How does this sound? A program to allow libraries to pay per use for e-book downloads. Freading is a new product from Library Ideas of Fairfax, VA. Over 50 libraries are on board and as many as 40 publishers. No mention of specific costs.
This month for Poetry 365 we’re highlighting Troy Jollimore’s eagerly awaited follow-up to his acclaimed debut Tom Thomson in Purgatory, winner of the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award. In At Lake Scugog, the California State University professor continues his exploration of age-old philosophical questions in clever, flexibly formal verse that includes 14 new sonnets featuring his neurotic title character. Witty, eccentric, and vulnerable, this engaging collection is further proof that Jollimore is “an utterly fresh, original voice” in American poetry. So check out this stellar sophomore collection, sample a poem below, and make sure to stop back next month for Poetry 365.
A cartoon I saw a while back showed a dismayed looking man standing at a customer service desk in a book store. The caption reads, “I’m sorry, sir, we don’t have any books with that title, but if you tell me the plot, setting and main characters, we’ll have it written for you.”
Ha, ha, you say, nice fantasy. But wait! I’ve just been introduced to a U.K . website, whichbook.net, that comes as close as anything to helping readers find a book to love. And, it’s so much fun to play around with the parameters of what you’re looking for that it’s almost like a computer game (Stump the Bookfinder!). You select four criteria, set the continuum cursors where you like (e.g., happy….sad, funny….serious), hit go, and the site produces all kinds of suggestions, annotated and linked with additional info. If you’d rather search by character, plot, and/or setting, it’s an easy click away to do that. Once you have your hit list, you can click on ‘borrow’ or ‘buy,’ and the site will direct you either to nearby libraries or bookstores. This is a U.K. site, so we Yanks have to click ‘Not in the U.K.,’ to end up at U.S. booksellers or Worldcat (and when I tried it here at the library, I got a direct link to our holdings).
Navigating the site is easy. You can sign in with your Facebook logon or create a new account. You can start your own lists which can be shared. And, you can just browse the site’s pre-selected lists of titles that share characteristics. Front page lists now offer A Terrible beauty, Comfort zone, Laugh your pants of, and Bad luck and trouble.
“I need to be able to convince you in thirty seconds of speaking to make you want to read the book,” she said. She said she received around 1,000 submissions in her first year at the imprint, and does not spend much time on manuscripts that do not draw her in from the first page.
This NY Observer piece also delves into her hands-on business practices, aside from her “good taste.” It’s not enough to identify a good work, she also promotes it in various ways within the industry.
For those who can’t get enough insight on the current economic environment be it personal, local, or global, James Pressley of Bloomberg News offers his list of current favorites as reported in this Chicago Tribune article in Monday’s (1/23/12) edition. Covering the gamut of topics from figuring out if you’re smart enough to work for Google, Greece’s debt crisis, the story of Goldman Sachs, how reckless greed put our whole economy at peril, and much more, the list is a excellent resource for keeping current, plus the titles recommended offer readers plenty of thought provoking ideas to liven up your dinner table conversations.
Here’s some pretty basic financial advice from your friendly librarian: check out the books at no cost from Evanston Public Library and save a bundle. I’ve gathered them all on this handy list in our catalog.
EarlyWord points out an interesting article in the Washington Post about the difficulties libraries have in obtaining e-books.Some facilities do not have funds to keep up with the need and some publishers are not fully cooperating with the libraries. The article highlights the friction between slashed library budgets and the growing pressure to keep up with digital media. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Shira S.
January 24 is the 150th anniversary of Edith Wharton’s birth. A native New Yorker, her birthday is being celebrated throughout the city. Some of her most well-known work includes The House of Mirth, Ethan Frome, and The Age of Innocence. Yesterday’s New York Times has a wonderful article about her and her connection to the popular BBC series Downton Abbey. And check out the accompanying slide show, as well – it’s somewhat sobering to know that Wharton’s childhood home at West 23rd Street is now home to Starbucks.