home library. The new book is listed at 488 pages with a full retail price of $35.00. Can’t wait to see what it looks like when it comes out this October!
The bookish barristas at Church Street Coffee & Books have organized something cool next week. They call it ‘Bookstravaganza’ and it kicks off on April 22nd, with a books-themed scavenger hunt, ending April 26th. Starting on the 22nd, the indie bookstore will start posting cryptic clues for their Facebook and Twitter followers. Once decoded, the answer will points to another local Birmingham business where a free book is waiting on the first successful code cracker. So that’s four days of following for freebies. Sounds fun!
They are also running a neat promo inside the store, which I’m anxious to go by and try out. Basically, they’re inviting you to scan the books, on the shelves, with your smartphone to get the super-secret discount (10%-50% off) price. Some of the books will also score you a free cookie or coffee.
Other events planned during the week that is Bookstravaganza 2013:
April 23rd (all day) – World Book Night giveaways, with hundreds of books to be given away free to help encourage reading. Many of which volunteers will hide in places around the city. This is a global event and very cool that they are participating.
So grab your decoder ring, smartphone barcode reader and follow Church Street Coffee & Books on Facebook and Twitter to play along next week. Bookstravaganza sounds like four days of fun promoting local businesses, reading and books, books, books!
The first 10 minutes of this short film are fantastic. I would love to get lost in the stacks of an old shop just like this boy does. Lots of great imagery here as a boy finds himself exploring the last bookshop in England. The film was produced in an effort to support local bookshops and stress the importance of them. They have a site for the film as well so you can learn more about the shops shown in the film, bookshops in the UK as well as the movie score. Lot’s to think about while watching this short movie.
What did you think of the short film?
Here is a minute and 55 second trailer for Out of Print, a documentary that tries to capture what the digital shift is doing to books, businesses and cultures around the world. That’s a lot of ground to cover! But the lineup is pretty impressive. Narrated by Meryl Streep they talk with Jeff Bezos, authors Scott Turow and Ray Bradbury as well as elementary school teachers, bookstore owners and developmental psychology experts.
I’m hoping it’s balanced and not just “the sky is falling” or “print is dead”. The issue and trend is certainly more complicated and worth more level thought than the emotionally tainted headlines touted in the media these days. There are definitely pros and cons to be said of every step we take into the new digital world.
Regardless of where you think things stand in regards to the death of paper books, Out of Print looks to be a movie worth seeing. It’s certainly worth watching the trailer. Hopefully it’ll be online soon for rent or purchase as, like many of these indie movie deals, it’s not showing anywhere near Birmingham.
The publishers of Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code have made all ebook versions of the book FREE until March 24, 2013. This promotion is partly to note the fact that the book is 10 years old and that Brown’s new book Inferno, ships in May 2013. These free ebooks all include a chapter from the upcoming Inferno book.
Here are some links to get your free copy on your preferred reading platform:
Don’t forget you have until March 24th to download your free ebooks.
Finally! Donna Tartt’s new novel has been announced and will hit stores October 22nd. It’s called The Goldfinch and according to the publisher’s website it is about a boy who is running through the dark underworld of art:
“A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an explosion that takes the life of his mother. Alone and determined to avoid being taken in by the city as an orphan, Theo scrambles between nights in friends’ apartments and on the city streets. He becomes entranced by the one thing that reminds him of his mother: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that soon draws Theo into the art underworld.”
The book is listed as coming in at 608 pages! So it’s another big one. But have you read Secret History or The Little Friend? Donna Tartt is the kind of writer that could make a grocery list worth reading. Looking forward to October 2013.
I think this bookshelf/table by Lema is awesome. It stores books, keeps them close, on display and still keeps the space a useful one. It’s a win, win, win, win. This creative bookshelf is called the Booken and it is being shown at an international furniture Show in Cologne. So no price yet. I could use three of these.
Game of Books has been fully funded via their Kickstarter campaign! Basically, it’s home library/book cataloging system where you earn points/skills/etc. based on the books you read… think Dungeons & Dragons meets LibraryThing. This could be a lot of fun.
