Thursday, December 31, 2009

Daily Thoughts 12/31/2009

Edward Burne-Jones (left) and William Morris (right) in the garden of Burne-Jones's home the Grange, Fulham, 1890. Scanned from Waggoner, Diane, The Beauty of Life: William Morris & the Art of Design, Thames and Hudson, 2003, ISBN 0-500-28434-2. The image is c1890. Found on Wikimedia

Daily Thoughts 12/31/2009

Tonight will be New Years eve. It is snowing outside right now, so I am not planning on going anywhere. I am reading book III in the Vulcan's Soul trilogy, Epiphany right now.

Took a break and read some of Publishers Weekly online. There is a nice article on Turning Classics Into Comics.

I finished reading the Vulcan's Soul trilogy. It was nice light and fluffy entertainment. My favorite character in Star Trek is Spock. He is the most interesting character in the show. "Live long and prosper." I do like watching the show sometimes. It is a chance to escape away from the mundane.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Daily Thoughts 12/30/2009

Portrait of a bibliophile, half-length, seated in a library with a folio, a seal in his left hand; oil on canvas; 43¼ x 58 in. (109.7 x 147.3 cm)English School, 17th Century

Daily Thoughts 12/30/2009

I finished reading Vulcan's Soul part 1 last night. It was lighthearted fun. The formula worked for me. I like to think of Star Trek as uboats in space, one step up from Buck Rogers which is the Lone Ranger in space. I am going to give a spoiler. Chekov disappears in a transporter malfunction. Of course, this gives the opportunity for the characters to mourn Chekov. But, is he really dead? It is like Sherlock Holmes and Reichenbach falls; a way to die which allows the character to possibly be brought back at a later date. This is one of my favorite author tricks. Of course Star Trek fans can't take a May 4 trip to Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland to commemorate the death of their favorite character like the International Sherlock Holmes Society.

I've been weeding in the 800s and the storage fiction. I am looking at copies with zero circulation from fiction. A lot of them are classics like Sir Walter Scott's Waverly Novels which absolutely cannot be deaccessioned. There are also some older quality fiction like Dalkey Archive press books, and some local authors which we should keep.

I had a chance to take a last look at the Kirkus Reviews a little bit ago. Our representative came today and dropped off the latest calendars from Baker and Taylor. We currently have forty boxes of books which we requested to be expedited from back orders. We are trying to get our orders in before the new fiscal year is in place.

Finally, our contract has been ratified after three years. We had been without a union contract for many years and now we have one. Needless to say, it means a nice year end sum for me and many people where I work.

A bunch of books are here for me to read, Finch by Jeff Vandermeer, In The First Circle The First Uncensored Edition by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn which is a story of imprisonment of scientists and intellectuals, The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood-- a kind of a sequel to Oryx and Crake, Tours of the Black Clock by Steve Erickson -- Steve Erickson edits a literary noire magazine called Black Clock which is supposed to be quite good, Retro Pulp Tales Edited by Joe Lansdale-- For a while Joe Lansdale wrote western horror, he wrote several stories for the comic Jonah Hex, and finally E.C. Segar's Popeye, Plunder Island printed by Fantagraphics. This is a lot of early Popeye newspaper strips both in color and black and white printed in a coffee table size book.

An article from Wired Magazine, Study: Rumors of Written Word Death Greatly Exaggerated I rather like the idea that reading is not just about books. We read on the internet, on computers, in newspapers, in magazines, and even on signage around the street. We are reading more, not less. The less may be in terms of books. But, even video games have written content in them now. I think we read all the time to do everyday actions and sometimes it makes people less interested in long form books. People are losing their sense of attention with so many words everywhere.

While I was on Twitter, I occassionally find books that are worth reading. Today, I found Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School. I often find things that authors want to promote on their own.

On the way home, I finished reading book II of Star Trek Vulcan's Soul Exiles. The authors use another device in this series, a coronet which records beings memories. The story includes the recorded memories of Karatek, a Vulcan on a generation ship exploring the stars as they sought a new home far from war torn Vulcan. These Vulcans would eventually become the Romulans. The use of an object to create memories is a fairly common literary device. You could compare it to the ring in the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, or the Silmaril (elven jewel) in the Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien which is used to describe the creation and history of middle earth.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Think Again Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions and How To Keep It From Happening To You by Sidney Finkelstein, Jo Whitehead, and Andrew Campbell

Think Again Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions and How To Keep It From Happening To You by Sidney Finkelstein, Jo Whitehead, and Andrew Campbell

This book is about decisionmaking. It describes many examples of how and why leaders fail. The focus is on recent discoveries about neuroscience. There are many descriptions on why past experience and emotional attachments are central to decisionmaking. Often experience and feelings can be misleading and it is very hard for an individual to think differently. Safeguards outside of a person in a leadership role are often needed.

This book describes how past experience by leaders often led to disastrous mistakes. Some examples are hurricane Katrina, Admiral Yamamoto's loss at Midway during World War II, and Samsung corporations failed foray into automobile manufacturing. These and other examples are analyzed from the viewpoint of creating checks outside the leader to prevent mistakes.

What is described here in detail is how people fail. Appendix I The Database of Cases is all examples of how people failed because of misleading experience, prejudgments, excessive self interest, and inappropriate attachments.

All of the solutions are presented in the second appendix in hypothetical form. I have a bit of a hard time accepting that the solutions given will work. The authors would have done better to also include some case studies of how things go right. It is very hard to know if the solutions presented will work.

If you want to learn why people fail because of excessive reliance on past experience or emotional attachments this book is excellent. This really is the main focus on the book. It will help a person catch their mistakes and maybe, it might help create safeguards against disaster.

Daily Thoughts 12/29/2009

Calliope, muse of epic poetry. Digital ID: 1623534. New York Public Library

Calliope, Muse of Epic Poetry

Daily Thoughts 12/29/2009

New and Creative Leniency for Overdue Library Books, article from New York Times. Our library did a Food For Fines drive where we collected can goods in exchange for library fines which we donated to local food pantries. It is an excellent way to both help the hungry and generate positive publicity.

If a person checks out five dvds at a maximum and has a $2.00 a day late fee per dvd if they are returned late, it can very quickly add up to a considerable amount of money after a few late days. Sometimes people can forget very easily. With more expensive items like video games and even preloaded thumb drives, the fine amounts tend to be higher than books.

