Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Daily Thoughts 6/30/2009

Napoleon Hill, American self-help writer, attorney and journalist, seated in a chair holding his book "Think and Grow Rich". (three-quarter length portrait) c1937 from Wikimedia

Daily Thoughts 6/30/2009

Today was another steady day. We spent some time discussing moving books around. I also did some shifting and relocating books in the mystery section and did some weeding of books in the music section.

Some of the older books in the music section are being moved to storage. We have some old very beautiful books in our collection. I was looking at a few opera books on the New York Metropolitan Opera and Wagner. Sometimes it is interesting looking at the older books.

Today was a solid pleasant day.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Daily Thoughts 6/29/2009

Self-portrait of Stanley Kubrick.This is a photo taken by a staff photographer of LOOK Magazine, and is part of the LOOK Magazine Photograph Collection at the Library of Congress. Their former owner, Cowles Communications, Inc, dedicated to the public all rights it owned to these images as an instrument of gift.

Daily Thoughts 6/29/2009

I finished reading Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. It was odd reading this book. For some reason it read like the end of a trilogy, but it was a standalone book. There were references in the book to ancient history which made me think that there were books written before this one when there weren't.

I liked the premise that "breath" can be passed from one person to another much like karma or luck. Breath is represented by color. Those who accumulate the breath of others gain advantages like perfect pitch, agelessness, and the ability to use these breaths to animate non-living things.

There are those who have returned from the grave having received a special breath making them unique. In the kingdom of Hallendran, these people are worshipped as gods and people sacrifice their breath to them to make them stronger and more filled with destiny. Those without breath are called "drabs."

This is the fantasy story of a young princess being sent to marry the god king of Hallendran from a neighboring kingdom. She must stop a war between her kingdom and the Hallendran's. An army of lifeless troops waits to destroy her kingdom. There is intrigue, magic, and politics in a unique setting.

The book was very compelling and hard to put down. If you like fantasy, this is an excellent book. There are unexpected twists and turns. People are not always as they seem. What is bad in one persons eyes is good in anothers.

I started reading Building A Special Collection of Children's Literature In Your Library on the train home. It gives me some ideas on how special collections are created.

Today went well. I weeded some more in the 700s. I also selected some African American romance paperbacks to be added and had an order sent in for inspirational fiction. It was a fairly straightforward day.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Daily Thoughts 6/28/2009 (Ebooks)

Springtime or La liseuse (the reader) Claude Monet 1872

Daily Thoughts 6/28/2009 (Ebooks)

I am thinking about free ebook sites. I have put together a short list of a few places which I think are entertainig or useful. Most sites are very cluttered and hard to us. These seem to be the best I have found so far.

America.gov -- Publications About American Life

The Baen Free Library of Science Fictionhttp://www.baen.com/library/

Bartleby Great Books Online http://www.bartleby.com/index.html

Creative Common Books are licensed to read but not
resell. http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Books

Drew's Script-O-Rama (free scripts for movies and television http://www.script-o-rama.com/oldindex.shtml

Free Public Domain Audiobooks. http://librivox.org/

Great Book Index http://www.mirror.org/books/gb.home.html

Proect Gutenberg http://gutenberg.org/

Gutenberg Emerging http://www.gutenberg-e.org/

International Children's Digital Library http://en.childrenslibrary.org/

The Internet Archive Texts Collection http://www.archive.org/details/texts

OpenCRS-- Open Congressional Research Service http://opencrs.com/

Poets' Corner http://www.theotherpages.org/poems/

University of Pennsylvania Guide to Free Ebook
Downloads . http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/

Yale University Books Unbound http://yupnet.org/home/

If you can suggest some more free ebook sites that combine quality with ease of use please let m know.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ad Nauseam A Survivor's Guide To American Consumer Culture Edited by Carrie Mclaren and Jason Torchinsky

Ad Nauseam A Survivor's Guide To American Consumer Culture Edited by Carrie Mclaren and Jason Torchinsky

This book is a compilation of essays from the magazine Stay Free. These essays are critiques of American consumer cultue. They focus on various subjects in advertising covering such topics as the history of medical quackery in advertising, corporate culture, advertising techniques, and other anti-consumerist topics. Many of the essays are quite funny. There is a mix of history, criticism, surveys, interviews, photographs, and pranks.

There is quite a bit on how advertising effects our daily lives. For example the reason we cannot get free glasses of water at restaurants without asking is because of the recent trend selling bottled water. Also, advertising has moved into our schools with pictures of candy in our textbooks and jury selection being effected by television shows like Miami Vice and L.A. Law.

The book is helpful if you want to immunize yourself from impulse buying. The advertising tactics of raw emotional appeal, pictures instead of words, and convincing people consumption is automatically good are critiqued. We learn how advertisers created an emphasis halitosis and dry skin as well as many other modern maladies.

The best thing about this book is the humor. There is a very funny article on the history of "Subliminal Seduction" debunking it. The article makes reference to the book, The Clam Bake Orgy by Wilson Brian Key one of the silliest books I have ever read.

There are black and white pictures throughout the book. Some of the better ones are the Marlboro baby and a tattoo of the Nikes logo on a persons ankle. In addition to pictures there are quizzes at the end of some chapters.

This was an entertaining and informative book to read. It might turn off some people with its anti-suv, prank lovng, privacy oriented, remove all ads from school political correctness, but if you want to convince your dog to love your ipod this is the book for you.

Daily Thoughts 6/27/2009

Cobbe portrait, claimed to be a portrait of William Shakespeare done while he was alive .

Daily Thoughts 6/27/2009

I have started reading Warbeaker by Brandon Sanderson. Brandon Sanderson is the author of Alcatraz and the Evil Librarians. His fantasy writing is very creative.

I picke up two books from my local library, Building A Special Collection of Children's Literature In Your Library Identifying, Maintaining, and Sharing Rare or Collectible Items by Dolores Blythe Jones. This was the only book I could find on creating a special collection in my local library. I also picked up Local History Collections In Libraries by Faye Phillips.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Daily Thoughts 6/26/2009

Portrait of a Man of Noble Birth With a Book by Hokusai

Daily Thoughts 6/26/2009

Today has been a pleasant day. I read some more of Ad Nauseam on the subway to work. It is a rather entertaining critique of advertising. A lot of it is very funny. I especially liked an interview on an extreme fan of the Little Mermaid. People are devoted to commercial products in extreme ways.

This morning, I have been organizing things a bit to prepare for next week.

I also learned that the American Library Association has a Wiki. There is a section on it for graphic novels which is something I enjoy a lot. http://wikis.ala.org/professionaltips/index.php/Graphic_novels

Today was a rather quiet day. We are labeling in the sorting area for books. We are also rearranging the shelving. I pulled some more gift books to be added. We are creating another bookmark this time for books on autism.

