Category Archives: Book Column

“…books that are foolish, ignorant, malignant…”

I cannot tell you how much I enjoy this bit that was penned back in the 16th century. It’s great! I have thoughts like this on a weekly basis. I guess things really don’t change that much. If Erasmus only knew how many books get printed these days… wow… back then he said:

“(Printers) ‘fill the world with pamphlets and books that are foolish, ignorant, malignant, libelous, mad, impious and subversive; and such is the flood that even things that might have done some good lose all their goodness’…”

Thanks to Shelf Awareness, for making it part of their quote of the day. And also for linking through to author Ann Blair’s entire Boston Globe piece Information Overload, the Early Years, which is a GREAT read, if you have a few minutes.

Read Library eBooks on your Apple iOS Device

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:

  1. Download the free BlueFire Reader app (iTunes link) to your device and create an account.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

  1. Go to the JCLC site (or your library’s downloadable site) and sign in.
  2. 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.
  3. From your computer, send yourself an email, with that .epub file as an attachment.
  4. Now check your email on your iOS device. The attachment will appear with the BlueFire Reader logo.
  5. Tap and hold on that icon until the fly-out menu appears saying “Open with BlueFire Reader”, which you will select.
  6. 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!

Book Review: The Unincorporated Man

I read a lot of business books. It’s just something I enjoy… but not as much as a good sci-fi tale and The Unincorporated Man. book combines both. The book is loaded with lots of ideas early on. Such as, ownership, property, government, investing, money, etc. It’s a very ‘free markets can heal the world if we’d just stay out of the way’ will solve 99% of the world’s issues if we’d let them. But as the story unfolds, it’s individuals and people that have to take us the rest of the way.

The entire book is set in the future where everyone is self-incorporated. That is, as soon as you are born, the government gets a certain percentage stock in you, your parents and their friends probably take out some shares. As you grow older schools, classmates, the general public all invest in you, your life and your future, with the idea that if they help invest in your beginnings, once you become successful and rich you will buy them out to get majority ownership of yourself and they get rich. If you’re unable to increase your self-stock’s value, then they sell-off their stake in you. So a mining company could buy up all your stock and move you to the moon to mine ore or something like that.

But, introduced into this world is a savvy businessman unfrozen from the past… predating the incorporation period. So he is unincorporated, untaxed, not contributing to society as they see it. So what to do? Force him to incorporate and sell off parts of himself to business owners? Leave him alone and risk his “unalienable rights” thinking and talk to spark an uprising? Soon enough there is bloodshed, legal proceedings with businesses and governments aligning themselves against this man from the past.

It’s a great concept and idea. Certainly one that gets people talking. Especially in this day of micro-payments and  crowd-sourced funding many sites and non-profits are pursuing.

At a minimum, it’s a fun sci-fi  yarn. At the most, it will get you thinking, talking and looking at the good and bad of how things are run in America. I gave it a 4 out of 5.