Where it can get difficult is with teenagers who are absent minded with videos or video games from the library. They can easily add up very high fines which are difficult for them to pay back. Sometimes libraries do "Read Away Your Fines" programs where they reduce a persons fines for every hour they spend reading in the library. Ths program is especially good for children and teenagers.

There is also the option of doing an amnesty for fines for books and materials. Some of the dvds and oversize books can be quite expensive. It is nice to just have the books back sometimes.

I was looking through Locus Magazine and decided to put The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart by Jesse Bullington on hold. I also saw a book which looked interesting on Linked In,
Choosing civility : the twenty-five rules of considerate conduct by P.M. Forni.

I had a chance to walk up to my local library. It was very cold out. I still try and walk a little bit every single day as a form of exercise. I picked up a trilogy of paperbacks, Star Trek Vulcan's Soul, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 by Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz. Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz wrote two other novels based on Vulcan, Vulcan's Forge, and Vulcan's Heart. They have been writing for the paperback series for a very long time and have the formula down pat. This story features Ambassador Spock.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Daily Thoughts 12/28/2009

This was the Picture of the Day for December 28, 2009. It is also a featured picture on Wikimedia. It is of Oscar Wilde.

Daily Thoughts 12/28/2009

I requested the 2010 Baker and Taylor cat calendars from Baker and Taylor. Baker and Taylor uses two cats as its mascots, Baker and Taylor. Found it on our representatives blog. I am also updating my subscriptions to their review magazines.

Looking at Libriloop which is a closed loop recycler for libraries. It takes discarded library and publisher stock and turns them into different products which it is attempting to sell back to libraries. The objective is to take discarded stock from a specific type of company and recycle it back into the company where it came from.

Took some time to look at Suvudu which is a blog for Bantam Spectra. They are reviewing childrens graphic novels this week. Today, they have an article on Babymouse whihc is one of the better childrens comics. It is lighthearted fun.

If you want to see an interesting set of alternative comics by Jordan Crane, they are available for free at . These can be a bit ironic. There is some mature content, but the quality is very good.

Sometimes, you find things that seem interesting but don't really have a particular place. I saw an event on March 16, 2010 called The Future of Publishing. It looks like one of those things where they are creating something new and random and are not quite sure what will happen.

Today has been a day for wandering on the web. This is an interesting article called Books You Can Live Without from the New York Times. Maybe it is time to cull my personal library again. I don't keep a huge amount of books. Only things with practical value.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Daily Thoughts 12/27/2009

Portrait of Emily Bronte by her brother Branwell Bronte

Daily Thoughts 12/27/2009

I was at Barnes and Nobles near my house. I bought a copy of the childrens book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See by Eric Carle. Eric Carle is a wonderful childrens author. His illustrations are full of color and his message is very simple.

I looked at the science fiction and fantasy section, but did not see anything which I wanted to get this time. A lot of the books are about demons and vampires with a touch of noire. Occassionally I don't mind fantasy noire, but most of the time I like my fantasy to be a little more lighthearted with princes and elves and such. I also like original military science fiction. Most of the stuff I am seeing coming out is long winded series. The Charlaine Harris section in the fantasy area is huge. She is very much a writer about vampires.

I took a look at the sample section of Baen Books yesterday and read the first few chapters of Live Free or Die by John Ringo. It reads a little bit like Heinlein, more so than his other military science fiction novels. There is more of a plot line with intrigue and trickery than his other books. The book is coming out in February of 2010. If they have an Electronic ARC, I will probably get it.

I had a chance to briefly look at the graphic novels section as well. Something I saw which looked really excellent was an oversize book called The Art of Osama Tezuka by Helen McCarthy. It is a big, beautifully illustrated book.

I read some more of Think Again while having a quiet day. I like to read on the couch. The book has a lot on how we make mistakes based on our past experience, prejudgements, self- interest, and in general how we tend to confirm our own biases at our own expense. It demonstrates lots of examples of this kind of behavior. I can easily see it in all kinds of situations.

I just learned that Year of the Flood is a sequel to the novel Oryx and Crake which means that I must read it. This surprises me a little bit, maybe Margaret Atwood will write a science fiction trilogy.

Her writing is literary enough that some people don't consider it science fiction. They like to call it "speculative fiction". This is the nice term for fiction that plays with reality. You can throw in William S. Burroughs, Doris Lessing, George Orwell, Lewis Carroll, Jorge Luis Borges, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez in speculative fiction. It speculates about reality. Magical realism speculates about reality. Of course Robert Heinlein and Neil Gaiman are here as well. The joy and semantics of fantasy literature.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Daily Thoughts 12/26/2009

Miniature books, including Pushkin and Eugene Onegin

Daily Thoughts 12/26/2009

Right now, I am reading Think Again Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions and How to Keep It from Happening to You by Sidney Finkelstein, Jo Whitehead, and Andrew Campbell. The book opens with the decision making process that led to the disaster at Hurricane Katrina. So far the focus has been on pattern recognition and emotions in the decision making process. The examples are quite good; Operation Market Garden during World War II, and Quaker's acquisition of Snapple are two interesting cases they cover. In addition to strategy it also covers the neuroscience of decisionmaking.

I put Retro Pulp, edited by Joe Lansdale on hold for me to read later.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Daily Thoughts 12/25/2009

Houghton Mifflin and Company’s Holiday Books for MDCCCXCVArmstrong & Co, Boston, 1895

Daily Thoughts 12/25/2009

My First Resolutions for the year:

1) While I am not officially going to put together a challenge, I will ask those who follow this blog to do what I plan to do during the next year, read and review 52 books, a book week during the next year. Or at least keep track and read a bit every single week.

2) Attend every single New York Librarians Meetup for the year.

3) Attend the following conferences, Book Expo America, New York Comic Con, New York Is Book Country, and Westchester Library Asssociation at a minimum.

4) Take time to relax and spend time with friends and family.

5) Exercise at least three times a week, cut out candy, soda, and snack foods.

6) Learn more about investing, specifically stocks focusing on alternative energy and clean technology, and keeping a personal budget.

7) Continue working on my blog and social networks.

8) Enjoy life and try to keep inner calm.

I like to think that I am making resolutions that I can follow that are specific and doable. The more specific the better.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas

A year has passed and brings m... Digital ID: 1586012. New York Public Library

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane
Austen and Ben H. Winters.

This novel lampoons Jane Austen by adding extra
chapters and content on sea monsters; death lobsters,
leviathans, man eating clams, minnows,giant octopi, and
Submersible cities abound. Every creature of the
sea is turned homicidally against humanity.

