Archive for the ‘Books – Other’ category

Writer Jeff Schult Has A New Blog

December 31, 2008

Into Temptation: Sexual Networks, Culture and Society

“Into Temptation” is a not-necessarily safe-for-work (or anywhere else) forum about evolving social-sexual networks and how they have changed and are changing lives. It will also loosely chronicle the research, writing and publication, I hope in 2010, of a book by the same name.

Jeff was ahead of the curve with medical tourism (see below links).

I wonder if he’s read Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis?

That might be news for him!

Previously here:

Jeff Schult: New Medical Tourism Site
Spitzer: The Last Drop
Meet Jeff Schult (And His Teeth!)

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Reading Is An Investment In Thinking

December 31, 2008

The Long Decline of Reading

It takes hours to finish a book, even for the fastest readers. This wasn’t a problem when books had less competition, but with the three massive timesinks of cable TV, videogames, and the internet, people look at that massive time investment, and they get apprehensive. Sure, they know that books can be just as enjoyable as movies or games, if not more. They may even feel guilty about not reading. But what if this book is no good? What if I end up hating it? What if I can’t understand it? Imagine all the time wasted! And so they stop before they even start.

A long, detailed, and excellent article.

Strangely, public libraries aren’t mentioned at all.

The Horror Of Paper Books

December 30, 2008

This is a post I’ve kept putting off. Things happen.

Then Wayne MacPhail tweeted this photo he took inside a bookstore:

bookstorewmacphail

It gave me a feeling of absolute horror — and I knew the time had come to actually do this post.

There I was several months ago in a bookstore. One of the few still remaining in Manhattan that offers overstock at incredibly-reduced prices.

And I found a book I would have liked to have.

But I couldn’t bring myself to buy it.

I kept having flashbacks to all the times I’ve had to get boxes, put the books in boxes, carry the damned boxes, move the damn boxes, unpack the damn boxes, and again arrange the damn hundreds and hundreds of pounds of printed paper books.

That book would have been another pound to lug around. Another frikkin object hanging like an albatross around my neck, limiting my mobility, weighing me down, reminding me that it will remain when I’m gone.

Let me say again: I really wanted the book.

But I physically could not buy it.

I’ve developed a bizarre allergy to printed books — of the kind that are bought and owned and have to be moved around and that are always looked at and that are also a reminder of one’s mortality.

Library books I don’t have that problem with.

I can temporarily lug them home, even have a pile, read them, and then poof! back to the library they go.

But I want to own books.

I feel a guilt at not giving writers their rightful payment for reading.

Plus, with things being the way they are — and have been — I can no longer count on any public library having a copy of anything on its shelves. I once had to go to the Northern part of Manhattan just to read a short story by Barry N. Malzberg because only the City University had a back issue of the pulp magazine it was printed in!

This is another reason why I am an eBook militant.

I’ve never been a paper fetishist. My first collection of books were mass-market paperbacks. I never liked the size and weight of trade paperbacks and hardcovers. But I eventually amassed a collection of those too. I couldn’t help it: Publishing had changed and there was no longer a guarantee of anything in hardcover or trade paper moving down to cheap paperback!

But the book as an object I came to see for what it is: A cage for the words within it.

It’s the words — it’s always been the words — that interested me. Never the packagaing, never the jail the words were locked-up in.

I can’t be the only one out there who feels a sense of material liberation with eBooks.

Recently, a writer I’ve written about in this blog left a Comment offering to ship me a whole big bunch of books I’d blogged about. I never published that Comment because I couldn’t explain why I couldn’t accept more printed books. Even free ones. Even free ones from a writer whose work I admire!

So, this post has been something I’ve needed to do, in reply to that writer.

And to also explain why I have come to absolutely hate printed books.

booksweapons2

Yes: But they’re better weapons as eBooks!

ECTACO jetBook: Built-In WiFi Coming?

December 30, 2008

I’m asking ECTACO directly about this.

I got a bit of a shock with YahooMail moments ago. Not one of their usual useless banner ads. This one was aimed right at me:

ymailad123008
Composite image. Click = big.

