Saturday, December 27, 2008

Inscriptions & Gadgets

How could Kate part with this book inscribed by the delightful Megan? (It was a nice illustrated dictionary of art and artists.)

Shaw once ran across one of his books in a used bookshop. It was inscribed to an acquaintance of his. To X, with esteem, George Bernard Shaw. Shaw bought the book and added to the inscription ~ With renewed esteem, George Bernard Shaw. Then he saw that it was delivered once again to X.

Reading Gadgets: Books without Paper:

I was watching the editor of publisher's weekly talking about e books a few days ago. She said e books, are wildly popular with people in publishing, as well as the average readaholic, and that they still only represent a tiny percentage of what people read. They haven't had a negative impact on the publishing industry.

Compare: See the Sony Reader, Kindle, and Iliad

The Kindle is not the most expensive, and is the the only one of the three with wireless connectivity.

Reading online sources:

Gutenberg: Thanks to this site I just sort of stumbled upon a story I'd been looking for over the years. In high school I saw a short film that I liked a lot and never could recall the title. But I always remembered the storyline. While scrolling through Gutenberg I came across Ambrose Bierce, and thought "Hmmm... I'm not familiar with him, think I'll check out some of his writing." And as it turns out he'd written the short story that had been turned into the short film I'd seen in school. I'd thought "Incident" was in the title when it was actually "Occurrence." An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. You don't need an e reader to read it though, you can just click on plain text and read the story on the spot on your computer. (Looking at Bierce's online bio I see that there was a French film version: La Rivière du Hibou (1962.) and a Twilight Zone TV episode based on the story as well.)

Japan's Cell Phone novels are mainly written by high school and college-age girls, but the original posting site was set up by a middle aged man who wrote a novel on his cell phone and posted it. Some cell phone novels get published and some make the bestseller list (since cell phone novels fans often buy the printed book to show their appreciation and friendship.)

The cell phone novel craze will never threaten authors. Banana Yoshimoto said that while she has no interest in reading them, they do have value to young girls. "Youth have their own kind of suffering, and I think the cell phone novels have become an outlet for their suffering."


Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

So interesting about the cell phone novels. Only heard of them for the first time earlier this week. I have enough trouble reading something on a handheld, so lord knows how I'd manage with a cell phone! I am quite tempted by the Kindle though... though recall an editor or agent saying it would be best to wait for the next generation of Kindles... Times move too fast! :-)
Fascinating post!

tut-tut said...

I just can't wrap my brain around the Kindle, Avid. I know you and at least one other love the ability to sample, the low cost, and so on (and I see the testimonial of Ms. Van Hengel above, braving the scorn of her book club women) but I just can't see it for me. Am I casting myself out into the technology-less wilderness?? Or should I embrace this as the new reading messiah?

Avid Reader said...

I hear you, Tut Tut, I didn't even want a computer at first --I'm iPodless, & still have my old portable typewriter ... and a Victrola. (They were once newfangled gadgets too, now that I think of it.) The Victrola didn't kill live singing performances like they said it might.

reading devices never interested me. But then, ... I was sitting in a coffee shop with the complete works of William Shakespeare... and the complete works of many other authors... (imagine what a pile that would be if I took all the books in there with me) and I thought "wow, I wish I could time travel & show this gadget to Charles Dickens." Some people of the future will carry ALL of your books around with them everywhere they go--in this little gadget.

(As long as you reassured Dickens that very fine copies of his books were still being printed, he'd be happy I think--especially if you let him borrow the device for a few days.)

I think these devices are only for people who 1. buy a lot of books, or 2. travel or read outside the home a lot.

Anonymous said...

Go to project Gutenberg Australia to read H.P. Lovecraft

there is the link


Anonymous said...

The e reader is great for reading in bed, especially easier than handling a large heavy book.


My Classic Fiction Book List -Partial List

  • Austen, Jane: (Complete Works)
  • Balzac: Cousin Bette/ Eugenie Grandet / Cousin Pons
  • Best Russian Short Stories
  • Boyle, TC: Short Works
  • Brennan, Maeve : Short Works, 1 Novella
  • Bronte, Emily, Ann, Jane (Complete Works)
  • Brookner, Anita ( Complete Works)
  • Cather, Willa (Complete Works)
  • Chekov: Short Works
  • David Copperfield (Dickens)
  • Dickens:A Tale of Two Cities
  • Dickens:Great Expectations
  • Dickens:Nicholas Nickelby
  • Dickens:Our Mutual Friend
  • Dickens:The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Doyle, Roddy (some novels, memoir)
  • Drabble, Margaret (4 Novels)
  • Drieser, Theodore (Complete Works)
  • Fitzgerald, F.Scott (Most Novels & short works)
  • Hardy, Thomas (Complete Works)
  • Hemingway, Short stories
  • Hemingway: The Old Man in the Sea
  • Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises
  • Hugo: Les Miserables/Hunchback Of ND
  • James, Henry: Daisy Miller
  • James, Henry: In The Cage
  • James, Henry: Portrait of a Lady
  • James, Henry: The Golden Bowl
  • James, Henry: What Maisy Knew
  • James, Henry: Wings of a Dove
  • James, Henry:The Ambassadors
  • James, Henry; The Bostonians
  • Kerouac: Dharma Bums
  • Kerouac: On The Road
  • Kerouac: The Subterraneans
  • Kerouac: Tristessa
  • Lardner,Ring:Short Works
  • Larsen: Quicksand
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Arrowsmith
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Free Air
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Main Street
  • Lewis, Sinclair: The Job
  • MacGill, Patrick (Complete works)
  • Mackin, Walter (novels)
  • Maupassant: Short Works, novels
  • McGahern, John (novels of)
  • McNulty, John (Short Works)
  • Norris, Frank: McTeague
  • O'Brien, Edna (3 Novels)
  • O'Donnell, Paeder : Novels of
  • O. Henry
  • Potok, Chaim (4 novels/1 non fiction)
  • Salinger, JD : Nine Stories
  • Salinger: Franny & Zooey
  • Salinger: Raise High the Roofbeams
  • Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Dodsworth
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Elmer Gantry
  • Sinclair, Upton: King Coal
  • Sinclair, Upton: The Jungle
  • Steinbeck, John: Sweet Thursday
  • Steinbeck: Winter of our Discontent
  • Steinbeck: Cannery Row
  • Steinbeck: East of Eden
  • Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath
  • Theroux, Paul (3 Novels )
  • Toibin, Colm: (Novels of)
  • Tolstoy: Anna Karenina
  • Tolstoy: Short Works
  • Turgenev (2 novels)
  • Twain: T Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi
  • Vonnegut: Early Works (1950s-60s)
  • Wharton, Edith: Novels of/Short Stories
  • Women & Fiction (Edit. Cahill)
  • Zola, Emile ( 10 novels)