It is better done than the first novel because
it draws from other literature. You can recognize
the influence of Daniel Defoe, H.P. Lovecraft,
Robert Louis Stevenson, and Jules Verne in this
novel. This makes it better than Pride and Prejudice
and Zombies which drew heavily from John Romero films.
This is an article from Slate Magazine about how
Ben H. Winters used classic novels to create the
backdrop for Jane Austen's novel.

The original novel still fits in very well with
the story. It is a story of the Dashwood Sisters
who have a very small inheritance and are seeking
husbands. Because there is very little background
scenery and Jane Austen is almost focused completely
on the families courting, it is easy to change
the setting of the story. Even the characters
can take on changed physical characteristics like
the hideously tentacle faced Captain Brandon.
Everything becomes monsterized.

Because the mashup is much more seemless, it is much
funnier and sillier than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
In addition to the use of Victorian adventure literature,
there are small puns thrown in; Pierre the Orangutan
is a reference to Pierre Boulle's Planet of the Apes and
the tentacle faced Captain Brandon looks like Davy Jones
from Pirates of the Caribbean.

This novel may be a bit offensive to some people. Some of
the scenes have wild touches added to them; island tiki dances,
rum, and pirates break up some of the more serious scenes.
I liked the novel, but it clearly will make some
people uncomfortable reading it.

The book includes some 20 black and white illustrations
which mostly add to the story.

Daily Thoughts 12/24/2009

"Bryan Talbot, comics artist. Image provided by the subject to replace one he did not like." from Wikimedia From Bryan Talbot, Author Roger Cornwell,2006-09-05, Creative Commons Attribution License 2.5

Daily Thoughts 12/25/2009

Watching christmas films. Watched The Polar Express which is based on the childrens book The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsberg. Also watched Frosty The Snowman. There is something wonderful about animated holiday films. They are full of fantasy and old fashioned happiness.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Daily Thoughst 12/23/2009

art piece at title page of William Blake, painter and poet by Richard Garnett Publisher: London, Seeley 1895

Daily Thoughts 12/23/2009

Article Forget Ebooks Future of the Book Far More Interesting . This reminds me of two trends I have seen in books. The first is the multimedia tablet released by Sports Illustrated which is designed to look like a magazine. The other is the ability to put in a quarter inch thick video screen into a magazine. It is not hard to include thin devices for sound as well.

I remember picking up singing greeting cards. There are also fairly thin electronic ink screens that can put on books as well. When you buy childrens books, they often include push buttons for short songs on the side of the books. These are put out by Disney and Sesame Street. It seems like children will begin expecting to have music and eventually short video clips inside their books.

Things are changing very quickly both in the medium of physical books and online books. I can already see a lot of changes. For example, when I picked up the book Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld it is now being advertised with Youtube video clips as well as being promoted with blog giveaways.

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

I have been reading Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters. There is a considerable difference between this book and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Ben H. Winters makes allusions to creatures from the sea, crawling horrors, shipwrecked sailors, pirates, mermaids, undersea divers, and gentleman adventurers. It seems that he is using images from H.P. Lovecraft, Daniel Defoe, Jules Verne, and H. Rider Haggard to lampoon Jane Austen. These authors are more contemporary to Jane Austen than zombie novels and ninjas.

There are some subtle and not so subtle cracks at the genteel literary romance. This makes the novel extremely outrageous at points and very funny. It is easy to miss some of the literary allusions. For example I just realized that the orangutan in the novel named Pierre is a joke on Pierre Boulle's Planet of the Apes.

Things are going smoothly with the shifting in the storage area. They have moved everything up to the letter R. Also, upstairs, the library aides are slowly shifting the collection to make room for the paperbacks to be moved to a new location.

I started weeding again in the 800s. A lot of books have been coming in from our year end order. I am looking forward to seeing the art books which are coming in as well as the graphic novels.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Daily Thoughts 12/22/2009

Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard, better known as J. J. Grandville, or just Grandville (* 3 September 1803, Nancy -- † 17 March 1847, Vanves, lângă Paris), was a French designer, book illustrator and caricaturist.

Daily Thoughts 12/22/2009

I've been reading Thinking With Type A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students by Ellen Lupton. I changed the font type inside my blog to Verdana because it is designed to be used on a computer. There were some interesting ideas in this book. For example, the blog I am writing is an open text because it can be changed constantly, unlike a fixed text like a printed book. I also like the idea of high page density of letters making people comfortable. Personally, I find too much whitespace annoying in blogs.

After reading more of Thinking With Type this evening, it is not a book which I can recommend as a text about typography. It is very beautiful to look at, but it lacked creative flair. Most of the images did not have much color in them. There was a tendency to use monochromatic and light colors in the pictures.

There were a few things which were useful in the book though, the different ways to break up paragraphs of text were interesting, and the idea of grid layouts for the web seemed practical. The book has its good points, but not enough of them. Maybe my ambivalence is because I do not know enough about the subject yet: a fairly advanced understanding of typography may be necessary to understand this book. I'm wavering on whether this is a good or bad book.

Grandville A Detective Inspector Lebrock of Scotland Yar Scientific Romance Thriller by Bryan Talbot

le loup Et le Chien drawn by Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard (September 13, 1803 – March 17, 1847), otherwise known as J.J. Grandville. This picture is very similar in style to the graphic novel.

Grandville A Detective Inspector Lebrock of Scotland Yar Scientific Romance Thriller by Bryan Talbot

The drawings in this graphic novel are amazing to look at. They are in a style that combines art deco with steampunk. The details are interesting and the color is vibrant. You can see things like theater posters, art lamps, and victorian art in the background. This makes the vividly drawn animals stand out even more. The variety of talking animals is rather amazing; talking fish, baboons, pit bulls, rats, cats, rabbits, frogs, moles, and other creatures. It is not at all like anime furries. The style is much closer to Beatrix Potter or illustrated children's fairytales. The image above is fairly close to the graphic novels style.

There is a lot of action and the main character is very much a fighter. The content also has some fairly strong language, sex, and mature themes in it. The French in the story do not like the British. There is a rather funny touch in the story where humans are called doughfaces and generallly act as servants or drivers for horse drawn carriages.

The story is clearly well thought out. Detective Inspector Le Brock must investigate the death of a diplomat, Raymond Leigh-Otter who is of course a talking otter. He is accompanied by his trusted companion, Ratsi. What follows is a trip to Paris in the Grandville district. The action never stops, there are chases, break ins, visits to drug dens, and a conspiracy to uncover.

