I’m still sort of annoyed at Amazon’s self-serving press release about more ebooks being sold for the Kindle on Christmas Day than “real” books. I feel a few things
1. they’re creating a distinction that isn’t necessary, between ebooks and paper books
2. at the same time they’re obscuring the very very real distinction that exists and is terribly important: you do not own an ebook, you license or lease it
Plus I just plain old don’t believe it. I mean maybe it’s true for the narrowly sliced timeframe they’ve outlined but really? This isn’t a trend, it’s a blip. Want me to think otherwise? Release some actual numbers. Amazon makes more money off of ebooks than paper books. They’d like to keep doing that. So.
I’ve been meaning to link to this talk for a while, a transcribed talk that Cory Doctorow gave at the National Reading Summit in November. The title of his talk was How to Destroy the Book. I think you’ll enjoy it.
[T]he most important part of the experience of a book is knowing that it can be owned. That it can be inherited by your children, that it can come from your parents. That libraries can archive it, they can lend it, that patrons can borrow it. That the magazines that you subscribe to can remain in a mouldering pile of National Geographics in someoneâ€™s attic so you can discover it on a rainy dayâ€”and that they donâ€™t disappear the minute you stop subscribing to it. Itâ€™s a very odd kind of subscription that takes your magazines away when youâ€™re done [as is the case with most institutional subscriptions with Elsevier, the worldâ€™s largest publisher of medical and scientific journals].
Having your books there like an old friend, following you from house to house for all the days and long nights of your life: this is the invaluable asset that is in publishingâ€™s hands today. But for some reason publishing has set out to convince readers that they have no business reading their books as propertyâ€”that they shouldnâ€™t get attached to them. The worst part of this is that they may in fact succeed.
Hi — I hope you had a nice holidaytime. I’m back in Vermont. I went to two public libraries when I was home for the holidays, one in Boxboro where I grew up and one in Cambridge which is newly renovated. I made a list in 2009 of all my library visits and I’m sure I’ll bore you with it shortly. For now I’m catching up at home. There is a push on MetaFilter [in case you’re someone I know from both places] to help the daughter of a MeFite fund some libraries in China. I just donated in memory of Evan Farber and Judith Krug, two librarians who we lost in 2009 who I miss frequently. I also got a link from my friend Casey to this set of photos on Core77 of a small public library in Surathani, in the south of Thailand. Pretty stories, lovely photos. You can also contact them if you’d like to donate books.
Today is the first ever Do Nothing But Read Day. I have been remiss in not telling you about it before. While I am doing my part in that I am still in pajamas, I actually have some plans today because it’s the neighborhood Solstice Bonfire. I will swap DNBRD with actual Solstice and do my best to wear mostly pajamas and mostly read. I’ve done a decent job stepping up my reading this year when I realized that my book-reading was plummeting last year. Not a huge deal, but I decided that if reading books was important to me, I should make an effort to do it, not just bemoan not doing it. So I did. And it’s been going well. Best of luck for best of books over the holiday season and the new year.
Nicole wonders aloud why people who paid for an Open Source OPAC from LibLime aren’t raising hell when they are instead pressured to accept the closer-source version instead?
So why are these librarians taking it? Why are they being quiet? I donâ€™t have an answer for you â€“ and so Iâ€™m hoping someone out there can answer this for me. If you signed a contract for one product and then are told you have to use another â€“ do you just say okay? or do you move on or demand the product you originally wanted. I think that the result of the Queens Library law suit will be very interesting â€“ but Iâ€™m shocked that this is the first!! Librarians have been just taking these hits and coming back for more.
How about a library christmas tree made of those nice green books? Would show you a photo here, but they’re “all rights reserved” unlike this nice shot. Worth the click through. You might also want to check out the Librarian in Black’s Gift Guide for Librarians and Book Lovers[thanks pk]