I have been reading ‘Print is Dead – Books in our Digital Age,’ by Jeff Gomez. Having just read chapter two, ‘Us and Them,’ I must say that his point in that chapter is well made. The demise in traditional book sales has not been because ebooks have taken the world by storm – at least not at this stage – but because other areas of the digital world have. Generations of younger people have turned away from books in all their forms and have sought entertainment in other things, such as the Internet and video games, to name just a couple. It is reading itself that is being passed by, so the advent of the ebook is not that which is killing off the traditional book and by extension the bookseller/bookshop, but rather ‘dumber’ forms of entertainment.
Books will always be around in one form or another (at least I believe that), whether they remain as prolific as they now are is quite another thing, it is the habit of reading that may fall away dramatically and cause books to be cast aside – at least in the wider community. I think there will always be a group or community of diehard book readers, who eventually will have ebooks as their primary source of books and reading material. There are those who will not be lost entirely to less intellectual forms of entertainment, though perhaps some of these other forms of entertainment may play a role in the ‘reading’ of the future in the digital world (linked to videos, etc). Reading is a great skill that is being lost and the medium for ideas through the ages faces its greatest threat from a lack of it.
The next chapter, ‘newspapers are no longer news,’ deals with newspapers as a source of news and book reviews, or rather, how they are rapidly loosing their ascendency to online applications and tools. In a world that is rapidly changing and access to news as it happens online, newspapers are becoming a too infrequently updated source of news and information. Online access to news and events as they happen are so readily accessible, that the traditional source of news is fading away. As for book reviews, the avenues of discussion about books on the web via social networking, Blogs and the like, opens the opportunity for all to join the discussion. Book reviews in newspapers, like movie reviews, are opportunities for the reviewers to pontificate and/or push their own views onto a public unable to respond – online however the avenues of discussion are legion and varied. All may be involved – or not at all. The decision as to how one may be involved is left to the individual, which also translates to news stories in a similar manner. Interaction with the news and books has never been so simple and as rich an experience.
I have started to read ‘Terrorism and the Illuminati – A Three Thousand Year History,’ by David Livingstone. I haven’t read a lot as of yet, but it appears to be a book full of conspiracy theories about a secret society (the Illuminati) that are behind world events. Not being a believer in such a theory I am not sure just how much of this book I’ll be able to stomach, but having only read the introduction at this point I’ll try and keep myself restrained from speculating too much on the book. I do have to say that what I have read in the introduction had me thinking ‘is this for real?’ I don’t mean that in the sense of being convinced, but rather in the sense of ‘can anyone really believe this?’
With the death of Osama Bin Laden recently and the various conspiracy theories that have surfaced as a result, this sort of book will probably be enjoying a wider audience at the moment. If conspiracy theories interest you, then this book may very well be of interest to you. There are various associated links below.
There is an online version at the book’s website:
You can also find the book at Scribd:
If you prefer to buy a copy at Amazon, it is available at:
I have been working for some time at getting this work of Hugh Latimer up on the particularbaptist.com website. It was previously up on the site in conventional HTML, but that is no longer the case. With this work (and all current and future projects) I have posted the PDF file to Scribd and embedded the document from there into the website with a Scribd provided widget. The book is not yet complete, but as I add to the work revisions of it will be posted to Scribd and the widget automatically updated. The work is available for download via both the widget and at Scribd.
The page devoted to this work at particularbaptist.com within the site’s library simply known as ‘The Book Room,’ has also been updated and the format for it is the design I will now be using throughout The Book Room as books are added (or links to books at other sites). Obviously there is still a lot of work to be done throughout The Book Room, but work is progressing. The entire library site at particularbaptist.com is being overhauled and updated.
I am currently reading this second volume of sermons by Hugh Latimer as I work on the project. I have included a review on the page in The Book Room and this is what I have said there:
‘This book of sermons is like a trip into the past – a trip back to the English reformation. With this book it is possible to get a feel for the times in which the reformer Hugh Latimer walked. The sermons are of course locked into the period, with references to events well known then (and perhaps not so now) and framed in a manner unknown now.’
‘Though preached many years ago, I have found many of these sermons still profitable to my own walk with God now. They are well worth reading, though it must be said they can sometimes be a little difficult to stay with due to the cultural differences, language of the day, etc. Stick with it and these sermons will warm your heart.’
Visit this work online at:
I have just finished watching the mini series ‘John Adams,’ starring Paul Giamatti as John Adams and Laura Linney as Abigail Adams. I found the mini series to be difficult to watch, as it was hardly brilliant drama despite the rhetoric on the DVD case. Not being American was perhaps a reason for my lack of enthusiasm for the mini series. I found it to be a disappointment as a viewing spectacle. But how true to the man and to history was the mini series? This is a question that now has my attention – for the portrayal of John Adams in the production was hardly that of a man to be admired.
Adams comes across as a self-centred, vain glorious man, with poor people skills and a terrible father and husband. He appears to seek his own advancement to the expense of those about him and also to be full of envy and petty jealousy. He also appears to be a somewhat poor diplomat and politician overall – even though he held the greatest office in the United States, as second president following that of George Washington.
So now I come to the book on which this mini series was based, ‘John Adams,’ by David McCullough. I am now going to read this book and see just how true to the book and actual events the mini series achieved. I find it difficult to believe that Adams could have been the way he was protrayed in the film – now I will seek out the truth for myself.
I have now read this book and have found my earlier thoughts sadly confirmed. My first comments on this book on this Blog at:
So I not only agree with my earlier thoughts on the book, but have even more to say about it. The illustrations (cartoons) I found to be completely inappropriate and the attempts by the author to justify them as irrelevant. There is just no place for the comical depictions of God given in the book.
The treatment of Calvin’s life is disappointing, with not enough detail given to it and some of the important events/incidents in his life are not treated or merely glossed over. It would have been better to have settled on the summary of the Institutes or do a full biography of John Calvin.
I also found the conclusions toward the end of the book disappointing and would suspect Calvin to be turning in the grave as a result of them.
The summary of the Institutes was probably not too bad, but I would have been better served to have read the Institutes rather than this book.
In summary – a very disappointing book that I would not recommend to anyone else to read.
The suggestion for today was to get together with people you don’t know and get to know them – to meet new people. I guess this is a way to broaden one’s horizons somewhat – get to know and see what other people do, how they live, etc.
I do meet new people from time to time – but can’t say I’m all that fussed to organise parties and events with people I don’t know.
A response to reading ‘365 Ways to Change the World,’ by Michael Norton
Today’s suggestion for changing the world was to create a directory of local community events/groups. This suggestion is something that intrigues me a little. Why? Well, it would be interesting to know just how many groups are operating in and around Tea Gardens in New South Wales, Australia.
I can think of quite a number just off the top of my head – so a directory for Tea Gardens would be quite large. It is certainly something I could do – but it could be quite time consuming to do properly. One never knows, I may do this in the future at some point.
But not today.