Friday, April 09, 2010

Is it really April?

Where did the time go?  I've been so busy with the new school year and making a quick trip back to the States at the end of January that I have totally neglected my book blog.  Since I last posted anything, Apple introduced their new I-Pad which may well do for books what the Ipod did for music - kill the sales of physical media.  But what do I know?  I bought a Sony reader for my son who is in the Peace Corps in Africa but I haven't settled on what e-reader will be the best for me.  The Ipod is quite expensive and would cost what a decent new laptop would cost.  Besides that it places too many restrictions on its users in terms of ownership of purchased texts.  I don't like the Kindle either for the same reasons.  If I only want to read a text and not own it, I can easily download them from my public library.  But if I spend money on my books, I expect to be able to keep them, trade them, sell them or lend them to a friend.

So here is a quick roundup on articles that caught my eye recently:

Craigmod has an interesting perspective on the transition in the book world that is taking place right now.  As a book designer he lauds the passing of the disposable book

We’re losing the dregs of the publishing world: disposable books. The book printed without consideration of form or sustainability or longevity. The book produced to be consumed once and then tossed. The book you bin when you’re moving and you need to clean out the closet.
What I appreciate is that he thinks that this is the time to start talking about what books really should be
I want to look at where printed books stand in respect to digital publishing, why we historically haven't read long-form text on screens and how the iPad is wedging itself in the middle of everything. In doing so I think we can find the line in the sand to define when content should be printed or digitized.
Speaking of the Ipad, I have seen a brilliant idea for an Ipad stand that doubles as a bookend - now why didn't I think of that!

If you want to calculate the relative "greenness" of an Ipad over a printed book, check out this piece in the New York Times. After some fancy ciphering it turns out that
 the impact of one e-reader payback equals roughly 40 to 50 books. When it comes to global warming, though, it’s 100 books; with human health consequences, it’s somewhere in between.
And last but not least, how about this great story about President Obama stopping by his favorite bookstore - been a while since we could talk about the President and bookstore in the same sentence!

Time to get my reading stack ready because tomorrow night (9pm for me) Dewey's 24 hour Readathon starts and I want to be ready! Perhaps I can finally start on the big pile that I won during the last readathon!

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