The devices in the story are pure steampunk. There are automated robots, sword canes, old fashioned carbines, and of course trains. The animals are mostly drawn in period costumes from the Victorian era. I especially like how the turtle diplomat is drawn.

The setting is a Europe where Napoleon has conquered the continent and is firmly ensconced in power. England has gained its independence by guerrilla warfare. There are many references to the British being thought of as anarchists or terrorists. They even make reference to a "ground zero" where the British are thought to have blown up the French Robida tower. Not surprisingly there is a lot of political commentary and intrigue in this graphic novel. There is even a scence where people are protesting the communards in French Indochina.

This is a great story with wonderful art. Bryan Talbot is considered one of the first comic artists for steampunk. He is known for his story, The Adventures of Luther Arkwright. I think Grandville is his best story to date. He has drawn many graphic novels. Another one I can recommend by him is The Tale of One Bad Rat.

If you like comic art you will love this. Even if you don't like comic art in general, this book is exceptional in its quality. I can highly recommend it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Daily Thoughts 12/21/2009

Lord Byron. Digital ID: 483280. New York Public Library
Lord Byron, Finden, Edward Francis, 1791-1857 -- Engraver, 1838

Daily Thoughts 12/21/2009

I am glad that Publishers Weekly opened their website so it is no longer a subscription website. It makes my job much easier. They have a very nice list of the Top Books of 2009 up right now. They also list religious reviews which should be useful as well as comics bestsellers.

Fast Company Best Business Books of 2009. I like the slideshow format. I am definitely going to read Viral loop : from Facebook to Twitter, how today's smartest businesses grow themselves / Adam L. Penenberg.

I feel like reading something a little silly like Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters. It looks entertaining. Read Street blog has a book review of Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford where Jane Austen is a vampire.

I have four books which I plan on reading on my desk, Grandville A Detective Inspector Lebrock of Scotland Yard Scientific Romance Thriller by Bryan Talbot. It is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel. I also have Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters as well as Thinking With Type A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students by Ellen Lupton and Think Again Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions and How To Keep It From Happening to You by Sidney Finkelstein, Jo Whitehead, and Andrew Campbell.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Leviathan combines alternate history with steampunk. It is a young adult novel which can easily reach a more general audience. It is 1914, the Britsh are Darwinists manipulators of life threads, the dna which Darwin discovered. The Austrians are Clankers masters of steam driven clockwork machinery. The world is tilting towards war between the two factions. It is a story of extremely different worldviews.

The setting alternates between a giant hydrogen filled whale airship, the Leviathan which is British and a young Austrian noble, Aleksandar Ferdinand who is on the run.

The book is beautifully illustrated with finely detailed black and white drawings. Many are full page with pictures of steam driven mecha, ladies in bowler hats, airships, and other images. The images convey a mix of the future and the past. Keith Thompson did the artwork.

The two teenage main characters are very likable, Deryn Sharp, a teenage girl disguises herself so she can be an airship cadet. When Aleksandar and Deryn Sharp meet we get an interesting clash of cultures.

The historical details mesh well with the fantasy details. There is an afterword in the book which explains what is historical and what is fantasy.

There is very wide spacing between lines, wide margins, and a non-standard font Hoefler Text. Even the chapter headings look nice. This makes the book a pleasure to read.

Scott Westerfeld wrote the Ugly series which was a New York Times bestseller. Leviathan is on the current Locus Magazine bestseller list.

I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series when it comes out.

Daily Thoughts 12/20/2009

Exterior view of the Jones & Co bookselling premises in Finsbury Square, London, which were known as "The Temple of the Muses", Published Nov. 15, 1828, Jones & Co. Temple of the Muses, Finsbury Square, London

Daily Thoughts 12/20/2009

I happen to enjoy reading some of Cory Doctorow's books. My favorites are the ones on copyright. He is very good at creating polemics which makes his speaking entertaining. The title really says it all How To Destroy the Book by Cory Doctorow.

I have been looking at my Google Webmaster Tools to see who is following me. Pop Goes the Library followed the mention of their book into my laundromat readings. I was at the laundromat today. I am there every Sunday. This is the second or third time I have been followed to the laundromat by blogs in my readings.

I also found another interesting blog which is following me, Tales of a Literary Nobody,

Finally, I am still being picked up by the Book Carnival blog. I really should submit some more of my reviews to them. Their readership has grown considerably.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Six Pixels of Separation Everyone Is Connected Connect Your Business by Mitch Joel President of Twist Image

Six Pixels of Separation Everyone Is Connected Connect Your Business by Mitch Joel President of Twist Image

Mitch Joel writes about social media in this book. Many of the concepts he covers are very new; unconferences, meetups, and mobile technology. His book covers many ideas that I have not seen written about in other books.

At the same time, he reminds you that social media is about connecting with people. The reader should answer emails sent to them from social networks. It is hard to know who you will make contact with. If you are using social networks, it is very likely that you will meet the people who you are connecting with online. This is quite true. I am meeting a colleague from Linked In who I have not seen in a while. I also went a librarians meetup that was the result of social networking.

He also describes how people are becoming digital nomads. With wifi, a laptop, and a cell phone it is possible to work in many different places. We have many people who come into our library to use the wireless connection for work. It has become necessary to have a cell phone to function in the current economy.

Some of the concepts he is describing are new to me. For example, he explains viral expansion loops, or self replicating groups of people that pull more people into social networks. This is what powers Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. It is viral marketing targeted to pull people in.

In one chapter, Mitch Joel is sitting in the car with Chris Brogan and describing how Chris uses his cell phone to tap into social networks to get directions to a conference. It is an explanation of how social networking taps into the real world with maps, information, and help.

The book flows quite well. It appears to be very innovative. The author describes how he met his agent through his blog. His blog is called "Six Pixels of Separation-- The Twist Image Blog." The title of his blog is very similar to this book. Right now, I am following Mitch Joel on Facebook. The message he is giving on Facebook is very similar to his book. He has a consistent message across multiple platforms. It is an excellent example of how to integrate many different services under a single message. This includes a podcast.

Mitch Joel is not writing a how to book for using facebook, linked in, blogger, or other social media sites. This is a strategy book for people who need tips on improving their existing social media connections. It is also an encouragement to use the internet. He is being a technology evangelist for social marketing.

