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bibliofeminista

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Musings on the book industry, technology, women's issues and other important news in my world.


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    I don’t often like the concept of these robotic book systems, but “virtual browse” at North Carolina State University’s James B. Hunt Library is the most interesting development I’ve seen in library tech!

    — 1 year ago with 2 notes
    #library  #robotic  #book  #book collection  #technology  #robotics 
    In Matej Košir’s series Arthistory, which we spotted over at Book Patrol, the Berlin-based photographer is burning books in order to investigate “our contradictory relationship to the violence, namely the use of violence in order to control it (either to stop it or to prevent its reappearing).” His violent act against art reflects the historical concept that the “winner of the violent conflict always has justified reasons to be violent, because he uses his dominance to (re)write the history. Art is, more often than not, instrumentalised, depicting winners as idealised heroes while the loser’s depictions are exposed to iconoclasm.” Click through to Košir’s website to see more of his work.
(via Flavorwire)

    In Matej Košir’s series Arthistory, which we spotted over at Book Patrol, the Berlin-based photographer is burning books in order to investigate “our contradictory relationship to the violence, namely the use of violence in order to control it (either to stop it or to prevent its reappearing).” His violent act against art reflects the historical concept that the “winner of the violent conflict always has justified reasons to be violent, because he uses his dominance to (re)write the history. Art is, more often than not, instrumentalised, depicting winners as idealised heroes while the loser’s depictions are exposed to iconoclasm.” Click through to Košir’s website to see more of his work.

    (via Flavorwire)

    — 1 year ago with 4 notes
    #art  #book  #Pretty Books 
    Suenonius Mandelgreen, red-brown morocco binding with case for miniature books, 1757 (source).

    Suenonius Mandelgreen, red-brown morocco binding with case for miniature books, 1757 (source).

    (via teachingliteracy)

    — 1 year ago with 242 notes
    #art  #book  #vintage  #art book 
    But Is It a Book? →

    When he talks about bibliographic codes, Mr. Suarez means the elements that together make up the book as object. That includes paper stock, bindings, typeface, and illustrations. Just as important, he says, are the social codes embedded in a book. A Harlequin romance has cues built in that alert a reader to what it is. (Picture a bare-chested Fabio against a Scottish highlands backdrop.) A scholarly monograph announces itself through a different set of cues.

    “When you see a book in the airport, you know what it is and what it’s for,” Mr. Suarez says. Ditto a book in an academic bookstore, although the cues will be rather different. “There are social codes kind of signaling to you all the time,” he says.

    Those codes disappear, though, when a text escapes paper and becomes electronic. Put a bodice-ripper or a scholarly treatise on an e-reader and what remains is the text itself—what Mr. Suarez calls the linguistic codes of a book.

    That may be all a casual reader craves. Portable and able to hold many books at a time, e-readers can be great text-delivery systems. But they don’t hold the physicality, the history, the social context of a book. The packaging and reception of Moby-Dick “is part of the story” to a book historian like Mr. Suarez.

    “The problem with that is in English departments—that’s what we’ve been taught the book is,” he says. “It’s only the linguistic codes. ‘Call me Ishmael … and I alone survived to tell you.’ And that’s all there is.”

    To a book historian, though, “every book is an interpretation or theory about the embodiment of some ideas about who that author is, an embodiment of ideas about how the story should make its meaning,” he says. Try conveying that on a Kindle.

    — 2 years ago with 5 notes
    #book  #library  #rare books  #ebook  #ebooks 
    [Book Review] Beautiful Wreck: Sex, Lies, and Suicide

    I have a crisis, scheme, idea or depression.. subway riders viewing my grotesque facial grimaces + head twisting staring me in the face in my 37th year. I prefer death, nothing less than the face of hate, the fate of hate, the stench of death. Live = Death

                                                     Life = Death

                         Death = Freedom

    The first few pages of Beautiful Wreck: Sex, Lies & Suicide set the tone for the memoir’s raw, real look at the struggles Stephanie Schroeder, a self-defined “queer feminist dyke writer, mental health advocate, and activist for social and economic justice,” faced with depression, intimate partner violence, bipolar disorder, Tourette Syndrome, and three suicide attempts.

    As the narrative of Schroeder’s life progresses from her move to New York City in 1990 as a young activist from Wisconsin through the aftermath of her last suicide attempt in 2006, so flows her understanding of mental illnesses, much the way her afflictions shaped her experiences through this period of her life.