I took a break this evening and watched some of the Max Fleischer Betty Boop cartoons on dvd. I checked it out from the library. Fleischer Studios has some fantastic old fashioned cartoons. I find the music and artistic quality to be better than many of the more modern cartoons. Small Fry by Fleischer Studios is one of my favorite cartoons.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Daily Thoughts 6/25/2009

Statue of Astrid Lindgren in Stockholm

Daily Thoughts 6/25/2009

On the train to work I read some more of The Carrot Principle. It is focused on the idea that recognition drives goal setting, communication, trust, and accountability creating better results. It is a book designed to sell a business study much like the book Good To Great.

I wrote another bookmark in publisher. This time it is for inspirational christian fiction. We have a lot of churches in our city. I tried to find the bestselling authors. With the bookmark, I also did an order for christian fiction titles.

I have also been doing weeding and keeping the displays up to date. We had a visiting librarian from the system looking at our ESL collection this morning for weeding and selection of new materials.

I picked up another book to read, Ad Nauseam A Survivor's Guide To American Consumer Culture, Edited by Carrie McLaren and Jason Torchinsky. I am not that fond of most mass consumption. I do consume a lot of books though. I am a bit focused on reading all the time.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Daily Thoughts 6/24/2009

The shadow of a crime. Digital ID: 1543426. New York Public Library

I rather like the cover illustrator, M.B. Prendergast

Daily Thoughts 6/24/2009

Sometimes the day goes by and you spend time fixing the small things; making sure the slat wall shelving is the right one on the orders, working on updating a bookmark on "inspirational fiction", designing the new labelling for the technical sorting area, and discussing how things will be done in the future.

Also things seem to catch up with you; picking up for an open house tomorrow and talking about how to merchandise the graphic novel collection.

The June 15, 2009 Library Journal has an article on Queens Library in New York which is worth reading.

It has been a quiet, steady day.

I checked out a few books. I read Love and Rockets New Stories Volume No. 1 by The Hernandez Brothers on the train home. It was a fun graphic novel to read. I especially liked the story Ti-Girls Adventures Number 34, Part One: the Search For Penny Century and Ti Girls Adventures Number 34 Part Two: Penny Is Found. It is a wonderful spoof on comic book supergroups. I like how Angel becomes a superheroine when she finds out one of her neighbors is wandering around catching bad guys. It was fun to read. There are some nice cliches, Golden Girl can get back in her costume even when she has turned fifty.

The other stories are much more avant garde than the Hernandez Brothers earlier work. Some of it is quite odd. Fantagraphic has given them a free hand to be creative. In one story, a man wanders off into a snow storm. In another story a man gets sick after eating some burritos with worms in them. This story is kind of gross but intriguing. A few of the pages even remind me of Charles Burns or Kaz. It is very hard to describe them.

The Hernandez brothers have been writing for a very long time. Their work is bestselling. Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez have a unique style. I find it very appealing because the characters appear more human than in a lot of comics. People are drawn with a variety of body types. Also, the women in the comics tend to have curves and be exuberant and adventurous. These comics have adult themes in them. Love, sex, money, and personal experiences. This is even true in the superhero parts.

I also tried to read Breathers A Zombie's Lament by S.G. Browne. I could not get past the first chapter. I did not like it at all. It seemed to be a bit whiny and I found the main character quite unappealing. I would not recommend this book.

The final book I have started reading is The Carrot Principle by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton. This is a business study aimed at supporting a specific management philosophy. It talks about how you should use recognition to motivate employees.

I have been getting more advertising material in the mail from libary companies lately. I got a postcard advertisement for a book, Virtual Worlds Real Libraries Librarians and Educators In Second Life and Other Multi User Virtual Environments by Lori Bell and Rhonda B. Trueman. I think I am receiving these because I am on Linked In and Twitter. The promotional card is actually pretty interesting looking. Also the Public Library Association sent me a conference notice for PLA 2010.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Daily Thoughts 6/23/2009

Three quarter length portrait of Oscar Wilde by Napoleon Sarony circa 1882.

Daily Thoughts 6/23/2009

Today has been another quiet day. We spent some time ordering material. I ordered some christian fiction, some African American fiction, and various popular fiction books. I also took some time to look over the Automatically Yours account from Baker and Taylor.

We are looking at a way to merchandise the graphic novel collection. I think it will be a lot better when the graphic novels are merchandised. I have spent quite a bit of time bringing the collection up to speed. There is a lot of unique material in the collection covering history, writing, and drawing graphic novels in addition to newspaper strips and graphic novels.

On the way home, I relaxed a bit on the train. I did not read anything tonight. It gave me a few minutes to ponder where I am going. There is still a lot for me to do.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Daily Thoughts 6/22/2009

Monument al llibre (“Monument to the book”), sculpture from the year 1994 by Joan Brossa for the Gremi de llibreters de vell de Catalunya (“Guild of second-hand booksellers of Catalonia”) at the crossing Passeig de Gràcia with Gran Vía in Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain). I hereby assert that I am the creator and/or sole owner of the exclusive copyright of Monument al llibre - Joan Brossa - Barcelona.jpg. I agree to publish that work under the free license Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Unported. 2008-09-13, Till F. Teenck.

Daily Thoughts 6/22/2009

Today has been another quiet day. I spent some time reading Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist for reviews. I also took some time to look at our back orders. Things are moving along.

We keep a patron requests sheet where we log requests for books, cds, dvds, and other materials which we do not have. It is a simple spreadsheet with author, title, format, and call number. One of my colleauges maintains it. I try and order books from the list as much as possible. Lately we have gotten several requests for christian fiction which is something I am going to have to learn about a little more. We get requests mainly for urban fiction, suspense, African American fiction, mysteries, and popular fiction titles. I saw a number of christian fiction titles being discussed on the http://bookblogs.ning.com/ site.

I have been thinking about the number of requests from homebound people a lot lately as well. They often request popular fiction titles to be sent over via the bookmobile when it visits. Daniel Steel is very popular so are large print African American titles.

I read some more of The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging during lunch. It is mostly concise tips on how to write for blogs; write every single day, try to stick to a single point, use eye catching headlines, include pictures and links in your posts to make them interesting, filter your comments, and people want to see something new every single time they visit a web site. The advice is right on target.

I liked the first half of the book much better than the second half of the book. The second half of the book focuses on news as entertainment or infotainment. If you want to learn how to capitalize and pontificate on the current headlines or write a popular opinion piece on the latest happenings in the world you might like it.