This book is entertaining and informative. If you want to learn how to give a consistent message and slowly build a social media platform this book will be useful. There is a lot of spin in this book. It is not an academic book. There are no notes. There is an index. Occassionally he puts some website links in the text and mentions the author and title of a book.

Daily Thoughts 12/19/2009

Cover of the pulp magazine Weird Tales (January 1942, vol. 36, no. 3) featuring The Shadow Over Innsmouth by H. P. Lovecraft. Cover art by Gretta.

Daily Thoughts 12/19/2009

Library Journal has an article on the book Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars which I reviewed earlier. They are reviewing it partially because of many publishers decision to not release ebooks until the hardcover has come out for a while. When two formats of books come out at the same time and compete with each other at the same time, it is called cannibalization. One format eats into the other formats profits. This is why first the most expensive format, hardcover comes out, then trade paperback, then mass market paperback afterward. Where ebooks come in this value chain is an interesting issue.

When do you release a format to maximize profit for the publishing company? I know that Baen books releases its electronic advanced readers copies before it releases its hardcovers. This is an example from Baen . They have created a revenue stream from their electronic advanced reading copies.

The article from Library Journal raises some interesting issues. Are publishers creating the same kind of panics which occurred with the music industry. I know that if you want to, you can find many copyrighted works on Scribd which are available for download. I also have seen, but not downloaded pirated copies of the bestsellers on torrent sites. It is getting quite difficult to protect electronic works.

This morning I went through the donated books from the newsroom. The material which we already had went into the book sale which the Friends of the Library. There were a few interesting books. Right now, I am looking at A Village Life by Louise Gluck which won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. We also just got a copy of Digital Barbarism A Writers Manifesto by Mark Helprin. This is a statement about the changes which are occurring in copyright. There is also a donation of botanical books which I have to look through.

Am really looking forward to reading Scott Westerfield Leviathan. The trailer looks very good.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Daily Thoughts 12/18/2009

Photograph of author Michael Chabon at a book signing at WonderCon in 2006. Taken by Charlie Reiman. Licensed under Creative Commons attribution 2.0.

Daily Thoughts 12/18/2009

Thinking about how you might incorporate reading challenges into the library environment. We are going to do the 52 books 52 weeks program where people log what they read each week. It is an encouragement for reading. I'm thinking that there are ways to incorporate smaller challenges throughout the year like a graphic novels reading challenge, a classics reading challenge, or a poetry reading challenge.

Today is a day to think of programming. People have been asking about poetry programs. We are also going to continue with the Graphic Novels Club. I am thinking about which writer or artist to do next. People also like manga. We may have the local high school comics club coming to the library Graphic Novels Club.

It is almost time to make my new years resolutions. Haven't decided on what I am going to make as a resolution.

It has been a while that I have been writing on this blog. I am past my 1000th post which I think is pretty impressive. I will continue writing every day. I think it is a good exercise to improve my writing as well as reach out to people.

Writing this blog has led to some very interesting experiences. I got to go to Tools of Change for Publishing because of it. It also encouraged me to get out more and try a lot of different things. I feel like social media has opened a lot of new venues for me which I would not have tried before like the New York Librarians meetup, attempting to build contact lists on Linked In, and reaching out to authors on Facebook. I would have never been so willing to reach out to colleagues without the impetus of a blog. It gets me to try new things.

Sometimes, you find interesting things while going through the internet. This is a relatively new human powered search engine. It looks to have fairly high quality content. The content reminds me a bit of the newspaper site, Arts and Letters Daily.
Finding Dulcinea Librarian of the Internet. The tagline is what makes me interested.

I checked out two more books today; Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld which is on the Locus Bestseller list and The Very Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Sixtieth Anniversary Anthology edited by Gordon Van Gelder.

I think somewhere I lost my focus a bit. It is becoming apparent to me, I should cut back on reading about social media and start getting back to reading about business and science fiction. My readership has been dropping a little bit.

Please let me know what you would like to read about. It would be helpful. I would like to get back to my original focus. I probably should be getting back to writing a little poetry as well.

Anyways, I noticed something interesting. Apparently, New York Public Library is working on a new website. This is a link to the preview.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Diving Into The Wreck by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Diving Into The Wreck by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Boss salvages old spaceships. She searches her part of the galaxy for wrecks. She especially loves finding old historical ships. She makes her living diving into abandoned ships. She hires crews to help her search through these ships. The descriptions of her wreck diving are quite interesting.

Both the strength and the weakness of this novel are in the main character. She is emotionally cold and distant; a very hard woman. Her reactions to some of the deaths of the crew from accidents can be quite cold. This hardness plays into how she interacts with other characters with secrecy, suspicion, and hard business choices. It also is a bit uncomfortable reading at times. It can seem dry.

I liked the use of names in the novel; turtle, squishy, Riya, Karl, Roderick, and others had a very nice ring to them. Also, the names seemed to fit the characters quite well.

Actions have consequences in this novel. All of the characters choices in the beginning of the novel effect how the novel ends. Boss starts out as a wreck driver at the beginning of the novel and ends up an imperial fugitive with a secret at the end of the novel.

This novel is well plotted with an intricate storyline. There is a strong element of suspense in this novel. The author Kristine Kathryn Rusch has won a Hugo award for both editing and writing a novel. This shows in crisp sentences with very clean grammar.

Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman's first book Emotional Intelligence focused on the individuals emotions in every day life. Social Intelligence is about how people interact together in social settings. It is about the neurology, biology, and psychology of social interactions. It focuses on why some individuals are more able to succeed socially. Much of this book relies on recent advances in our understanding of neuroscience and how the brain works.

The reader learns about mirror neurons which act because of how we interact with other people in social situations. We learn about how facial expressions, built in instincts for altruism, and a natural instinct for synchrony effect our every day interactions. We are neurally wired to live with and interact with other people.

The book is full of detail every paragraph tries to tell you something new. This makes it slow reading. It also makes the book an attempt to be comprehensive. Daniel Goleman asks and answers many questions. Why are some people shy? What is the social effect of Aspergers Syndrome on relationships? Why is being socially connected so important to attainment and success? Each chapter could have an entire book written on the subjects he is covering.

I found the book to be very entertaining and useful. It gave me some insights into the darker side of human nature. We got a nice overview of how impulse control is important to stay out of jail. He also described many of the characteristics of people who treat other people as objects not as a source of relationships.

