BookTV is building a network of local content. Birmingham’s part start airing this past weekend and some of the videos are already online. Very cool! Click through and scroll down the left column to see videos filmed in the Alabama Booksmith and around town, all focused on Birmingham’s “literary scene”. The column on the right is from CSPAN’s History TV with even more videos and interviews from a Birmingham perspective.
I encourage you to check out this post on book collecting over on Exile Bibliophile. I recently discovered that blog while clicking around the discussions over on LibraryThing. Here’s one of my favorite snippets:
“Not everyone who owns a lot of books is a book collector. Granted. I wear pants most days, and own many pairs, yet don’t think of myself as a pants connoisseur. Book collectors are the same way. A book collection has a purpose beyond accumulating, beyond, even, reading. A book collection has a purpose. What should the focus be? That’s the beauty of it.”
I like people who group their books in some logical or at least interesting fashion. I REALLY like people who dive deep into a category or genre or author. Those are always great conversationalists. And indeed. That is the beauty of it.
Small Demons launched in beta this week and is trying to help us discover new things by connecting all the dots for us. How vague is that? But seriously that what it does. You can start with a person, book, movie, music, brand or thing. I chose a specific bourbon, Old Grand-Dad. Small Demons was able to list out three books that specifically mention that bourbon and cite the passages.
Want to know a character’s favorite recipe? Small Demons will eventually be the place to go. There is also a “My Library” tab, that is not yet active and I’m not sure how deep the social component will go. I’ve only been in for a day.
The “Books Mentioned in Other Books” is quite a big rabbit hole to start down. It goes on and on and on, but it’s fun to see what books, genres and author share certain things. As fun as it is, Small Demon’s bookshelf is still small, so all of the results feel a little truncated. There are many many books that will be added and indexed.
It’s one of those things that could only happen (and scale) thanks to the internet. It’s on the same track as LibraryThing (one of the most awesome services the internet has birthed). Here’s a quick under-two-minute video they produced to promo the new search/relationship/discovery engine:
I just wanted to mention the survey that The Bookseller has up right now. It takes a solid five minutes to click through it, but it seems worthwhile. So if you’re involved in publishing or just like to keep up with all things book (both e- and p-) then click on over and give your two cents.
If you’re not familiar with The Bookseller site, it’s based overseas, is great and worth keeping up with.
Someone shared Seth Godin’s post The Future of the Library, via Twitter. In it Godin says “Netflix is a better librarian…”. Something that I totally disagree with. I have a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old at home. Ninety-five percent of what gets streamed to my house is kids’ programming. From which the Netflix-librarian-bot makes the following not-so-helpful recommendations:
I took these screen shots today and stopped halfway through Page 2 of the recommendations. Now, none of these are offensive (Netflix once recommended Teeth to us, based on VeggieTales and Strawberry Shortcake) , but I’m not sure which one of these programs my Dora-loving 2-year-old would want to watch.
To be fair, Netflix-bot has gotten better over the past year. We really enjoy the service. But they are a looooooong ways away from being “a better librarian.” I do hope you all read Godin’s post, he does end up highlighting the need for people to curate and determine selections. Even if he does over reach with his esteem for bot-driven recommendation engines. People are still better.
Fantastic does not begin to describe how cool these wallpapers are. These would make great screen savers, t-shirts, tattoos. Well, maybe tattoo is a bit much…. We’re looking to gussy up some walls around the house and I ran across these awesome wallpapers. Some are screen-printed, some letterpress-looking, but all are 100% cool. And Italian. I haven’t found anything local that even comes close. Take a look:
Here’s the site where you can check out all the wall coverings. Just click on the ‘Life’ drop down. There is also a drop down to select the language. Setting it to English is helpful. It’s doubtful that we’ll get any of these exact typographic wallpaper designs, but I certainly have some cool ideas now.
Ok. This is cool. Absolutely cool. Artist Ward Shelley has sketched out a mind map to the history and evolution of the science fiction genre. It’s amazing. Click through to the big image and check out the areas around cyberpunk (upper right-ish) and the “Star Wars effect” (follow the arrow from Star Wars). He used spatial relations too. So the closer a name or title is to a sub-genre the more “canon” it/they will be. Pretty cool way to pick up new titles and authors to track down.
Someone should do this for all of the genres. A biblio-mystery mind map would be cool. I’ll buy the colored pencils! Who’s with me?
I am a big proponent of standing desks and get excited about posts like the one on Unplggd. I’ve been a “stander” for over a year and would recommend everyone trying it out. You can always grab a bar stool, if you want to sit. I like my converted bookcase/bookshelf method because it’s:
- easy to raise and lower the shelf for the monitor and keyboard (ergonomics are a must)
- leaves plenty of room for a cashier’s mat (highly recommended, to ease strain on heels)
- it’s cheap and easy to do
- plenty of places for books and book covers that we’re working on
I have to admit, out of all the options I’ve seen available for recycling magazines, newspapers and books… I never saw this one coming. Nike is stitching together sneakers that place the paper’s features section on your feet. These shoes are made from recycled print pieces. Not sure how comfortable they are, but they are pretty cool.
I haven’t seen a price yet, but it seems that the limited premium print run/edition run will be available overseas, in January and will include just three women’s styles.
You can now download and read free ebooks from the JCLC OverDrive system, on the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. I’ve been doing this for two weeks now, and other than a lack of sleep from all of the reading, I have had no issues. This week I finished up two paper books and three ebooks, all thanks to the BlueFire Reader app and the JCLC eBooks system.
It’s a pretty straight forward process. I get pretty detailed in my steps, so please don’t let the number of steps deter you from trying this. Here is how you check out and read the library eBooks on your iOS device:
- Download the free BlueFire Reader app (iTunes link) to your device and create an account.
- Download the free Adobe Digital Editions desktop reader and create an account. This puts the Adobe Digital Editions program on your computer, which will act as “home base” and authenticate your ebooks.
- Launch the BlueFire Reader app, on your device, tap on “info” and authorize your app with your Adobe Digital Editions password.
Now, that you are all legit you are ready to check out a book!
- Go to the JCLC site (or your library’s downloadable site) and sign in.
- Check out a book. An .acm “key” file will download to your computer. Use your Adobe Digital Editions program to open this file, this will download the .epub (the actual book) file to your computer. You can now read that book on your computer.
- From your computer, send yourself an email, with that .epub file as an attachment.
- Now check your email on your iOS device. The attachment will appear with the BlueFire Reader logo.
- Tap and hold on that icon until the fly-out menu appears saying “Open with BlueFire Reader”, which you will select.
- BlueFire Reader app will now launch and you can start reading! Once your “checkout period” has expired the file will deactivate from your iOS device and your computer desktop.
I’ve also heard of people using free services like DropBox to get the book file on their device, but I haven’t tried it. The BlueFire folks are on Twitter and have been really responsive to all of my support questions. The OverDrive team is on Twitter too. I know that OverDrive and Sony have both promised Adobe DE-friendly apps soon, so BlueFire won’t be the only option. But as of right now, it’s certainly the best.
Let me know what you think and if you read anything good!
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