How to do the how to do things that you do

Via Shelf Awareness, which you should be reading every day-

The Bookseller magazine has announced the shortlist for the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year:

  • I Was Tortured By the Pygmy Love Queen

  • How to Write a How to Write Book

  • Are Women Human? And Other International Dialogues

  • Cheese Problems Solved

  • If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs

  • People who Mattered in Southend and Beyond: From King Canute to Dr Feelgood

want more? Including short descriptions of the book mentioned above, and a chance to vote? Go here.



Why read when you can play a game about reading instead

I wanted to like Bookchase, but I can't tell how it's unique or different enough from a certain game on pursuing trivia to make it stand out. I also get the feeling that the questions might not all be about books but about general trivia. Make this a chase for some antiquarian books and everyone has to answer different levels of questions on books and libraries. I'm there (probably alone, because who really wants to play a game focused only on books instead of, say, actually sitting down and reading one.) I get the concept, get people interested in reading, but it doesn't seem different enough.

Labels: ,


Publishing News, January 4, 1890

Some highlights of the publishing trade from the week of January 4, 1890 as reported by PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.


The POPE MFG. CO. have issues a useful desk calendar as an advertisement of their Columbia bicycles.

SAMPSON LOW & CO. have published a second revised edition of P.H. Emerson's charming "English Idyls," a series of prose poems on various subjects.

We are pleased to note that Burrows Brothers Company's handsome edition of "Lorna Doone" has met with a sale far beyond the anticipation of the publishers.

METHUEN & CO., London, will publish shortly a new book by Baring Gould, entitled "old Country Life," treating od the country customs of the last century, old houses, old roads, old country parsons, and old musicians. The book will be fully illustrated.

THE AUTHORS COOPERATIVE PUBLISHING CO., London, have recently published a neat and artistic volume entitled "A book of Vagrom Men and Vagrant Thoughts," by Alfred T. Story. The author in a pleasing and entertaining manner treats of tramp musicians, peddlers, ballad-singers, tinkers, sparrows, and a host of other vagrants. the volume reflects creditably upon publisher and author.

The book trade of Atlanta, Ga., is enjoying a little fun caused by a "tug-of-war" in progress between the dry-goods bazaar and a book and stationery concern. It would seem, according to the American stationer, "that last winter Thornton & Grubb, of Atlanta, were able to handle a very good line of books at the phenomenally low price of twenty-five cents per volume, and consequently they made so good a drive on them that the greed of one of the big big dry-goods houses was aroused to the extent of making heavy purchases of the books in New York, and a short time ago it displayed them on its counters at nineteen cents a volume. Having a pretty good supply on hand, Thornton & Grubb announced the next day the same book at eighteen cents. The next morning the bazaar dropped a cent below that, to be followed by Thornton & Grubb posting the books at sixteen cents. The bazaar saw them one better, at which point the sinews of war gave out and, at last report, both belligerents were resting on their oars awaiting a large consignment of books, on receipt of which the contest will undoubtedly be resumed. Other booksellers, with one exception, have remained simply spectators of the fray, as they do not handle the books. The exception is W.B. Burke, the 'Old Bookstore Man,' who on the 4th inst. hung up a lot of handkerchiefs, striped hosiery, etc., in front of his store, and announced 'cut rates in dry-goods.' What other lines of feminine apparel Mr. Burke will add to his display is not known, but no doubt the ladies of Atlanta, purses in hand, are keeping a sharp eye on his movements, and stand ready to crowd the store the moment he spreads out a genuine bargain counter of hooks and eyes, whalebones, dress braids, gloves, tapes, laces, embroidery, and other things dear to the female heart. We hope he will sail in courageously. Meanwhile the legitimate book trade is getting another punch in the ribs.

Labels: ,


Fall Preview

The San Francisco Chronicle has a list of what we should be reading this fall. There's a lot of worthwhile stuff coming out in the next few months. Personally, I've been waiting since the last millennium for the next Junot Diaz book.



The Kids Are Alright

Last week was atwitter about this Boston Globe article that had a few choice quotes from NEA Chairman Dana Gioia about how kids aren't reading. . . . books.

Today's O'Reilly Radar has a guest blog from two of their summer high school interns about the state of reading.

This is a great entry and something I think most librarians and publisher need to read and think about it. It offers some real thoughts from two people who are a) interested in books and b) interested in publishing. What can we learn from this entry?

  • Advertising books in the insular community of bookstores and book reviews can not compete with billboards and commercials and online ads for everything from video games to movies to web sites to TV shows.
  • Books are not considered more important than other media. That cultural hierarchy is gone.
  • Cultural literacy is not as important as information literacy.
  • Web 2.0 isn't connecting everyone together, it's allowing those with like interests to connect. These new tools aren't to get the Lowest Common Denominator. The LCD can't be targeted the same way as small groups can be on the web.
And Elizabeth and Cristina are only high school seniors. Can you imagine when they get to college and there are new resources from Proquest and ScienceDirect to virtual campuses in Second Life and distance learning?

What will your books service look like in 5-6 years? What will Elizabeth, Cristina expect from you once they leave the University?

Labels: , ,