It succeeds in giving summaries of subjects like sex, happines, stress, anger, and other human social interactions. The thing which binds the book together is the concept of "social intelligence". The definition he gave for social intelligence on page 84 fills half a page. It is very broad and includes both social awareness and social facility. The idea is interesting but a bit nebulous.

I thought this book was far better than Emotional Intelligence. The writing is much clearer and it reads much more smoothly. He has a lot to say in this book covering a wide array of topics. He argues that humans have an ability to develop strong empathy, cooperation, and altruism if we act intelligently. There are 56 pages of notes and an extensive index.

Daily Thoughts 12/17/2009

Design for a Metalwork Book Cover. Pen and black ink with black, grey, and yellow wash on paper, 8.1 × 6 cm, British Museum. This is a design for a book cover to be made with black enamel patterned over gold (Foister, p. 84). Small girdle books of this sort were attached to the belt by a ring, as drawn at the top. Clasps are shown to the right. The initials may be those of Thomas Wyatt the Younger, who was later executed for leading a rebellion in Kent during the reign of Queen Mary. Date c. 1537, Hans Holbein The Younger

Daily Thoughts 12/17/2009

I was looking at Tony Geer's website who helped design Tobias Buckell's blog. He has a few books about design on the frontpage of his site. One of them which I requested is Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students (Design Briefs) (Paperback) by Ellen Lupton

I was looking at William Bentrim's blog The Pick of Literate which is on my sidebar. He reviewed something which I want to read, The Better part of Darkness by Kelly Gay. Looking forward to getting the book soon.

Right now, I am reading Six Pixels of Separation Everyone is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone by Mitch Joel. This book is not a giant collection of tools. So far, it is a reminder that social networking is about building connections over time and finding new people using tools like Google and Facebook.

I am thinking about the 52 Books, 52 Weeks program from the Bensonville Public Library. The goal is to get people reading every single week. I rather like the idea and think it could be an excellent program if done right.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Daily Thoughts 12/16/2009

The Reader, plaster statuette by Jules Dalou, circa 1871- 1879. Petit Palais Museum Collection, Paris. Photographed between 1902 and 1904.

Daily Thoughts 12/16/2009

This morning, I finished reading Diving Into The Wreck. I also read the short story Dirt by Tobias Buckell in the book, Halo Evolutions, Essential Tales of the Halo Universe. Dirt was the one story which I wanted to read in the anthology. Tobias Buckell has excellent writing. I'm not that much of a fan of the Halo video game, but I do like the art work and some of the stories.

I also put two books on hold. Grandville by Bryan Talbot is already going out the door. It is on reserve at another library. The graphic novel art work looks superb. It is a mix of steampunk and talking animals. There is a lot of action. The style of the animal drawings are closer to The Wind in the Willows than anime furries though which makes it even more appealing. I also put This Book Is Overdue, How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save us All by Marilyn Johnson on hold as well.

Sometimes it is good to realize that a lot of books are not reviewed. It is important to visit bookstores and other libraries because of this. I spend time looking at different book sites, visiting bookstores, and other libraries. This is often the best way to find out what books to purchase. Traditional review sources are often quite limited. Today I was looking at the Strand Bookstore online to see what they had in philosophy and religion. They have a lot of material that is not listed on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. I'll probably also search the Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Public Library catalogs as well.

An interview Keir Graff a senior editor from Booklist on the folding of Kirkus.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Daily Thoughts 12/15/2009

Textile vendor in Pakistan reading the newspaper. Photo: Steve Evans "babasteve", Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

Daily Thoughts 12/15/2009

This is a list of the top 100 authors of the decade from the United Kingdom. This is a list of the top 100 authors of the decade.

On the way to work, I finished reading Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence. It is a very interesting book.

I spent some time checking for books on psychology. I looked through the Psychology Today book column today. It lists three titles every other month. Choice magazine also has reviews for psychology and philosophy titles.

I also looked through Kirkus Reviews for December 1, 2009 and Deceomber 15, 2009. These are the last issues of Kirkus Reviews in print. One of the issues had the best young adult books of the year and the other had the best books of the year. There is a certain ambivalence reading these magazines because these are the last issues. Kirkus Reviews has always been one of the best review journals. Unfortunately, I don't think it did that well with promoting online reviews.

Today we have the first Graphic Novels Club. We are going to hold it in the fiction room. I have some light refreshments and we have tables and chairs set up. I've also got a number of Neil Gaiman's works. The Story of Miss Finch, Coraline, and Sandman. I could probably also get a couple of his novels, American Gods, Neverwhere, and Anansi Boys. Neil Gaiman is the honorary chair of National Library Week on April 11-17, 2010.

We did the first meeting of the Graphic Novels club and discussed Sandman and various manga comics like Vampire Hunter D and Bleach. I also brought out copies of Theodor Seuss Geisel: The Early Works Volume 1 & 2 which are quite interesting to look at. Dr. Seuss did a lot of advertising comics before he wrote books for children.

On the way home, I read some of Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Diving into the Wreck which is about a woman who salvages space ships. I like the concept of taking dangerous risks to search for salvage in wrecked spaceships.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Daily Thoughts 12/14/2009

Photo of Isabel Jay as Mabel in The Pirates of Penance 1897. The image was interesting.

Daily Thoughts 12/14/2009

Today has been a day to help different people with their orders. I have been looking at nonfiction dvds, books on sermons, christian fiction, and reference books and reading various review magazines to prepare for next months orders. Mostly it has been about making sure everything is put in place. I designated some of my budget to make sure that the costs for rebinding some of the damaged books was covered.

Everything seems to be going pretty smoothly today. They are working on moving the fiction books in the mezzanine and shifting the books on the main floor to relocate the fiction books. Lots of books are being moved around right now.

We have a new sign put up for our new arrivals section.

Some of the art books which were ordered as part of our grant money have come in. I am looking at Louvre 400 Masterpieces, a Musee De Louvre Editions book published by Abrams. It is a very beautiful book with color photographs.

Tomorrow we are doing the first Graphic Novels club. It will be on Neil Gaiman, Sandman. Right now, I am looking at The Sandman Library, Seasons of Mists, Volume 4. P. Craig Russell is one of the artists. It is very interesting.

Sports Illustrated Tablet. It is an interesting mix of media and video, very different than a book.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Daily Thoughts 12/13/2009

The Pittsburg [sic] visible-wr... Digital ID: 1541737. New York Public Library

The Pittsburg Visible Writing Machine

Daily Thoughts 12/14/2009

I thought this article was pretty interesting. I would imagine someone in a place where every penny counts will figure out how to make it even cheaper. DIY Book Scanners Turn Your Books Into Bytes It looks like game changing technology.