Many old line media types are repackaged for the digital generation and write columns for the Huffington Post; Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Gore Vidal, Larry King, and Erica Jong are a few of them. The blog collective is left leaning and writes very entertaining stories. Arianna Huffington reminds us that content is king and it is still about the story. The second half of the book reads like a cup of hot ramen, hot, quick, and tasty with very little nutritional value.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Visible Librarian Asserting Your Value With Marketing And Advocacy by Judith A. Siess

The Visible Librarian Asserting Your Value With Marketing And Advocacy by Judith A. Siess

This book is about marketing, public relations, and advocacy for libraries. The author uses examples from all types of libraries to show how marketing can improve the visibility of libraries and librarians. If libraries are not visible and do not speak up they do not get funded.

Judith A. Siess includes customer service and community relations as part of marketing. It is up the librarian to market their services because they know the library best. The book gives many examples of different forms of marketing including brochures, newsletters, business cards, open houses, surveys, press releases, websites, email, bulletin boards and display cases.

The book is an introductory text. It is the first steps in promoting a library. Not enough libraries promote themselves well. If you are just begining it would be very helpful. The writing is very concise, but a bit dry. There is an index and footnotes. I was hoping for something a little more creative.

Daily Thoughts 6/21/2009

Lucius Apuleius author of Metamorphasis or The Golden Ass

Daily Thoughts 6/21/2009

I joined Selection- L this morning, a mailing list for selection librarians. Hopefully, it should be somewhat useful.

Gaming In Libraries the Course http://www.gamesinlibraries.org/course/?page_id=117

After readings some of The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging by The Editors of The Huffington Post With An Introduction by Arianna Huffington I decided to make some minor changes to the sidebar of this blog. I have added a disclaimer at the bottom of the blog. I also have added the Creative Commons Attributions Unported 3.0 License. I am asking you to acknowledge any use of the content of this blog. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Feel free to make any comments on this decision. It is the first time I am doing this.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Insiders Guide To Creating Comics And Graphic Novels by Andy Schmidt

The Insiders Guide To Creating Comics And Graphic Novels by Andy Schmidt Featuring Tips & Insight From Comics Masters: Neal Adams, John Byrne, David Finch, Klaus Janson, Karl Kesel, John Romita, Jr. and Many More.

This is a book on how to put together superhero comics by an editor who worked at Marvel and is now a senior editor at IDT Books. It is very much a guy book. None of the guest artists are women. The guest artists are some of the most popular artists currently working in the superhero comics business. They are featured in single page biographical spreads. The book was printed in 2009 so the information is very current.

The craft of making modern comics is covered in detail in this book. The book itself is very interesting to look at. The pages are a bright yellow, and they have many colorful images from comics including splash pages from comics like Captain America, X-Factor, Gray Area, Defenders, The Pulse and many other mainstream titles.

The book is broken up into chapters on different technical subjects in making comics; lighting, panel layout, inking, coloring, lettering, and the use of space. It is not just about the technical aspects of drawing it also covers how to create comics scripts, show emotion, and create believable characters. In the script section they have a piece of the script from Captain America #1 which was quite entertaining.

An interesting aspect of the book is that it also covers where film and photography meet with comics. There are technical sections on camera angle, point of view, lighting, and many techniques that come from film. I found this rather fascinating.

The writing is clear and to the point. It follows Andy Schmidt's maxim of first communicate then entertain. I learned a lot of technical points about graphic novels which I had not known before. Maybe I will be able to use them in future graphic novel reviews.

Daily Thoughts 6/20/2009

A portrait of the poet Basho, with his most famous poem "An old pond - a frog jumps 1820, by Kinkoku Yokoi

Charles De Lint has a new fantasy novel coming out in trade paperback Medicine Road. Charles Vess one of my favorite illustrators is doing the illustrations.

Another book came in for me to read today, The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging by the Editors of Huffington Post with an introduction by Arianna Huffington.

Daily Thoughts 6/20/2009

Web Bits

An article on Ray Bradbury in support of libraries. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/20/us/20ventura.html?_r=1

Friday, June 19, 2009

Daily Thoughts 6/19/2009

Herman Hesse, photograph taken 1927.

Daily Thoughts 6/19/2009

Today was another pleasant day. On the way in to work, I finished reading The Insiders Guide To Creating Comics and Graphic Novels by Andy Schmidt. It is a very interesting title. I am going to probably write a review tomorrow. I think the book will give me a better idea on how to review graphic novels. There is a lot of terminology in the book which was new to me.

This morning I had a few gift books added to the collection. I also filed some looseleafs for the law collection, this time it was New York Official Code of Rules and Regulations. We are getting a lot of requests for summer reading already. A lot of people are asking for Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner.

The laws for immigration have changed for citizenship and green cards in the United States. The citizenship test books before 2008 are not valid. I ordered several current books on becoming a citizen as well as a few books on getting a green card because of this.

I also spent some time this morning going over Titlesource 3 from Baker and Taylor with the childrens staff and looking at it a little more closely.

They are moving around furniture today. This includes putting in new carpeting in some parts of the library.

I left a bit early this afternoon to take care of car trouble. On the way to pick up my car, I read The Visible Librarian Asserting Your Value with Marketing and Advocacy by Judith A. Siess. It talks about how customer service is essential in retaining library patrons.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Complaint Is A Gift Recovering Customer Loyalty When Things Go Wrong by Janelle Barlow and Claus Moller, 2nd Edition

A Complaint Is A Gift Recovering Customer Loyalty When Things Go Wrong, 2nd Edition by Janelle Barlow and Claus Moller

This book is about how to use complaints as a way to improve customer service and quality in corporations. Places like Zappos.com, Dell, Amazon, and IBM are covered. It would have been nice if they included material for nonprofits and government agencies.

A process of dealing with complaints called the "Gift Process" is described. It focuses on thanking the customer for the complaint, acting immediately, and getting feedback on how to improve service quickly. There are numerous examples of how to do this both verbally and in writing.

There are many other things covered as well; the proper way to complain to get results, why people do not complain, how to create goodwill, and how to interact with angry customers. The authors remind us that most people who complain are regular users of a service. Those who do not complain and are dissatisfied stop using your service.

I found the section on how to handle personal complaints and criticism interesting and potentially useful. There are guidelines for distinguishing between constructive criticism and personal attacks.

This book was recommended to me by a librarian at the Westchester Library Association conference. It is worth reading.

Daily Thougths 6/18/2009

The King's library at Buckingham House from Pyne's Royal Residences (1819).

Daily Thoughts 6/18/2009

I am reading The Insider's Guide to Creating Comics and Graphic Novels by Andy Schmidt Featuring Tips & Insight From Comics Masters: Neal Adams, John Byrne, David Finch, Klaus Janson, Karl Kesel, John Romita Jr. and Many More. The book immediately starts off with an interesting idea; the first job of a writer is to communicate clearly to the reader and the second is to be entertaining. I rather like it.