Of course I had to click on that M218!

ectacom218b
Click = big

I knew as of last night that this was being sold in China. I never thought it’d be sold here in America.

And yet here it is listed on ECTACO’s American store!

This is the paragraph to note, the built-in WiFi and its unique feature:

ectacom218wifi
Click = big

The text of that:

With built in high-speed Wi-Fi, Chinese eBook reader M218B can easily connect to wireless network. Then you can immediately search and download numerous eBook, Pdf files and music. Another exciting feature of Chinese eBook reader M218B is that it supports end-to-end transmission. You can copy and exchange files, music, picture with another user, who can be your friend or just another “eBook-pal”.

Emphasis added by me.

I can hear the nascent heart attacks of the dying dinosaurs of print out there!

Alas, the beauty photo of the M218 highlights the calculator-like nature of its screen, and not its ability to be mistaken for eInk under direct lighting:

ectacom218

But I have to wonder: Will ECTACO be releasing an English-language jetBook version of this?

Would WiFi then justify its $299 price tag? Well, not just WiFi — but its upcoming ePub and MobiPocket capability too!

An ePub/MobiPocket WiFi eBook reader would suddenly help shake things up.

Both Amazon and Sony would have a formidable new competitor, I think.

Previously here:

ECTACO jetBook And ePub
Eejit Geeks. Things Should Just Work!
Micro Fondle 2: ECTACO jetBook eBook Reader
ECTACO jetBook Ups ePub Stakes
ECTACO jetBook At Blowout Price!
More About That ECTACO jetBook eBook Reader
Micro Fondle: ECTACO jetBook eBook Reader

eBooks Search Milestone

December 30, 2008

Five of the ten terms that have led people to this blog (at WordPress) today are eBook-related:

searchterms123008

This has special significance because this is the holiday gift-giving aftermath.

I’ve already seen stats in search for this blog this week that show an incredible number of people got either an iPhone or iPod Touch as gifts. The number towers over those for the Sony Reader — but the Sony Reader has not given up the fight yet and has made a consistent good showing.

Dying dinosaurs of print: You better heed this milestone and amp up eBooks to Setting 11 in 2009.

Philadelphia Is Destroying Its Public Libraries

December 30, 2008

Some targeted library branches may be saved

Mayor Nutter said yesterday that five of the 11 library branches once scheduled to close permanently on Thursday are instead on track to be taken over by private foundations, wealthy individuals, companies, and community development corporations.

It was not immediately clear which branches have sponsors and the mayor did not identify the benefactors.

But Nutter expressed confidence that in time private operators could convert each of the branches now on his budget chopping block into community “knowledge centers” that would offer similar or perhaps even superior services to those now available. Though the services would vary from branch to branch, Nutter said the centers would likely retain book collections, computers, and perhaps even trained librarians.

Emphasis added by me.

This guy is certainly true to form to his surname: Nutter.

Hey, how’d you like to have to rely on, say, the Exxon-Mobil Knowledge Center for information about the oil companies?

I could go on in that vein and get really inflammatory, but fuck it, this blog dies tomorrow and I’m burned out as it is doing this.

This is the systematic destruction of the world as we have known it by the same bastards who brought us to this brink.

Are there any men left in America to stop this shit?

Free eBook By Ken Wohlrob

December 30, 2008

happybuscover

“Happy Bus” now available as a free eBook for iPhone, Sony Reader and more.

I’m proud to announce that I’ve made “Taking the Happy Bus on Home,” a short story from my collection The Love Book, available as a free eBook for the iPhone, Sony Reader, Kindle and a just about every other device on the planet.

At FeedBooks for ePub, Mobipocket/Kindle, PDF, Sony Reader, iLiad, Custom PDF (the last option requires registration; all others do not):

One of the short stories from Ken Wohlrob’s new collection, The Love Book. An epidemic of suicide hits a retirement community in Ohio and one couple begins to question the value of their final days together. These are very modern fables, with a great heart, a very biting sense of humor, and fully-fleshed out characters that you can sink your teeth into.

Buy a copy of the book or learn more about the author at www.kenwohlrob.com

iPhone/iPod Touch users can grab it using Stanza. See details here.