Read some more of Social Intelligence at the laundromat. It is turning out to be a pleasant read with lots of information about the development of social interactions among people. I'm about half way through reading the book.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Daily Thoughts 12/12/2009

Roman study Showing scrolls or books in a "scrinium", also lamp, writing tablets, etc. Source: Illustrated History of Furniture From the Earliest to the Present Time By Frederick Litchfield Available from Published: 1893

Daily Thoughts 12/12/2009

I watched the new Star Trek film today. Although, it was an enjoyable film, I did not like the changes they made. Destroying the planet Vulcan and changing the time line was not that appealing. The person who played Captain Kirk did not seem strong or decisive enough for the role.

Also, the villain, the Romulan miner Nero was not very convincing. I was hoping for a stronger villain. The movie was a disappointment. I am hoping that they do not continue the new Star Trek with this story line. I liked the old story line much better.

I had a chance to walk up to my local library today, but I did not check anything out or use the computers. It looks like they have had a considerable reduction in funds to buy new material.

Right now, I am reading more of Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. The author was discussing the concept of I-It (treating people as objects to reach a goal) versus I-You (trying to create relevant social connections between people. He is describing how it is important to talk about the other person early in conversations.). The book is quite substantial. I can finish a chapter or two a day. Much of the writing is worth pondering.

This is why I like Paolo Bacigalupi so much. It is a link to the short story, The Gambler.

Why Now Is The Time To Crush It Cash In On Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk

Why Now Is The Time To Crush It Cash In On Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk is known for his passionate presentations on Wine Library TV which is available through both Youtube and Viddler. He does very entertaining presentations on different wines over the internet. He is describing how to use social media to sell a passion.

The goal of this book is to show the reader how build a personal brand for business over the internet. He does not promise overnight sucess. His personal success is based on long hard work and passionate interest in what he is doing. He claims that unless someone is very interested in what they do, they will have a hard time building a business on the internet.

The process which he describes is very inexpensive; it requires you to have a flip cam, internet access, buy a website, and join a variety of social networking groups. The two he focuses most on are twitter and facebook. He also recommends putting up videos on viddler and youtube as well as starting a blog. He does not promise millions; instead he says there are many niches that can build a respectable living doing what you enjoy in the $40,000 to $75,000 range.

What he is describing is not for everyone. It requires a lot of sweat equity and drive. Many people will simply not be able to do this. There is also a need to master several new technologies, spend a lot of time interacting on social media, and have someone help you with web design. Another factor is that Gary Vaynerchuk is quite charismatic and full of energy.

This book was a quick read. It took me about three hours to read it. The language is clear and direct. The instructions are very plain. It is an excellent introduction to a strategy of producing social media based on personal drive and sweat equity. If you have the drive, this is an excellent book.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Daily Thoughts 12/11/2009

Marble portrait bust of Marcus Aurelius. Roman, Antonine period, 161-180 AD. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Daily Thoughts 12/11/2009

I am almost finished reading A Guide to the Good Life {the ancient art of stoic joy}. It is a modern interpretation of how to live a stoic life. There is a lot which is contestable. There are also a number of philosophical tools in it that can help manage anger, be more satisfied with what you have, and attain a great degree of tranquility. The author reminds us that there are things in our control, things which we have partial control over, and things which we have no control over at all. The main focus in the book is on how to achieve tranquility.

Early Word has an excellent spreadsheet list of the best book titles of the year.

I enjoyed reading A Guide to the Good Life, but I am passing on reviewing it. It is very hard to pass judgement on philosophy. The book is quite interesting.

This afternoon was very interesting. A colleague and I went to the system building. The libraries in the county I work in are a cooperative. They share common catalogs, interlibrary loan, and computing but not town budgets or administration.

On the way there we discussed ordering different kinds of books and ideas about what to order.

We went to pick out books from a very large donation of books from a news room. These were mainly fiction titles, memoirs, and history. There were a lot of very nice books. Two of the titles I remember are an oversize book called 1968 and Louise Gluck Village Life. There were even a few graphic novels and books on tape.

I always like going through donations of books to see what we should add to our collection. This was a little different as we were picking out what to bring back to our library. My colleague and I compared on notes on what we thought we should bring back and packed the books into boxes. We brought back three large cartons of donations many of which will be added to the collection. We still have to check each title to see if we already own it. If we own it, we will probably add it to the Friends of the Library book sale.

This morning, I spent some time finalizing a mystery order with a colleague as well. It was interesting.

On the way home, I read Gary Vaynerchuk, Why Now Is The Time to Crush It! Cash In On Your Passion. He is quite passionate in his business which he runs online. The book is a very quick read. It is also very lively and upbeat.

I learned something new today. I have 87 subscribers according to Google Webmaster. Subscribing looks much different than reading my blog. It was interesting to look at. I think it is actually easier to read my blog as a subscriber than if you look at it as a regular web page.

I also have 57 followers through Google Friends. This is also interesting. It is far different than my average page count which comes in from the web which says about 48-50 hits a day. If you add up subscribers -- 87, Google Friends Followers 57, and incoming hits 48-50 hits, it adds up to around 192-194 viewers a day which is very different than what the web counter says. It says more people can subscribe and view your page through another service than necessary type in a link to your page.

I also looked at where people link to my website from. One site which I especially like is:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Daily Thoughts 12/10/2009

A Chinese bamboo book, open to display the binding and contents. This copy of The Art of War (on the cover, "孫子兵法") by Sun Tzu is part of a collection at the University of California, Riverside. The cover also reads "乾隆御書", meaning it was either commissioned or transcribed by the Qianlong Emperor. This photograph is licensed under Creative Commons by the Vlasta 2. It was found on Wikimedia.

Daily Thoughts 12/10/2009

Last night, I finished reading The 36 Secret Strategies of the Martial Arts The Classic Chinese Guide for Success in War, Business, and Life interpreted by Hiroshi Moriya and translated by William Scott Wilson. This book is similar to the Art of War by Sun Tzu. It is a treatise on strategy for espionage, battles, deception, diplomacy and maneuver in warfare. The book itself is much more Machiavellian in its intention. There are suggestions on how to use a beautiful woman as well as a young fool.