One of the reasons I like to read about the technique of how graphic novels are put together is because they are based on the concept of storyboarding. Graphic novels, films, fashion design, animation, and video games all use storyboards. Many of the techniques crossover between the different arts. Graphic novels are written as scripts much like films. This is one of the reasons so many graphic novels are being turned into films.

I did not do much today. I have a day off because I am working this Saturday. I did go for a short walk up the hill in the rain to my local library to drop off a book. I also spent some time fooling around with Twitter.

If you order Spanish language titles Criticas has resumed publishing. http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6666098.html?desc=topstory

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Daily Thoughts 6/17/2009

Soren Kierkegaard in the coffee-house. Sketch in oils by Christian Olavious, 1843

Daily Thoughts 6/17/2009

Proposed layoffs for libraries and cuts in service have been reduced considerably. This is good news for libraries in the five boroughs of Manhattan. http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6665611.html

I spent a few minutes looking through http://books.alltop.com/ this morning. It is a news feed for books. I liked the blogs and sources they chose. I even found a few things to order for our library. It seems to cover a nice selection of news.

Queens Library in New York has won the library of the year award from the American Library Association. This is an article from the Daily News, a newspaper I sometimes read during lunch with my coffee. http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/queens/2009/06/15/2009-06-15_boro_wins_library_of_year.html

American Library Association has created its own social network called ALA Connect. They are seeking librarians to come join the network. It is a fairly new network for librarians. http://connect.ala.org/

Today was a solid day. We are preparing to lay carpet on Friday, so we had to clear off some of the display space. I also filed some law looseleafs, Guide to Employment Law and Regulations. We are preparing to do some more organization in the technical services area. I think it will be helpful to do this. I am also hoping to get some of the gift books processed.

I read some more of A Complaint Is A Gift on the train home. It is a practical book on customer service; it includes things like service recovery and how to reduce the number of complaints.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Daily Thoughts 6/16/2009

In 1867 Hans Christian Andersen was subrenting an apartment from a female photographer, Thora Hallager, at Kongens Nytorv in Copenhagen. This photo of Andersen was taken in October 1867.

Daily Thoughts 6/16/2009

I did not have any books to read on the train with me this morning. I picked up a copy of the New York Times for today instead. I read about books. There was this article from the Times which I found entertaining. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/16/books/16kaku.html?ref=books We have the title Fools Gold, but don't have the title Dumb Money by Gillian Tett.

Today has been a steady day. I have done some more weeding in the oversize books, this time it was in the music and film books. I mainly looked for very old technical books. There were a number of books that needed minor repairs as well. The repairs were mainly replacing old plastic covers on the books or mending tears in the books. This will go to technical services for mending.

I also spent some time thinking about doing a survey for the library. Sometimes it is good to think about things and plan. Our computer technician put a copy of Professor Teaches tutorials on the different microsoft products, Excel, Word, Powerpoint, and Publisher. I have to go back and do more of the tutorial on Publisher. I may do a bookmark on writing. I am caught up on most of the detail work around the library. I kept up the current events display and checked the new books display this morning.

I also updated the list of websites for reviews which we use in collection development. It is mostly internet sites on books and graphic novels right now. Many of the sites are in my sidebar.

My diet is going well. I am down a pants size. I still do my exercises from the book Yoga RX and listen to the cd from I Can Make You Thin. It is working slowly and steadily for me. I still have quite a way to go.

I picked up two more books to read, Creative Capitalism A Conversation With Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Other Economic Leaders by Michael Kinsley and The Insiders Guide To Creating Comics and Graphic Novels by Andy Schmidt.

There is another business book which looks interesting, A Complaint Is A Gift, Recovering Customer Loyalty When Things Go Wrong, 2nd Edition by Janelle Barlow and Claus Moller. This was recommended by a librarian at the Westchester Library Association conference. I started reading this book on the train on the way home. It is about how to use complaints for "service recovery." The authors point out that most people who complain are regular customers. People who don't complain and have problems simply don't come back. Complaints are an opportunity to fix problems with service and products. The book is mainly focused on businesses, but I think it applies to service agencies and libraries as well.

I spent a little time on Google Webmaster Tools. It was rather interesting. Apparently the words most used to find my blog are "mature manga" and "jim collins good to great". The two sites with the most links to my site are http://www.chicagohistoryjournal.com and http://www.apolloalliance.org . The Chicago History Journal is a fine organization and the Apollo Alliance is a very progressive alternative energy organization. Both are excellent sites. I can say that the Apollo Alliance does have a book based on them Apollo's Fire Igniting America's Clean Energy Economy.

Monday, June 15, 2009

How To Get Control of Your Time And Your Life by Alan Lakein

How To Get Control of Your Time And Your Life by Alan Lakein

While I was at Barnes and Noble, I bought this mass market paperback for $6.99. It is a very quick read. The book is only 160 pages long and can be read in afternoon. It was originally published in 1974 so it has withstood the test of time.

The book shows tried and true methods of time management and goal setting; the A list of personal goals, the to do list, daily scheduling, and breaking tasks into manageable actions. In addition to methods there are numeroous admonishments and tips; handle a piece of paper only once, "if something is worth doing, it is worth doing badly," learn to say "no", there is an 80/20 rule are some of the ideas presented.

Alan Lakein comes across as sensible and practical. He tries to answer Lakein's question, "What is the best use of your time?" as well as "What is the price of delay?"

This is a short focused book by a Harvard M.B.A. and a recognized expert in time management. The book has sold over 3 million copies.

Daily Thoughts 6/15/2009

Portrait of Charlotte Bronte 1873

Daily Thoughts 6/15/2009

I spent some time this morning looking at the Black Expressions Book Club at the New Arrivals section. It lists a lot of popular new African American fiction. Black Expressions describes a lot of different categories of African American fiction. http://www.blackexpressions.com/ecom/pages/nm/browse/subGenre.jsp?cat2=3788929&cat1=&browse=

I spent some time today weeding the oversize books. I was in the photography section. It was interesting looking at all the different artists.

I also spent some time discussing programming. We are going to have a program on minority business, a financial literacy program, and a program on writing wills. What I am really looking forward to is a program on writing poetry in August.

I also had a chance to look at Titlesource 3 from Baker and Taylor today which is kind of interesting to look at. It has a lot of features which we can use to make our ordering easier.

