Website: Share Your Shelf


The link below is to a Blog hosted on Tumblr that offers you the opportunity to share your bookshelf with the world.

For more visit:
http://shareyourshelf.tumblr.com/

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Website: BookRix


The link below is to a website that enables you to upload and sell your own ebooks. If you always wanted to be published and become a successful author, perhaps this site will give you the opportunity to get started. You may be able to earn a few bucks at the very least.

For more, visit:
http://www.bookrix.com/

Book Review: Currently Reading – Print is Dead, by Jeff Gomez


I have been reading ‘Print is Dead – Books in our Digital Age,’ by Jeff Gomez and have now reached ‘Readers in a Digital Future.’ In this chapter Gomez begins to expound the possible future of the digital world for book readers. It is a world that abounds with possibility and an experience of reading that bibliophiles of the past could only dream of (if they could look passed the traditional book format). The book reading future will allow the reader to carry an entire library on a personalised device that can be accessed anywhere and at anytime, with the ability to interact with other digital sources of information and other readers from around the globe, to share insights and to communicate via chat and discussion functionality on book-based social networks, web applications and sites. The reader will also be able to store notes within the book that will be able to be edited and shared, to highlight text, search within a document or an entire library and even expand his/her own library seemingly endlessly. The possibilities and richness of the digital future for bibliophiles is incredible to think about and should be within our grasp.

As the digital future approaches I know it is a future I look forward to being able to grasp with both hands as a bibliophile. My traditional book library can expand no further – I have no more space for it to do so. However my digital library has already grown beyond the capability of a home twice my current size to hold and it continues to do so. Will I be able to read them all – probably not. But they will be entertainment, as well as tools, that I can use as I please and they will provide me with experiences as yet untold. The future of reading looks amazing as it continues to appear and unfold on the horizon and as the first rays of the digital era break forth upon us.

Of course, if ebooks are handled poorly by authors and publishers, the rich future of reading that could be, may not be. Many of the possibilities of a digital future could be squandered and Gomez warns us of this possibility. What a wasted opportunity should greed and jealousy stand in the way of a richer reading experience. The reading public also need to understand what it actually costs to produce an ebook and the ebook then needs to be priced fairly and be fairly accessible to the reader across all of their devices.

See also:
http://www.dontcallhome.com/books.html (Website of Jeff Gomez)
Podcast (Excerpts from the Book)
Google Books
Amazon

Book Review: Currently Reading – Print is Dead, by Jeff Gomez


I have been reading ‘Print is Dead – Books in our Digital Age,’ by Jeff Gomez and have now reached ‘Writers in a Digital Future.’ Here Gomez explores the possibilities for authors, possibilities that weren’t available in the past. Some attempts at interactive narrative have appeared prior to the digital world, but the opportunities for experimentation are now seemingly endless. As I have mentioned before, the possibilities now exist for the inclusion of various media, such as pictures, music, video, etc. Hyperlinks to other features can now be included in ebooks, allowing in-depth studies of characters for novel writers/readers, treatments of historical events at length and so on. There is just so much room for experimentation in the digital world for authors of all genres, even in ways perhaps not yet imagined.

There is however more opportunity for the digital author, for he/she is now able to interact with the reader via means other than the actual ebook being read. The opportunity exists for collaborative websites, forum and chat room interaction, live video interviews and so many other avenues to interact with fans and readers of his/her material. Of course social networks like Facebook and MySpace provide the means for setting up fan pages and the like also.

So the digital world offers many opportunites and the possibilities for a brave new world of literature are there waiting to be seized. Sooner, rather than later, the digital future will arrive in a big way and authors/publishers need to be ready to meet the online demand that will surely come.

See also:
http://www.dontcallhome.com/books.html (Website of Jeff Gomez)
Podcast (Excerpts from the Book)
Google Books
Amazon

Book Review: Currently Reading – Print is Dead, by Jeff Gomez


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.