Each of the 36 secrets is a saying about how to handle warfare. The book itself is broken into six parts. The statements are very short, several words long. An example of one of them is "Bar the door, Grab the Thief." Another one which is easy to see the references to in modern China is "Make The Flowers Bloom on the Tree." Each saying is interpreted in the terms of war during the warring states period of China or in the context of the classic Chinese novel, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms which is full of battles and intrigue.

In addition to a bit on ancient tactics, there are examples from more modern times, Mao's guerrilla warfare, the Imperial Japanese army, the allied landing at Normandy, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Hitler's blitzkrieg, and many other events in modern history.

This book is first and foremost about strategy. There are some examples on how to be patient and outlast people, use envy, and other forms of psychological manipulation to reach your ends. Some of these examples seem like they could be useful in modern business. We keep this book in our management section. I found out about this book from a business blog.

It is not an easy book to read. The writing is very philosophical and makes many references to Chinese History, the I Ching, and various forms of Chinese philosophy. There are notes on the back on each chapter, but no index. The book is printed by Kodansha International which is a very prominent Japanese press.

I am also reading A Guide to the Good Life by William B. Irvine. Its main focus seems to be the Roman Stoics, more specifically aspects of tranquility. There is a bit on one of my favorite philosophy books the Enchiridion by Epictetus.

I've been looking at mysteries. They have a nice mystery list in the Sunday Book Review of the New York Times. . I also have looked at the Edgar Award, Golden Dagger Award, and the Agatha Award for mysteries this year.

Kirkus Reviews and Editor and Publisher closed today.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Daily Thoughts 12/9/2009

Mercantile Library Building.Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views. / United States. / States / New York / New York City / Stereoscopic views of libraries and organizations' buildings in New York City (Approx. 72,000 stereoscopic views : 10 x 18 cm. or smaller.) Between 1865-1896 Public Domain

Daily Thoughts 12/9/2009

It was very interesting visiting the Center for Fiction, the new name for the Mercantile Library. Brenda Wegener gave us a tour of the building. I got there a little early and looked around. They have a bookstore downstairs where they have author signings. E.L. Doctorow was doing a signing in the afternoon on December 9, 2009. They also sold new copies of the books which they gave out awards for. There was a lot of very nice new fiction which they were selling; a few of the titles were Teresa Svoboda, Trailer Girl, The Vagrants by Li Yunyi, Special Topics In Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl, and The Cradle by Patrick Somerville. There were also some literary biographies like Camus A Romance by Elizabeth Hawes.

I had a few minutes to look around upstairs. There is a nice selection of literary journals. There was a review magazine for mystery called Deadly Pleasures which was interesting to look at. They have a website with lots of useful information. I also saw many review magazines which I had not seen before like Book Forum. The environment was very collegial with overstuffed chairs, nice lighting, and plenty of quiet. It reminded me of an old fashioned gentlemans club.

Brenda Wegener took us around the building. We started on the first floor. In the book sale while I was waiting, I noticed they had copy of Henry Miller's Plexus.

On the second floor there is a new book sections with many popular titles. These are mainly literary fiction. However, there were also lots of suspense and mystery titles. Brenda Wegener said that they had never removed a mystery title from the collection. This makes the collection quite unique in that they have many mysteries that no one else will have. They have a very nice list of their recent acquisitions on their website.

They get many literary fiction titles in translation from Europa Editions.

The arrangement of the library is quite interesting. All of the fiction books are alphabetical by author. There are two floors of fiction stacks in the library plus the store, and the new books section. There was a brief mention of a 19th century collection of older material. This intrigued me a bit because we have quite a bit of material of this age and earlier at our library.

This is the first time I have been in a membership library. There is an annual membership fee of $125, and $95 for students and seniors. They are currently doing a 2 month trial membership for $25 a month. Brenda Wegener said that they had 320 members.

Some of the things which I learned were quite different. A membership library can focus a lot on readers advisory and gets to know its patrons very well. Some people come in to just sit and enjoy the quiet.

There is also a writers studio with 18 people in the studio. There is room for 30 people. It appears to be a clean, pleasant, place to be. They also run 10 to 11 book clubs per month, as well as a number of classes on writing. The space has a very genteel quality to it. They mentioned they were looking for potential writers in residence and were also doing a fundraising campaign.

It was a pleasant evening organized by Stephanie from the New York Librarians Meetup. I am very glad that I went.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Daily Thoughts 12/8/2009

Vincent Van Gogh, 1887, Three Books, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Daily Thoughts 12/8/2009

Today I am going to the New York librarians meetup. It should be interesting. We are visiting the Mercantile library in Manhattan which is a fiction only collection. I look forward to learning a lot from the visit. I order a lot of the adult fiction for the library where I work. I think this trip will be both an educational experience and a chance to meet with other librarians.

There is a new name for the Mercantile Library, it is called The Center for Fiction. This is their website. I will write more about it tomorrow. I am going to take the time to look at their recent acquisitions to compare them with what we may be getting.

I will write more about it tomorrow as it is getting late.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Daily Thoughts 12/7/2009

Public Domain Art, Photo Montage Dickens,Collins,Gaskell and Proctor

Daily Thoughts 12/7/2009

There is a new university digital book archive called Hathitrust which has 4 million volumes. I find it interesting.

It is the end of the year ordering time. I have been spending some more time on the New York Times books page. I have been looking at the cooking books and the gardening books as well as some other books.

There are some other minor things to get done. We have to finish ordering art books for a grant. We are trying to get some very nice oversize art books with the money. We also have to decide on a new label for the inspirational fiction books.

I have two philosophy books on my desk. The first is A Guide to the Good Life {the ancient art of stoic joy} by William B. Irvine. I have always felt an affinity to stoicism. The other book is The 36 Secret Strategies of the Martial Arts The Classic Chinese Guide For Success in War, Business, and Life, Hiroshi Moriya. It is translated by William Scott Wilson who also translated The Book of Five Rings and Hagakure.

On the train home, I read some more of Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence. The book was talking about how emotions are contagious, people act synchroniously with each other, and our neurons are designed to react to other peoples emotions. We don't exist in isolation.

I have been working a bit more on Linked In. I think I may have my first recommendation given to me soon. I hope it works. It is an interesting process. A lot of it is complete hype. There is a lot of nonsense around social networking tools. There is also a lot of time wasting and a tendency to make promises that are not quite right. I think one third of it is hype, one third of it is technical skills, and one third of is is genuinely useful networking. This is an article from Business Week which explains this phenomena.