A lot of people are coming in to use the computers at our library. There is a wait of over an hour for using the cybercorner most of the time. The new books section is right across from cybercorner so people often read while they are waiting or checkout books and other media.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

(Thoughts) Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

This book is a satire on the original book Pride and Prejudice. Pride and Prejudice was originally considered a comedy of manners on the English upper class. This book would be satirizing a satire. Seth Grahame-Smith preserves 85% of the original text of the novel, then changes the setting completely. The majority of the changes in content are in the background description and settings. Essentially the book has been moved from the genteel english countryside to a countryside infested by the living dead.

What seems to make this possible is that the characters in the original novel are completely focused on their immediate selves and interests. They are aristocrats who are worried about marriage, money, and genteel activities like attending balls, having tea, and throwing dinner parties. The world outside does not seem to hold much interest. Seth Grahame Smith is making a statement that you could have placed the original Pride and Prejudice almost anywhere. The story is universal.

In addition to the changes in the setting, Seth Grahame Smith mashes in pop culture elements to create a slightly different story. A mash up is where you take two different things and put them together to make something completely new. For example when you mix google maps with the prices and locations of apartments you would get a map of how much it would cost to rent an apartment in a neighborhood. This is the first time I have seen this kind of mash up using a novel. Apparently, this novel has set off a frenzy to publish more of these kind of novels.

This is different than a pastiche where you use the original characters to create a new story. It is fairly common with Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes has become a world travelling character by now, travelling to America, China, Scotland and many other places.

Some of the mashed in elements are that Elizabeth Bennett becomes a zombie slayer as well as her love interest Lord Darcy. She has survived "The 36 Chambers of Shaolin," a reference to the Shaw Brothers 1978 martial arts film. Also she must challenge, Catherine Darcy and her ninjas to gain Lord Darcy's hand. Elizabeth has learned Chinese martial arts and Catherine Darcy has studied Japanese martial arts. This adds an element of silliness not that far from the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The zombies are both a source of horror and farce. Most of the zombies who die are townsfolk, servants, and villagers. Towards the end of the novel, the zombies are mistaking cauliflower for brains. There are other minor farcical elements thrown in like the card game Crypt and Coffin. The book is not meant to be taken seriously. This runs counter to the way many people read the classics. People who take the classics seriously may not like this novel.

There are also black and white hand drawn illustrations throughout the novel. My favorite title for one of the illustrations on P.200 is "The smoke from Darcy's musket hung in the air around him, wafting Heavenward through his thick mane of chestnut hair." At the end of the book, there is a two page Pride and Prejudice Readers Discussion Guide. This is is quite morose and funny.

While I was at Book Expo America, I got a chance to visit the Quirk Books booth. They told me that they were publishing another mash up on July 15, 2009, but they could not give the title. They also have published a Deluxe Heirloom Edition with color pictures in the tradition of separating fans from their money. http://irreference.com/pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies-deluxe-heirloom-edition/

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was on the Locus Bestseller List and the New York Times Bestseller list. I liked reading it. There is value in reading this not just for the content, but to understand a new form of novel that a lot more people are going to be writing. Quirk Books did not have to pay any royalties to use Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's work is in the public domain.

Daily Thoughts 6/14/2009

1869 engraving showing an idealized, young Jane Austen based on a sketch by Cassandra Austen

Daily Thoughts 6/14/2009

Today I got some extra sleep then went to the mall. I walked around had lunch and went to Barnes and Nobles bookstore. It was rather pleasant. I spent some time looking through the self improvement section. I do sometimes read these kinds of books. I bought How to Get Control Over Your Time and Your Life by Alan Lakein. It is a small paperback which costs $6.99. Often small books are the best kind to read. The cost of a book often does not determine the value of its content. I'll probably read some of it in the laundromat this afternoon.

Web Bits

A human interest story from NBC news on libraries. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/#31356214

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Daily Thoughts 6/13/2009

The card catalog in the nave of Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University. Picture by Henry Trotter, 2005. Are you feeling a little old fashioned today?

Daily Thoughts 6/13/2009

I finished reading Fundamentals of Technical Service Management by Sheila S. Intner with Peggy Johnson. It was a solid overview of managing a technical services department. The book was very much at the introductory level. I thought the section on metadata was kind of interesting even thought I am not a cataloger.

I went to my local library for a bit and dropped off my books. I did not find anything I wanted to bring home to read this time. I did spend a little bit of time on the computers checking my email. It was a nice walk up the hill.

Right now, I am reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I am finding the book to be rather silly and entertaining at the same time. The main character, Elizabeth is both a proper lady and a zombie killing martial artist who spends time cleaning her musket. There are balls, tea, dinner parties, zombie mayhem, and sword fights. Of course there is also a touch of Victorian romance as well. What is surprising about the book is that much of the original content is still intact.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Daily Thoughts 6/12/2009

P. G. Wodehouse

Daily Thoughts 6/12/2009

This morning I spent time weeding the oversize books. I still have quite a bit more to do in the oversize section. I am weeding the 700s. This is a difficult section to deaccession because so much of the material does not date, especially the material on master architects, painters, sculptors, and artists.

The person who does young adult programming reminded me about the New York Anime Festival which is free for librarians with a professional pass. It should be a lot of fun to go to. The program is on September 25-27 at the Jacob Javits Center. http://www.newyorkanimefestival.com/

During the afternoon we added some more display shelves to the new books area. It is starting to look quite nice. I think we will also be displaying dvds and audio books as well soon.

On the way home, I read some of Fundamentals of Technical Services Management by Sheila S. Intner with Peggy Johnson. It has given me a few ideas about weeding, mending, and preservation which I had not thought of before. I rather like the idea of creating a separation between processing books and preservation of books.

I also spent some time discussing Books In Print as an online service and thinking about Baker and Taylor's Titlesource 3. I have to spend some more time evaluating the service.

I have been a member of the American Library Association for a very long time. I am really not sure what it has done for me. It is a union card. I am also a member of RUSA which is the Reference and User Services Association. I enjoy reading the RUSA magazine, I have even ordered a few reference books which they recommended in their magazine. Right now, I am looking at joining ALCTS (Association of Library Collections and Technical Services). I am hoping that it has something useful to offer that I will be interested in. I think I might actually look at joining a committee. I never really considered joining any of the American Library Association committees. Collections is much more interesting to me than reference.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Daily Thoughts 6/11/2009

Central building, cartoons : r... Digital ID: 465331. New York Public Library

New York Public Library Central building, cartoons : reading room, Seeing New York with Fornaro, from N.Y. Sun, Evening, about Jan 3, 1914.

Daily Thoughts 6/11/2009

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame Smith came in for me today to read. It is a mash up of a zombie hunter story and Jane Austen. Even better, it is illustrated with pictures of Elizabeth fighting zombies and ninjas. The book is on the New York Times bestseller list and the Locus bestseller list. It should be fun to read.