    Never in a tone of self-pity or with an attempt to twist events to show herself in a more favorable light, Schroeder writes as a true survivor: as one who has suffered through and risen above the most adverse circumstances and literally lived to share the tale. Beautiful Wreck is not intended to be a self-help book (though additional resources can be found in the appendix), but her detailed descriptions of how it feels to have a Tourette’s-triggered outburst, a partner who physically and emotionally abuses you, and a type of depression that makes you consider ending it all informs those without those experiences and reminds those coping with similar issues that they are not alone.

    After years of therapy, hard work, and advocating on behalf her health to finally find the right doctors and treatment, Schroder ends the narrative of her tumultous journey on a high note:

    The most important thing I’ve learned is that I always have options. And I am free to leave an unsatisfactory situation, whether it be personal or professional any time I want or need. I also know I can be me, just me, Stephanie Schroeder, and not something or someone anyone else wants me to be.

    I highly recommend this candid memoir, particularly for Schroder’s strong voice that successfully balances life’s darkest moments with humor.

    [Full disclosure: I received a copy of the manuscript to review for free.]

    — 2 years ago with 4 notes
    #beautiful wreck  #book review  #book  #sex  #suicide  #therapy  #memoir  #tourette syndrome  #lgbt  #queer 
    Small Book, Big Story: Bronte Manuscript Discovered →

    The magazine is tiny, “half the size of a credit card,” Gabriel Heaton, deputy director of books and manuscripts at Sothebys, tells NPR’s Linda Wertheimer, and designed to be the right size for the Bronte children’s toy soldiers. Its 19 pages are crammed with more than 4,000 words — short stories, news, even advertisements — discernible only by magnifying glass.

    The pages are roughly hewn and much-handled. It’s “what makes it such an evocative object,” Heaton says. “You can almost see her there with her little scissors.”

    And on these little pages, the Brontes spun such dreams, each conjuring up entire kingdoms. Charlotte’s fantasy city featured immense palaces and awesome, towering buildings. It was presided over by the Duke of Wellington and his two sons — the heroes of the story.

    The private dream world of the Brontes exerted an enormous influence on their later work, in terms of the flowering of their Gothic sensibility — and, astonishingly, the recycling of key plot points.

    In one of Charlotte’s stories — a “powerful evocation of madness, especially when you think this is coming from a 14-year-old girl,” Heaton says — a man imprisons his enemy in the attic. He goes mad with guilt and imagines his enemies setting fire to his bed curtains.

    It’s a scene that prefigures the famous madwoman-in-the-attic and the bed burning from Jane Eyre, proving that this small manuscript might be more than just a curiosity. Heaton says, “There are clear links between this manuscript … and the later work.”

    Instead of buying me things I don’t need from Black Friday sales, anyone should feel free to buy this for me for the holidays!

    — 2 years ago with 36 notes
    #bronte  #books  #auction  #book  #literature  #jane eyre 
    Can Search Data Be Used to Choose Book Ideas? →

    Quick Pitch: An ebook publisher that develops titles based on existing demand.

    Genius Idea: Bloggers, content farms and news publishers alike have long leveraged search trends to uncover the information people are looking for and profited accordingly. But can the same model be applied to book publishing?

    McKinsey alum Kevin Gao, whose startup Hyperink announced its first significant ($1.2 million) round of funding this week, believes so. (And so do his investors, apparently.)

    Book publishers, he says, too often choose what to publish based on what they like rather than what they know will sell. Hyperink will instead find out what people want to read, largely by sifting through short and long-range search data. The company will then find authors to write short, highly targeted books on the topics people are searching for information about.

    Think How to Get Into Yale rather than How to Get Into College, or a short history on Apple founder and former CEO Steve Jobs around the time of his death.

    Hyperink is also welcoming pitches from aspiring authors, promising design, editing and marketing services in exchange for 50% of the royalties. Gao says the company is also interested in partnering experts who are less inclined to write their own books with journalists to co-author books.

    Books are generally priced in the $15 to $25 range — a bit on expensive side for ebooks, but on the low end for business books.

    — 2 years ago with 33 notes
    #book  #publishing  #ebook  #ebooks  #bloggers  #on demand  #technology  #internet start up  #business  #search data 
    Kindle Connects to Library E-Books →

    For years the availability of free e-books from libraries was something of an underground secret.

    But Amazon significantly increased the potential visibility of library e-books on Wednesday when it opened up its popular Kindle device to these books for the first time.

    “Libraries are a critical part of our communities,” Jay Marine, director of Kindle at Amazon, said in a statement. “And we’re excited to be making Kindle books available at more than 11,000 local libraries around the country.”

