Thanks to Vetti for pointing me at this
I quite like books and I am amazed at how many I have read in the last year. I have read more books this year than I can remember reading in any other year of my life. This has a lot to do with working in youth services at the library. There are two reasons for this. One is that I am reading books that are quite simply faster reads than my previous reading preferences. The other is that I am confronted on an almost daily basis by books, reviews, reports, comments, covers and suggestions that I cannot ignore. Put simply, there are a lot of really good YA and children’s books out there, and I want to read them all.
There are an awful lot of them sitting on the shelf about my desk. Most of them I have read but are patiently waiting to be blogged about. The problem is that there is another pile on my bedside table and another on my desk at work. These are patiently waiting to be read. When I finish a book I am faced with a choice: blog about it and share the joy of this wonderful literature with the world at large (well the bit of it that visits me here); or pick up another book by another wonderful author and read it.
I guess I’m really quite selfish at heart.
The pile has become large enough that I am tempted to cut my losses. Take them all back to the library & try to start writing up books as I read them from now on. But that would be unfair to so many wonderful books. Maybe I’ll have to start trying to cover one each day.
One of the fun features of wordpress is the list on the stats page of the search terms people plug into search engines that see them ending up at this blog. I always find it fascinating reading to see what people are looking for. Today I noticed several people had phrased their searches as questions:
do you like being a librarian
has robert ludlum won a booker prize
uglies series is there another to be a 5
So, in answer to these questions: yes, no, and I don’t know (maybe ask Scott)
I’ve never read a Meg Cabot book and, let’s face it, I probably never will. Maybe I’ll read one sometime just to see. This isn’t meant as a criticism, there are plenty of good authors I don’t read. I really don’t think that 36 year old males are Meg’s target demographic.
Having said that, the videos below make her someone worth keeping an eye on. The Little women clip I came across via bookshelves of doom, which then led to the beauty tip.
Not long ago I said that Dymocks’ move to start selling ebooks was a big deal in terms of the growth of the format.
The news that Amazon is now selling it’s own ebook reader is a huge leap for ebooks. I won’t go into much detail about the unit – you can read all about it on the Amazon page or any of the large number of write-ups all over the web. I will give my thoughts about the concept though.
Some people are happy reading ebooks on their PDA, phone, notebook or desktop computer. The problem is that most people do not consider these to be ideal formats for reading. Notebooks and desktops have limitations due to their large size. PDAs and phones also have limitations do to their small size and potential (or perceived potential) eye strain from prolonged reading. That’s where the Kindle comes in. The screen gives a “page” size closer to the size of a physical book and is designed for easier reading. As the unit is specifically designed for the purpose of reading, it should be better at this that other multi-purpose devices.
Sony has had a similar style of ebook reader out for sometime, but this is a case where content is king. Amazon is a widely recognised bookseller. Lots and lots of people buy books from their website already and the Kindle is designed to be used with their content. It is the combination of hardware and content that make this such a big deal.
It still means carrying an extra device, rather than using a PDA/phone as all-in-one, but it can replace books, magazines and newspapers and should be better at handling this content that a phone/PDA. I suspect that its biggest problem may be the $399USD pricetag. Although I just checked the website and they are reporting that it has sold out already.
Having said that a device like the Kindle should make ebook reading more appealing to more people, I wonder if it will always be necessary. Perhaps it is the sort of device that gets more people comfortable with ebooks, who then decide that they are happy to read on their smartphone and carry one less device. Time will tell.
This is an interesting time for ebooks. The potential growth I see happening in this market makes me wonder agin how long until libraries get more involved in this sort of thing. As more and more people become comfortable with ebooks, we should be looking at delivering the format. Allowing people to download books through their library website, or even borrow an ebook reader loaded up with half a dozen books sounds like a promising concept to me.
Edit: Others have looked at Kindle in more detail and raised concerns about the way Amazon have implimented this. Fair points, but I still think it is a big deal that Amazon are throwing their weight behind ebooks. I still think the $400 price tag is it’s biggest problem.
I’ve decided to have a play with Twitter. Partly because I’m curious, and partly because it’s handy as a librarian to have some familiarity with what’s happening in the online world. Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 are big catch words right now, with good reason. If you’re not familiar with Twitter, go have a peek.
Someone had already nabbed the username bookboy, so on twitter I am gonty which was my verbally challenged sibling’s way of saying Jonathan when we were young.
I may keep it going for eternity, or I may get tired of it a few days. We’ll see. You can also see my posts (twits?) in the sidebar here at bookboy.
Dymocks (a large bookstore chain here in Australia) is now selling ebooks in text and audio formats through their website. They have also installed a kiosk in one store so you can walk in with your memory card and download it there. Presumably these kiosks will roll out in more stores over time. On top of this, they have suggested that they will eventually offer print on demand.
They claim to be the first bricks and mortar store in the world to do this.
I think this could be a really big deal for ebooks. Especially the in store kiosk. The fact that people can walk into their regular bookstore gives ebooks a stronger presence. People might be more tempted to try one just to see what it’s like.
I’m very interested to see how this develops.