Today has been a pretty good day. I have been working on rearranging the new books display a little bit. I also read the latest Kirkus Reviews. I am planning to display a few of our rare books. I have already selected a few that might be worth displaying; now I have to figure out the best the way to display them. I updated the current events display as well. The holder for fliers and handouts was put up in the Job Information Center room. It makes the area look much nicer.

On the train to work, I read Guide To Developing A Music Library Collection by R. Michael Fling. It gave me a basic outline of what went into creating a music library. This really is not my strong point, but it gave me a few sites to recommend for titles like http://cdhotlist.btol.com/ which gives a list of selected titles for libraries. I always like looking at review sites. I think I am going to put together an updated list of where to look for reviews on the internet.

I am still reading The Thriving Library Successful Strategies for Challenging Times. I am not going to write a review of this book until I look at the libraries websites which are being talked about. I did like the survey which the author did at the end of the book.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Daily Thoughts 6/10/2009

The Harper Brothers founders of Harper & Publishers and Harpers magazine.

Daily Thoughts 6/10/2009

I went to Roger's Time Machine today which is on 207 West 14th Street in Manhattan on the second floor. It is one of those places that exists because of word of mouth. I went there to get a magazine box to store some of my older graphic novels.

I also bought a few comics to read. He always offers very fair prices. I have been going there for many years. I bought a few copies of The Escapist, a six part mini-series based on a character from the book, The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay written by Michael Chabon. It is a self reflective series about writing comics in addition to a story about a superhero.

In addition, I bought the first three issues in the comic, Keith Laumer's Retief printed in 1987 by Mad Dog Graphics. This is also based on the science fiction novels of Keith Laumer. I enjoy reading comics that are based on books. It creates a different view of what a story looks like. If you wanted to read a graphic novel with a little more literary bent, you might try Remembrance of Things Past, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 based on Marcel Proust's novels done by Stephanie Heuet and Stanislas Brezet.

I sat and read my comics at the Donut Pub downstairs while sipping coffee and having a cherry muffin. It was a pleasant thing to do on my last day of vacation.

Right now, I am reading The Thriving Library Successful Strategies for Challenging Times by Marylaine Block. It has many innovative ideas about libraries.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Diaily Thoughts 6/9/2009

Prang’s Fine Art Books. [Poste... Digital ID: 487288. New York Public Library

Prang's Fine Art Books, Poster

Daily Thoughts 6/9/2009

I watched some of The Battle For Algiers on dvd. It reminds me of many things which are happening in both Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a classic film about terrorism, colonialism, and change.

I am standing at the main library of Queens Public Library. One of the things which Queens Public Library does is not create special reference collections for books on library management. I will be taking three books on librarianship out; Guide to Developing A Library Music Collection by R. Michael Fling, Fundamentals of Technical Services Management by Sheila S. Intner with Peggy Johnson, and The Thriving Library Successful Strategies for Challenging Times, Edited by Marylaine Block. One of the things I was looking for was books on managing non-print materials. We have lots of information on selecting books, but not enough information on selecting dvds and cds.

I also picked up two graphic novels, Drinky Crow's Maakies Treasury by Tony Millionaire. This book is irreverent, gross, violent, and funny. Maakies is a comic strip printed mainly in alternative newspapers. It features a drunken crow (Drinky Crow) and drunken monkey (Uncle Gabby) who often sail around on a sailing ship. It draws a little bit from the early strips like Krazy Kat or other early animal funnies. The other book which I selected was Conan and The Jewels of Gwahlur by P. Craig Russell. P. Craig Russell is known for his opera adaptations like Parsifal and the Ring of the Nibelung. http://www.pcraigrussell.net/

I am standing here using the computer at the library. It has no printer attached to it. Nobody minds if I continue to use it for a few extra sessions because everyone wants to print something. I also used the self-checkout machine. It was rather interesting. All you had to do was place your card on top of a plate and it was read automatically. Then you placed all your books on top of the plate in a stack and it read the barcodes automatically and gave a printout of what you had checked out. Queens Library is using radio frequency identification self checkout. http://www.queenslibrary.org/index.aspx?page_nm=Annual_Report05_RFID

I read Maakies on the bus home. It was grossly funny. They even had a few people showing off their tattoos of Drinky Crow in some of the comic strips which was very outrageous. This is a link to the comic strip on the web. http://www.maakies.com/archive/index.html

I enjoyed reading the Conan story. It was very true to the original character who is a charlatan, trickster, and thief in his early years. Conan is off to steal some jewels and become rich. This is not a story of constant fighting, but treachery, intrigue, and cunning with a beautiful woman and some monsters thrown in for good measure.

The art work is beautiful. In addition to the story, there is a sketch book after the story which includes drawing from Barry Windsor Smith and Roy Thomas of Conan. P. Craig Russell is trying to keep the feel of the earlier comic versions of Conan. Despite this, it does not feel like a traditional Conan story. It is much more dramatic than most Conan stories. There is also more background story and art.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Daily Thoughts 6/8/2009

Portrait of Rudyard Kipling by John Palmer.

Daily Thoughts 6/8/2009

I am sitting at my local library. I stopped by to pick up a book to read in the laundromat. I picked up Peaks and Valleys by Spencer Johnson, M.D., he is the author of Who Moved My Cheese which is appropriate reading for a laundromat. The librarian signed me up for the adult summer reading book club and a raffle to win a digital picture frame. I also had a chance to check my email. I should be heading out to the laundromat now.

Peaks and Valleys was an entertaining, but lightweight allegory. It was a way to pass time at the laundromat. It took me about an hour to read while I was at the laundromat. I read it during the wash and dry cycle. It was about the highs and lows of life. The books premise is that you should stay focused on reality and try to make your good times last longer than your bad times. It was a feel good book with a positive, happy message. It was a pleasant break from every day things. It is the kind of book which you read if you want to feel good for a while.

This afternoon, I finished reading In The Stormy Red Sky on my computer. I don't mind reading on the computer. I have a fairly large size screen and have gotten used to reading on it. I did not really feel any eye strain and did not miss holding the book in my hand. I think I am getting used to reading things on a personal computer. I still am not sure how I will feel about reading on a device like an Iphone or a Kindle.

It looks like we will be on the Random House list to be sent advanced reading copies for my library. I am looking forward to getting an advanced reading copy of Bill Willingham's Peter and Max. It is the first novelization of the Fable graphic novel.

Web Bits

Authors@Google videos, I have watched many of them. They are embeddable in websites and can be quite interesting. http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=AtGoogleTalks&view=videos

A list of bookstores from Independent Booksellers of New York City. http://www.ibnyc.org/the-list

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Connected The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives by Nicholas A. Christakis, M.D., Ph.D. and James H. Fowler, Ph.D.