    The introduction of the Kindle, the biggest-selling e-reader, opens up library e-books to a wider audience, heightening the fears of publishers that many customers will turn to libraries for reading material. If that happens, e-book buyers could become e-book borrowers, leading to a potentially damaging loss of revenue for an industry grappling with a profound shift in consumer reading habits.

    Library e-books are already available on Barnes & Noble’s Nook, the Sony Reader, smartphones, laptops and other devices, but never on the Kindle, whose users had long complained that they were left out.

    “We do get asked the question frequently: ‘Can I use my Kindle to download your e-books?’ ” said John F. Szabo, director of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System. “And the answer has been no.”

    The move by Amazon “is a big deal and it’s a big step forward in public libraries being much more central in the whole e-book growth,” said Steve Potash, the chief executive of OverDrive, a large provider of e-books to public libraries and schools. Connecting libraries with the Kindle, the most successful device and the largest e-book bookseller in the business, “is going to bring millions of readers to the public library,” he said.

    The publishing industry has been reluctant to criticize libraries and their e-book systems because of the cherished status libraries hold in communities. But some publishing executives said privately that they found the development troubling and were concerned it might lead to a further unraveling of the traditional sales model.

    As e-books have taken off with readers, libraries have been building their e-book collections to meet demand, successfully persuading many publishers to sell their titles to libraries in e-book format.

    Christopher Platt, the director of collections and circulating operations at the New York Public Library, said that to meet demand from Kindle users, the library has already moved more money into the e-book budget and changed its default lending period for e-books from three weeks to two weeks.

    “This is massive for libraries,” Mr. Platt said. “It opens up another avenue of access to the collections that we already have.”

    From January to September the number of e-books checked out increased by 75 percent over the same period last year, he added.

    About 67 percent of libraries nationally offer access to e-books, up 12 percent from two years ago, according to the American Library Association. Most libraries work through OverDrive, which acts as a middleman between publishers and libraries.

    There are usually rules attached to checking out e-books. Publishers have said that libraries must treat digital collections the same way they treat physical collections: if a library buys 10 copies of a certain book, for instance, then only 10 copies can be digitally checked out at one time.

    Library patrons appreciate not having to visit a physical library to access e-books, which can be downloaded remotely from home or on the road.

    That convenience has publishers worried that e-reader owners who used to buy digital books will begin instead to borrow them. At least two of the six major publishers, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster, do not make their e-books available to libraries.

    “Our e-books are not currently available in libraries because we haven’t yet found a business model with which we are comfortable and that we feel properly addresses the long-term interests of our authors,” said Adam Rothberg, a spokesman for Simon & Schuster. “We are in an ongoing dialogue with our library customers, and holding meetings with the different vendors who are offering e-book distribution to libraries, so that we can stay abreast of all the possible options.”

    I can’t emphasize enough what HUGE news this is. If library ebook lending takes off as much as it can (and SHOULD, given the increased number of ebook buyers who own the Kindle), this could radically change the publishing industry and role and culture of libraries.

    — 2 years ago with 71 notes
    #library  #ebooks  #amazon  #ereader  #lending  #books  #reading  #book  #lendle 
    Step aboard the Book Barge, a floating bookshop on a canal boat that roams the UK waterways at roaring speeds of 4 miles per hour (though its usual mooring is in Staffordshire). Owner Sarah Henshaw, inspired in part by the slow food movement, explains, “we hope to promote a less hurried and harried lifestyle of idle pleasures, cups of tea, conversation, culture and, of course, curling up with an incomparably good Book Barge purchase… I hoped that by creating a unique retail space, customers would realise how independent bookshops can offer a far more pleasurable shopping experience than they’re likely to find online or on the discount shelves at supermarkets.” Books on a boat? A barge, no less? We’re sold based on the alliteration alone.

    Step aboard the Book Barge, a floating bookshop on a canal boat that roams the UK waterways at roaring speeds of 4 miles per hour (though its usual mooring is in Staffordshire). Owner Sarah Henshaw, inspired in part by the slow food movement, explains, “we hope to promote a less hurried and harried lifestyle of idle pleasures, cups of tea, conversation, culture and, of course, curling up with an incomparably good Book Barge purchase… I hoped that by creating a unique retail space, customers would realise how independent bookshops can offer a far more pleasurable shopping experience than they’re likely to find online or on the discount shelves at supermarkets.” Books on a boat? A barge, no less? We’re sold based on the alliteration alone.

    — 3 years ago with 41 notes
    #books  #bookstore  #indie bookstore  #unique bookstores  #england  #barge  #book  #reading