See also:
http://www.dontcallhome.com/books.html (Website of Jeff Gomez)
Podcast (Excerpts from the Book)
Google Books
Amazon

At the BookShelf (Reading Club/Group)


I have started a book reading club/group in association with the Blog here – ‘At the BookShelf.’ The reading club/group will feature some of the books I post about here and will give opportunity for members to obviously discuss the books being read. This is something I’m quite excited about and look forward to seeing grow. I hope you will get involved with the club/group.

The reading club/group will also be networked with my websites, including the http://particularbaptist.com site, providing a social network feature that has been missing at the site for some time. In  doing so, I will also try to network the website, the Blog and the Facebook page into the particularbaptist.com community that is slowly being built. Please get involved – over time as the network grows, the interaction increases and the fellowship expands, I’m sure it will be a blessing to us all.

The book reading club/group is simply called At the BookShelf (the same as the Blog).

Visit at:
http://www.bookclubit.com/bookclub.php?id=404

 

Google: No Longer Archiving the World’s Newspapers – Project Shut Down


Google is one of my favorite brands. Sure, it cops plenty of flak and probably some of it is deserved, but I have to say they are a company that has largely got it altogether. I’m a fan anyway – for what that’s worth.

I am a big fan of Google’s ongoing project to digitize the world’s books and literature. Sure, they need to conform to copyright laws like the rest of us while doing so and they have had some questionable episodes in this project to date. But what an amazing opportunity to read books that have been out of print for years and even centuries. It is a great service and project.

Google was also digitizing the world’s newspapers and this also could have been a major gift to the world, but sadly the project has been shut down. They have managed to place a huge amount of archival material onto the net and it is fully searchable – which is just brilliant. How amazing it would have been if all of the world’s newspapers had been digitized and made available on the web?

Have a look at what is available at:
http://news.google.com/archivesearch/about.html
http://news.google.com/archivesearch
http://news.google.com/newspapers

For more visit:
http://searchengineland.com/google-shuts-down-ambitious-newspaper-scanning-project-77970

 

Changing the World: December 13 – Hunger Banquets


Today’s suggestion is yet another with a website to provide further information. I like the idea of hosting a ‘hunger banquet’ in that it provides an opportunity for a bit of fun, yet increases awareness of a major global crisis and the opportunity to raise some money to help.

Visit the website at:

www.hungerbanquet.org

 

A response to reading ‘365 Ways to Change the World,’ by Michael Norton

Changing the World: December 4 – Civil Rights Awareness and Action


The suggestion for today is about raising awareness of civil rights and actively seeking to do something about the rights of people that maybe being abused. Again, this is a very worthwhile cause and is something I would seek to do at every opportunity.

For more information visit:

www.thekingcenter.org

A response to reading ‘365 Ways to Change the World,’ by Michael Norton

‘Shameful Flight – The Last Years of the British Empire in India,’ by Stanley Wolpert


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

‘Shameful Flight’ relates the history of the final years of the British Raj in India, including the partition of India into both Pakistan (West and East) and India, and the early hostility of the two new nations destined for perpetual warfare in such regions as the Kashmir.The history of this era of political instability on the subcontinent includes all the main players from Great Britain, India and Pakistan.These main players include Winston Churchill, Viceroy Louis Mountbatten, Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru and Quaid-i-Azam Jinnah. There is not a single figure in this history of India’s partition who comes out of it in a good light, though several seem to have had very well-intentioned aims and motivations. It is the true story of lost opportunity and the devastating consequences of human pride and selfishness that have reverberated down through the decades to the present day and remain visible in the continuing clashes between India and Pakistan, as well as in the extremism expressed in both the Islamic and Hindu communities throughout the sub-continent. It is a story of perpetual tragedy and human suffering with no end in sight.

This book is extremely easy to read, passes on a wealth of historical information and whets the appetite for further research on the India/Pakistan situation. It provides enlightenment, by bringing understanding to the current political instability in both India and Pakistan, by clearly revealing the root of the problem – the manner of the birth of both nations out of British imperialism and that nation’s final haphazard departure aptly described as a ‘Shameful Flight.’ This is a great book for understanding the sub-continent and the wounds it still carries to this day.

This book was provided to me for review by Oxford University Press – www.oup.com