Connected The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives by Nicholas A. Christakis, M.D., Ph.D. and James H. Fowler, Ph.D.

Connected is about social networks both in the physical world and on the internet. The book talks about both the larger connections between people and how connections influence people in making decisions about their lives. According to the book, there are six degrees of separation between people and three degrees of influence.

There are many different ways people are connected together, both immediately and through networks. This book covers a wide spectrum of subjects; politics, money, sex, love, work, voting, and other circumstances. We learn about how a dollar bill travels, why not to seek sex on the internet, your friends can make you fat, why marriage is good for your health, and how one person can affect the voting choices of many people through their personal contacts.

The subjects being discussed are concrete and personal. I found them quite entertaining. In addition to text there are social network maps throughout the book. For example, there is a very interesting map of the strong social divide between democrats and republicans in the United States.

The first part of the book focuses on immediate social networks and their consequences for health, well being, and social status. The latter part of the book goes into the recent developments of networks on computers. Some of the social networks covered are World of Warcraft, Myspace, and Facebook.

Computer social networks are viewed as extenders of personal networks. Like the telephone and modern transportation, computer social networks extend the number of people who we can reach out to. While this may not have an immediate impact on close friendships and marriage, it does affect how we can reach out to larger groups. I found this section to be very useful. We learn how social networks increase our ability to reach out to find jobs, exchange goods, and learn more.

This book is entertaining, well informed, and well researched. It is full of gripping facts and thoughtful ideas. It made me rethink how I might use social networks on the internet and make personal connections. It is a book well worth reading. The book which I read is an advanced reading copy. The book is due out in September of 2009.

Daly Thoughts 6/7/2009

William Morris Age 53

Daily Thoughts 6/7/2009

Yesterday, I went to the Strand after going to the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art to see if they had In The Stormy Red Sky by David Drake. They were out of stock there. They also do not have it at my local library or the library I work at. I could order it, but I decided to try it on Baen as a Webscription.

This is the first time I have spent money on an ebook online. I went to the Baen website, joined as a member, then downloaded the book. The first thing I noticed was that I needed an unzipper to make the download available. I got a new one. Then I looked at the two different formats available that I could read on my computer as an .rtf or an .html file. When I looked at the .rtf file, it looked like I was reading a Word document. This was not to my liking. I tried the HTML reader which is much better. Now, I can finish reading the book on my computer. It cost me $15.00 online versus $25.00 at the bookstore. The .html document looks like most of the books in the Baen free library which I am used to.

I also finished reading Connected The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives by Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, Ph.D. and James H. Fowler, Ph.D.. I am thinking about how I will review it. It made me a bit uncomfortable because it made me realize that I was not networking or using social networks properly. I am going to have to change my behavior if I am going to get the full use of both social networks online and in person. There is al lot for me to learn.

Twitter for libraries and librarians. http://www.infotoday.com/cilmag/may09/Milstein.shtml

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art 6/6/2009

James Montgomery Flagg, creator of the famous, I Want You For the U.S. Army poster featuring Uncle Sam.

Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art 6/6/2009

I am going to the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art festival today, 6/6/2009 at the 69th Regimental Armory in Manhattan. The show starts at 11:00 a.m. so I can get up and relax for a bit before I go. I am looking forward to this. I have gone to every one of these shows. http://www.moccany.org/

When I got there, there was a long line to get in. The place was packed with people. I mostly walked around and looked at the different tables. I saw some interesting books and merchandise. Criterion is coming out with a new dvd for Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon.

I also saw a new paperback of edition of Marjane Satrapi's Chicken With Plums. There were a lot of really interesting new alternative press comics. A number which stood out were Skyscrapers of the Midwest by Joshua Cotter, I Saw You... Comics Inspired by Real Life Missed Connections by Julia Wertz, Bayou by Jeremy Love, Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow by Brian Fries, and About Dogs by George Booth. George Booth is a very excellent cartoonist.

David Berona is coming out with a book called Wordless Comics in around 2011. I reviewed David Berona's other book, Wordless Books a while ago. DC Vertigo is going to release its first DC novel. There have been novels produced by other publishers with DC characters, but this will be an in house novel. Bill Willingham is writing a novel based on his Fables graphic novels series called Peter and Max in October.

It was kind of fun wandering around looking at all the different independent publishers; Top Shelf, Fantagraphics, Bodega, Fanfare, DC Vertigo, Last Gasp, NBM Publishing, Pantheon, One Percent Press, and many others. I was surprised at the number of individual producers that had their own tables at the conference as well. There were a lot of people who were just producing a few comics on their own and selling them. I think this has become much more possible because of the internet and the easy ability to get things printed on demand.

There was also a Scandinavian and an Eastern European table for independent comics. The variety of comics was very nice. They even had the dinosaur comic I sometimes see on Wikipedia called Qwantz http://www.qwantz.com/archive/001479.html Ryan North has the comic printed as a full length book.

I went to the panel Selling Good Comics In A Bad Economy from 3:00-3:50 p.m. It featured a number of producers, Alvin Buenaventura from Buenaventura books, Mats Johnson from Gallago, Tom Neely, Brett Warnock from Top Shelf, Julia Wertz from www.fartparty.org, Dylan Williams from Sparkplug Comics, Chaired by Heidi McDonald of the Beat ( something produced by Publishers Weekly. A lot of the panel had come from Book Expo America the week before.

I am not going to write everything they said. I learned a few ideas from the panel. The first is that the independent comics industry is not that big, so the downturn in the economy has not affected them as much as larger industries. There was a general consensus that they had to find some other way than Diamond to distribute their comics because of the economic downturn.

The panelists pretty much agreed that if you want to be in comics you have to attend a lot of shows and be prolific and consistent. Brett Warnock wants his artists to produce a lot of work and go to shows to promote themselves. Julia Wertz said that she goes to a lot of shows, so did everyone else on the panel. They also say that they get a lot of their sales from the internet, it is important to have a website. Tom Neely says it is like the music industry. You go on tour if you are in a band. A few of them mentioned that they were helped by Tony Shenton one of the few independent sales representatives in the industry. http://www.snackhack.com/shenton/

There were a few mentions of blog reviews helping sell comics. Apparently, the internet has been very helpful for the independent comics industry.

What surprised me was that no one had figured out what to do about Kindles and Iphones for comics. The Kindle ereader is not conducive to comics art. Also the Iphone is a fast approaching thing which is on the radar but not figured out. There was a brief mention about almost all the old Marvel comics being scanned into bit torrent as pirated works.

I liked the panel. After the panel, I went across the street from the 25th street armory to a small vietnamese sandwich shop called Baogette which was pretty good.