You start off as an Apprentice and then level up as your reading progresses:
Apprentice Reader = Level 0+
Journeyman Reader = Level 25+
Craftsman Reader = Level 50+
Master Reader = Level 75+
GrandMaster Reader = Level 100+
At the bottom of their site, there is also a “concept demo” that shows off what your Reader/Character card would look like. Some folks might think it’s hokey (which it may be, we’ll have to see) but many like all of their virtual badges and fake pats on the back for “leveling up” across hundreds of check-in apps. And I think competition can be fun. What I am anxious to see is how well this resonates with the two budding readers in my house… this seems to be the kind of thing that my son would dig.
What do you think? Would you give Game of Books a try?
One of my favorite groups on LibraryThing is “Name That Book“. It falls squarely in the realm of “useful tools for readers”. Basically, they help you find books that you remember reading, but can’t remember the title, author, etc. The discussions are filled with hazy plots, fuzzy cover descriptions, names “that sounds like…”, etc. as people try and zero in on the elusive book title.
It’s amazing how fun the conversations can get when everyone is Googling, searching their shelves and racking their brains to help find the answer to a missing book query. Sort of like a bookish party game with 1,000 people playing.
So if you ever find yourself looking for a book from the mid-80′s about a time-travelling Congressional Page and his dog, give the helpful folks in the LT Name That Book group a chance. Many times the group-think carries the day and if you’re lucky you’ll bump into more books that you might enjoy.
If you’re not up for the discussions and want to cast a larger net, the Library of Congress also has a site set up to help people in their quest for Lost Novels. The page has links to many sites and groups all organized to help reconnect readers with forgotten books. Some of the sites are better than others, but the tips they offer are pretty universal and are worth reading no matter where you look for help.
Over the past week more than a few of my friends have declared “I plan on reading more next year.” It is a New Years reading resolution that I whole heartedly support. Just read more books. Period.
But when asked “what are you looking forward to reading?” or “what book are you going to read first?” my friends were never real sure. Except for the guy who, while admitting to having not read anything long-form in almost two years, wants to start with Moby Dick (“because the classics are important”, he said).
So I wanted to offer three tips for the newly resolved “reading more” coalition:
1. Enjoy reading. While the classics are worthwhile and we should all be well-read in the “issues of the day”, these can be heavy areas for folks trying to “get back into reading books”. So start fun. If you haven’t been able to read a whole novel in a while, start with something fast and easy. I’m thinking genre fiction here. So start there and then pick up something with more meat and literary. Once you see you can read a novel and get in the habit of making time to read, you’ll be ready to dig deeper.
2. Talk about books. I don’t care where. Just talk about them. Meet someone new at the office? At a party? Ask what they’re reading. For some reason everyone seems to talk about movies. I’m not sure why. But I promise, the more you talk about books and reading, the more worthwhile you’re reading will be. Also, once you get your groove back, be sure to check with your local libraries and bookstores about book groups and salons. Read book blogs and leave comments.
3. Join a group. This kind of piggybacks on #2, but really has a different focus. If you’re already online then check out LibraryThing or GoodReads. Both give you tools to catalog books and track your reading. They also help you dive deeper into an author or genre, discovering more hits than misses. If you’re a “connect the dots” kind of person then I also recommend Small Demons, which is cool and really deserves its own post.
Bonus Tip: Learn to read “in the cracks”. I’ve always had a ‘car book’. That is a book that I left in the car so that it was always there if I ever found myself sitting on a bench at the mall or waiting in line at the DMV. But since ebooks, I’ve also been able to read while rocking a baby to sleep, waiting in a movie theater for the show to start,or while sitting still on I-65 for 2+ hours while a wreck was cleared. These were unexpected times where I was able to read via my phone. So if you’re not scared of ebooks, give them a try the next time you find yourself twiddling your thumbs.
Blogs I Like
- B’ham Public Library
- Book Chase
- Book Patrol
- Bookshelf Porn
- Exile Bibliophile
- Fine Books Blog
- Loud poet
- Nathalie Foy
- Oh My Godwin!
- Reed Next’s Next Read
- Turn the Page
- AL.com Books
- AL.com Books Forum
- Alabama Center for the Book
- Alabama Writers' Forum
- Bham Wiki
- Book TV
- Menasha Ridge Press
- The Literacy Council
- Book Art
- Book Collecting
- Book Column
- Book Covers
- Book Design
- Book Reviews
- Book Sale
- Book Talk
- Bookstore Ideas
- Digital Publishing
- Free Books
- Friday Finds
- Gifts for Book People
- New Releases
- On the TV
- On the Web
- Publishing Industry News
- Site News
- Tools for Readers
- Upcoming Titles