Friday, February 12, 2010

Daily Thoughts 2/12/2010

Bookcases in the library of the University of Leiden: From a print by J.C. Woudanus, dated 1610. The University of Leiden in Holland adopted a modification of this design, for there the shelf is above the desk, and readers could only stand to use the books. Circa: 1600 Source: Libraries in the Medieval and Renaissance Periods The Rede Lecture Delivered June 13, 1894 Author: J. W. Clark Available from Published: 1894

Daily Thoughts 2/11/2010

A thought on Ebooks. I also posted part of this thought to Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management.

I have recommended creative commons titles as part of helping people at the reference desk. -- there are a few books which can be recommended-- Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig and We The Media by Dan Gillmor are quite interesting, but some are not exactly recommendable. There is quite a bit of useful information available for free. I also have located ebooks in the internet archive and as part of helping people at reference. If you do not have certain popular books that are out of copyright, many are available through these services.

I also read and recommend titles from the Baen Free Library which is quite controversial. The only ebook I ever bought was an e-arc from Baen books.

I have recommended the ereader Stanza to a patron who has an iphone . Lexcycle recently has become available for Windows and Mac machines as well. It is free software. To my surprise, I have learned that people regularly download free ebooks to both Kindle and Iphone.

I have checked out ebooks from New York Public Library. I checked out quite a few ebooks about business for a while. These last for a few weeks then automatically delete themselves.

I also subscribe to which allows me to read and review advanced reading copies before they are released.

I don't believe in getting books that are pirated. I stay away from this. Somewhere in the value chain, a person should pay either by providing a service-- reviewing the book, or it should be bought by either an institution like a library or by an individual. Authors do not work for free.

In addition, I follow the social network, which has some 5000 member book blogs.

I sometimes read Publishing 2020 which is a blog about the future of publishing.

I have read a lot of ebooks, but rarely paid for them. But, then I rarely pay for books on a personal level. I usually get them at my library. When I do buy books, it has to be something which I find of considerable value on a personal level. Sometimes, people also send me books because they want me to read them.

This afternoon I read some more of The Talented Miss Highsmith by Joan Schenkar. At this point in the biography she is in Mexico sending in outlines for comics and writing short stories. This is during the height of World War II. It describes her making character sketches of the different people she meets. A lot of the book is about her passionate love affairs with women and her detached observations of men. She is described as being very attractive in her early life. She often writes her male leads in her stories as violent criminals who succeed in their goals.

There is a strong sense of disappointment in the biography as well. Patricia Highsmith sets her goals as writing for fashion magazines like Vogue, or literary magazines like the New Yorker. She ends up writing mystery novels, suspense, and comics. I am enjoying reading about the literary scene in New York. This is a bit of a different perspective on it. Literary pretensions are not something which I have a lot of. I rather enjoy the "lower" arts of the comics, beat artists, pulps, mysteries, and science fiction.

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