I rarely buy anything for myself at these things. I might go back and order a few things for my library which I saw. I plan to ask DC Vertigo for a few advanced reading copies. They had them at their table. I got several free comics from DC Vertigo, and got a signed copy of Madame Xanadu. I also bought a poster from this years show for $5. It was an entertaining show.

There was the usual collection of knick knacks, a catalog from Fanfare, several postcards, a catalog from Zudu comics, and several business cards. I am a paper magnet sometimes.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Daily Thoughts 6/5/2009

A statue of James Joyce in Dublin, Ireland.

Daily Thoughts 6/5/2009

I am going to the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art festival tomorrow. Hopefully, I will get to see one of the panels, AH, HUMBUG! Arnold Roth and Al Jaffee in conversation with Gary Groth from 3:00-3:50 p.m.

I dropped off my my library books at my library. I drove up there. It is raining outside. Then I drove down to Barnes and Noble at the mall. I took a look at In The Stormy Red Sky by David Drake. The hardcover is $25.00 at the bookstore. The cover art is very nice. I could go to the Strand Bookstore and buy it there if they have it for $12.50 if there are any extra reviewers copies. The author is popular enough that there often are not any, or I could buy it as an E-ARC from Baen for $15.00, or if I am a little bit more patient, I could wait for it and order it from my library. I have never bought an E-Arc from Baen.

I watched Steamboy this afternoon on dvd. It is by the director of Akira, Katsuhiro Otomo. The story is interesting. It is about a conflict between Britain and a mad inventor who makes various clockwork steam mechanisms.

The main character is Ray Steam, a young inventor whose father has invented a new form of energy in the form of a high pressure steam ball. The story is quite fanciful. There are armored steam powered knights, railroads, steam cars, dirigibles with giant claws, a steam powered floating fortress, and other mad inventions. There are plenty of fantastic explosions and London nearly gets destroyed. There is a back story of science going out of control. You might call this film steampunk.

It definitely has the feeling of Victorian science fiction. The settings are interesting, Russian Alaska, the english countryside, and London during the 1860s. There is lots of fighting and action. The anime has a lot of detail to it. The characters unlike most anime are not big eyed people from a non-descript setting, they look European.

The main problem with Steamboy was that the characters were rather shallow and predictable even for anime. The villains look like the set piece villains you might see in an old film. The characters seemed to be a background piece for the the inventions and the battles. The dialog was very predictable, but it fit well with the action sequences. Not everyone will like this.

The anime took ten years to make. The drawings are very detailed. The mechanics of the world work quite well. I would say this film is as good as Akira the directors other film which is considered a classic in anime. I could drift right into the action without thinking too hard. If you like cartoons or anime this film is worth watching. It is pure escapist fluff. If you like manga, Akira is considered to be an excellent manga comic.

Games And Books 6/5/2009

A screenshot from the computer puzzle-adventure title realMyst (Cyan, Inc.; 2002-Mac version). A puzzle is shown. This is a copyleft image.

Games And Books 6/5/2009

I am thinking about something which I find rather interesting. A number of computer games are fusing with books. One of these is http://www.projectaon.org/ . It is cross between a choose your own adventure fantasy novel and a roleplaying game. I enjoyed the first five books of the Lone Wolf series. They are free.

In Japan 80% of computer games are what are called "visual novels", a mix of anime art, text, and simple games. I tried out a visual novel earlier called "Fatal Hearts" which is from Hanako Games an independent games publisher. Parts of it were quite interesting. The game is really designed for teenage girls. http://www.hanakogames.com/fatal.shtml

This is an article from Galleycat, it talks about how the online computer game, World of Warcraft spun off a series of paperbacks from Simon and Schuster. The article includes a link to another article by Eric Nylund on how to get video gamers to read books. Eric Nylund writes books based on the Halo computer game. http://paizo.com/planetStories/v5748btpy7x8a&source=search

In a way, I am not surprised there is a built in market for fantasy and science fiction novels for many computer gamers. Many games I have played have built icons for books with short stories inside them. It is also not that uncommon to see people write fan fiction for computer games as well. I enjoyed reading Halo: The Cole Protocol by Tobias Buckell. There are numerous ties in between games and books now.

Paizo Press which has a pulp fiction line with its Planet Stories imprint prints the a series of novels by Gary Gygax the man who created the original Dungeons and Dragons fantasy game. This is a link to his fantasy novel, The Anubis Murders http://paizo.com/planetStories/v5748btpy7x8a&source=search

Games are a form of storytelling. Some games have as much or more text than a novel in them. For example, I am guessing that a large novel will have about 1 megabyte of text in it. If you compare this to a 500 megabyte file for the independent computer game, Geneforge 5, Overthrow there are 500 times as many characters in the file as in an average book. There is probably more text in this game than several fantasy novels. This was produced in a year by a single company, Spiderweb Software.

This is also true of many adventure games. People have a tendency to dismiss this kind of reading as not "real" reading because it is not in the same format as a book. With the newer games they can be multi-gigabyte files which can easily include ebooks, video, anime, comics, audio, and other material inside a completed game.

We have computer games in our library. I think if you understand computer games, it is possible to use them as a lead in to reading books, especially books which tie-in to the games as well as cover similar themes to the stories being told. Books, audiobooks, games, are all a form of storytelling. Games are being sold as a package now. For example with Halo, the computer game, I can buy graphic novels, trade paperback books, and the computer game. Even the older franchises like Star Trek and Star Wars have been turned into a complete package with games, computer games, books, music, ebooks, and other merchandise.

As an afterthought, some of the larger online games include libraries built into them. World of Warcraft has a librarians guild and features several in game sections which are called libraries. Star Wars features the Jedi Archives in some of its games. Also if you consider virtual worlds as games, Second Life has a place in it called Info Island with a virtual library of many of the classic novels as ebooks inside the virtual world.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Daily Thoughts 6/4/2009

A Copyleft Image of the Beat Poet, Gregory Corso.

Daily Thoughts 6/4/2009

While I was at Book Expo America, I had picked up a free copy of The Shortest Investment Book Ever by James O'Donnell. I picked it up and read it because I saw a review of it at http://libdrone.info/2009/04/book-review-the-shortest-investment-book-ever/ . The review was spot on.

On the train, I started reading Connected The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives by Nicholas A. Christakis, M.D., Ph.D. and James H. Fowler, Ph.D. It is about social networks. According to the book, people have six degrees of separation and three degrees of influence. This is an advanced reading copy, the book will be out in September.

Web Bits

I spent some time this morning selecting some of the titles from this article.

While I was looking at COLLDV-L (Collection Development Listserv) mailing list emails, I came across this blog which I find kind of interesting. It seems to focus a lot on ebooks lately. http://collections2point0.wordpress.com/