Tag Archives: Books

He Must Pay!

Why would an wealthy scholar vandalize valuable books dating from the Renaissance, carefully cutting out maps and illustrations and then simply stashing them in his home, interleaved into his own books? The horrible thing is, this man knew the value of the works he was damaging. And the damage is irreversible. Some of the images may never be recovered.

He might go to prison. I hope he loses all future library privileges as well.

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Filed under Books, Rants

The Best Laid Schemes…

gang aft agley.

I like reading author blogs because it gives me insight into both their creative process and the overall publishing process.

One I like especially is Neil Gaiman’s Journal. He is funny and personable, answers emails, and writes both about being an author and his life–cats, daughters, raising bees, traveling around the world, his relationship with pandas.

But even such a prominent, successful author can see his work go rather agley.

Here’s what he posted about his recently published book, The Graveyard Book:

I’ve also heard from a few people who have misbound versions, missing or repeating a “signature” of pages: it was misprinted, on pages 248-217 the pages are backwards (which is why I listed the numbers backwards) upside down, and cut off, tragically everything bad that could happen to a book in printing as one correspondent sighs, and pages 217-248 are missing and in their place are pages 249-280 printed twice. I am hoping that this is just a fluke in the time-space continuum, but perhaps people should be advised to double check to make sure those pages are there as another points out. So check your books and if it’s misprinted, then return it to the bookshop for a correct copy. (If you got a signed copy that’s misprinted, I’ll do what I can to make sure you get a signed one to replace it.)

Even in this day of computerized publishing, even in a publishing process where dozens of people (like myself) read over the book numerous times, things can still go very, very wrong.

And for an amazing contrast to today’s word processing, watch this video on seriously old school hot metal printing. Try to count how many times things could be seriously messed up there!

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Filed under Books, computers, editing

How We Read

I learned to read when I was four years old. I soon became quite avid and I remember feeling a bit at sea if we went out somewhere and I forgot to bring a book “just in case” we had to wait in traffic or something. My parents enrolled me in a Book of the Month Club for kids, and I was always glad to see the MS Read-a-thon come around.

I was always in honors English throughout the school years, and in college I majored in English with a side of Italian literature (would have been a minor but they didn’t offer enough courses while I was there). Lots and lots of reading. After a long stint in the corporate world where all I read was emails and procedure manuals (with still a slightly obsessive amount of reading for pleasure) I am now a book editor. The highest reader’s ambition: to be paid to read!

But…reading also has a flip side. Have you ever tried to not read something in front of you? Next time you’re out on the town, try to not read billboards, or shop window signs. Can you do it?
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Filed under Blogging, Books, Deep Thoughts, editing, Writing

A Very Unscientific Survey of What I’ve Read

(un)relaxeddad just put this meme on his blog, a list based on the top 106 books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users. You are supposed to bold the ones you’ve read (presumably willingly), underline the ones you read for school (presumably unwillingly, not always true in my case), and italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish (now, does that include ones I was supposed to read for school?). Let’s see how I did:
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Filed under Books, Memes

More Reasons to Love BookMooch

BookMooch IllustrationImage via Wikipedia

WARNING: This post is liberally peppered with links. Sorry if it’s annoying, but I’m really excited by this topic and just want to share the coolness.

I just came across this article on the Guardian’s website about book-swapping websites. As one of the largest such sites, BookMooch was featured prominently.

I’ve been a BookMooch member since…oh, heck, I have to go check my member page…la la bum tee bum…here we go, January 2007. I’ve mooched 40 books and given 37 (bad Mama: you’re really supposed to always give away more than you get, but thanks to a points donation by Helen, I’m still in the black!)

Aside from clearing out books I don’t want anymore and finding books I either can’t find elsewhere or that I’m willing to read but not buy, I also love the open-source, Free Culture, Creative Commonsy aspect. The Guardian article touches on some of BM founder John Buckman‘s thoughts about how book swapping doesn’t really take any profits away from authors and publishers

And recently a few new interesting things have popped up in the Moochosphere: swapping shipping materials, which is a brilliant use of the BM network to reuse and share exactly what BM members need, and actual cooperation between a free book-swapping service and publishers. Added to the existing cool stuff like the ability to donate your BM points to charities, the ability to download every bit of information in the BM database (except user email and snail mail addresses) for free, and the constant tinkering with what it means to collaborate between reader/swappers, authors, and publishers, these innovations make me love BM even more.

Now I just need to find some more books to give away….

* * * * *

Interested? Read more about BookMooch here or here.

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Filed under Books, computers

Now I’m a Slightly Mollified Blogger/Reader

I just read this on the guardian.co.uk books section feed: Random House will offer online access to up to 5,000 books, AND THEY SPECIFICALLY WANT BLOGGERS TO USE IT: “Random House wants the tool to be picked up by book fans and bloggers who can modify it for their own sites.”

Now there’s a company that accepts the power of blogs. Can you say, “free, minimal overhead advertising”?

I’m waiting to read about the catch, of course. I still find it hard to believe that a huge, mainstream publisher will willingly give books away for free on a large scale. But hey, it’s an improvement.

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Filed under Blogging, Books, computers, Rants