reading, publishing & giving away books

01 May
  • We like to think that books line our shelves because we ask them inside, but the simple truth is that they cross our thresholds whether we invite them or not. Books alight under the Christmas tree or beside a birthday cake as presents from people we love. Like a thistle hitching a ride on the household dog, books attach themselves to our palms as we walk through bookshops or rummage sales…
    But any book weeder, no matter how lenient, inevitably wonders if he’s weeding too much. Like many readers, I’ve often confronted the basic dilemma of culling one’s shelves, which is that the book one gives away today is the very title that will be needed — or fervently desired — tomorrow. I feel a tinge of grievance each time I’m required to visit my public library and borrow reference books that, in some previous clean-out, I donated to the collection. As if plotting to spring them from jail, I sometimes wonder if I can secretly steal them back…

    tags: books bookshelves salon reading

  • Only Six Books: Excerpt From Jeanette Winterson’s New Memoir – The Daily Beast
  • This suggests to me that the pursuit of happiness, which we may as well call life, is full of surprising temporary elements—we get somewhere we couldn’t go otherwise and we profit from the trip, but we can’t stay there. It isn’t our world, and we shouldn’t let that world come crashing down into the one we can inhabit. The beanstalk has to be chopped down. But the large-scale riches from the ‘other world’ can be brought into ours, just as Jack makes off with the singing harp and the golden hen. Whatever we ‘win’ will accommodate itself to our size and form—just as the miniature princesses and the frog princes all assume the true form necessary for their coming life, and ours…
    I was very quiet for a while, but I had realised something important: whatever is on the outside can be taken away at any time. Only what is inside you is safe…
  • tags: books memoir reading writing wp
  • The Reader and Technology | New Writing | Granta Magazine
    If the computer games which exist now had existed back in 1979 I would not have read any books, I think; I would not have seen writing as an adequate entertainment; I would not have seen going outdoors as sufficiently interesting to bother with. Similarly, I find it difficult to understand why any eleven-year-old of today would be sufficiently bored to turn inward for entertainment.
    This raises the question as to how future writers will come about, without ‘silence, exile and cunning’ – without the need for these things?…
    Readers more accustomed to screens – web pages, iPhone displays – will scan a page of text for its contents, rather than experience it in a gradual linear top-left to bottom-right way. This will make for increased speed and decreased specificity. These readers will be half-distracted even as they read; their visual field will include other things than just the text, because they won’t feel happy unless those things are there. A writer of long, doubling-back sentences such as Henry James will be incomprehensible to them. They won’t be grammatically equipped to deal with him. They won’t be neurologically capable of reading him. Their eyes will photograph fields rather than, as ours do, or did, follow tracks…
    Proposition: ‘The human race is no longer sufficently bored with life to be distracted by an art form as boring as the novel.’
    Perhaps novels will continue, but instead of the machine it will be the connectivity that stops, or becomes secondary.
  • tags: reader technology writing reading novels literature fiction wp
  • Why trailblazing Amazon should take on the publishing establishment | Books |
  • I’ve long been curious about why so many people are frightened of a potential future Amazon monopoly while simultaneously so sanguine about the real existing monopoly run by New York’s so-called Big Six. And it’s been interesting for me to see people try to explain away the evidence of collusion between the CEOs of the major publishers as set forth in the US Justice Department’s suit against these publishers and in the equivalent suit brought by 16 states…
    I wasn’t around for previous technology-driven disruptions of industries, but I’m confident that as cars displaced horse-drawn carriages, electric lights displaced candles, and digitally distributed music displaced CDs, to name just a few, the establishments of the day decried the newcomers’ methods and aims and predicted that the new way would inevitably cause The Destruction of Civilisation and the End of All That Is Good. And yet the doomsayers’ predictions have never come true. In all these transitions, something was lost, but more was gained. The same dynamic is now playing itself out as a hidebound and moribund publishing industry, notable chiefly for its decades-long failure to involve itself in even a single innovation, is displaced by something more efficient and effective. And the dynamic will go on repeating itself, again and again, long after the legacy publishing industry has gone the way of the icebox, the telegraph, and the Vulgate Bible. As internet guru Clay Shirky recently put it, “Institutions will try to preserve the problem for which they are the solution,” and in this regard legacy publishing is in no way unique.
    Though I’m certainly rooting for legacy publishers to successfully adapt (and why wouldn’t I? When someone is sick, you don’t want him to die; you want him to get well), I also think Amazon has been an enormous boon to readers and authors. Does anyone really believe that, without Amazon’s innovations, readers would be paying less, or authors making more? Or that there would be remotely as big and vibrant a digital and self-publishing market for books if Amazon hadn’t blazed the trail with the Kindle, the Kindle Store, and digital self-publishing?…
    In the meantime, the publishing establishment wants you to believe that in order to prevent Amazon from possibly one day charging higher book prices, the establishment has to charge you higher prices today. Or, to put it another way, “Hey, you might get robbed if you carry all that cash around, so I’ll just save you the trouble by taking your wallet right here.” This isn’t an argument; it’s a con job. Consumers ought to recognise it as such.
  • tags: amazon publishing establishment books reading wp
  • You Are Not Your Bookshelf | BOOK RIOT
  • But I thought I was! 🙂
  • tags: books reading wp
  • How to Send Web Pages and Documents to your Kindle
    Let’s say there’s an interesting article on the web that you would like to read on your Amazon Kindle while on your way back home. Or maybe you have a couple of PDF eBooks on your desktop that you want to transfer to your Kindle. How do you initiate the transfer wirelessly? You can either use bookmarklets to send web pages to your Kindle or email the documents as attachments to your address. However, a more convenient option is the Send to Kindle app from – this app has been available for Windows PCs for quite some time now and today, Amazon released a Mac version as well.tags: kindle reading web apps labnol technology wp

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on May 1, 2012 in Books, Links


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