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The Book in the Renaissance

The Book in the Renaissance

The dawn of print was a major turning point in the early modern world. It rescued ancient learning from obscurity, transformed knowledge of the natural and physical world, and brought the thrill of book ownership to the masses. But, as Andrew Pettegree reveals in this work of great historical merit, the story of the post-Gutenberg world was rather more complicated than we have often come to believe.

The Book in the Renaissance reconstructs the first 150 years of the world of print, exploring the complex web of religious, economic, and cultural concerns surrounding the printed word. From its very beginnings, the printed book had to straddle financial and religious imperatives, as well as the very different requirements and constraints of the many countries who embraced it, and, as Pettegree argues, the process was far from a runaway success. More than ideas, the success or failure of books depended upon patrons and markets, precarious strategies and the thwarting of piracy, and the ebb and flow of popular demand. Owing to his state-of-the-art and highly detailed research, Pettegree crafts an authoritative, lucid, and truly pioneering work of cultural history about a major development in the evolution of European society. -- Read More

Analyzing Literature by Words and Numbers

A new computer-generated process is giving scholars a prism into Victorian thought.

Victorians were enamored of the new science of statistics, so it seems fitting that these pioneering data hounds are now the subject of an unusual experiment in statistical analysis. The titles of every British book published in English in and around the 19th century — 1,681,161, to be exact — are being electronically scoured for key words and phrases that might offer fresh insight into the minds of the Victorians.

Full article

A Book Lover’s San Francisco

Article in the Travel section of the NYT

ON a balmy fall evening in the Mission District of San Francisco, hundreds of people spilled onto Valencia Street, where they chatted happily for a few minutes before pouring back into bookstores, cafes and theaters. It was a giddy, animated crowd, but most of all bookish — a collection of fans and believers, here to listen to the written word.

Full article

How Bad Are Bananas?

How Bad Are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything

Is it more environmentally friendly to ride the bus or drive a hybrid car? In a public washroom, should you dry your hands with paper towel or use the air dryer? And how bad is it really to eat bananas shipped from South America?

Climate change is upon us whether we like it or not. Managing our carbon usage has become a part of everyday life and we have no choice but to live in a carbon-careful world. The seriousness of the challenge is getting stronger, demanding that we have a proper understanding of the carbon implications of our everyday lifestyle decisions. However most of us don't have sufficient understanding of carbon emissions to be able to engage in this intelligently. -- Read More

Zero Views

35 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every single minute. That means that for every hilarious video of a piano-playing cat enjoyed by millions, there are many, many more clips that suffer in anonymity. Colin Fitzpatrick's website Zero Views is a home for those clips. He collects videos that, at the time that he finds them, have never been viewed by anyone.

If Libraries are Screwed, so are the Rest of us

“Libraries are screwed, because we are invested in the codex, and the codex has become outmoded. It’s not just a change of text delivery format, it’s a move away from content that is ownable and shareable, and that’s a problem when your organization is in the business of owning and sharing content.

Read more at DigitalBookWorld.com: If Libraries are Screwed, so are the Rest of Us | Digital Book World
http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2010/if-libraries-are-screwed/#ixzz16y8AZ2WT

Taxes on ebooks

Looks like because of the agency pricing model that some publishers are using there is sales tax on certain ebooks depending what state you are in. I first saw a mention of this in a blog post by Mike Shatzkin called Most dramatic publishing event of 2010? Introducing agency pricing!

Running some searches I found some additional blog posts that discussed the issue.

Sales tax on ebooks and rising prices

Amazon Says Agency Model eBooks Are Subject to State Sales Tax

This article is particularly interesting because they tell what publishers are using the agency model and it what states they charge sales tax.

How does Diesel eBooks handle Sales tax?

Starbucks offers free Greg Bear e-book until December 7th

Story at Teleread.org

Line in article that I find most interesting:

As book-related marketing goes, this is quite an interesting idea. It could both draw interested readers to Starbucks, and interest Starbucks patrons in a new book. It does seem to run counter to the idea of e-books being location-independent—but on the other hand, location-based Internet services such as FourSquare are pretty hot right now.

Mad Men

Amazon is offering seasons 1,2,3 of Mad Men for $9.99 a season from Nov 25-27.

Mad Men: Season One

Mad Men: Season Two

Mad Men: Season Three

Oh, To Be Young: The Year's Best Teen Reads

Young adult author Gayle Forman picks her favorite teen novels of the year, from a Parisian adventure to a high school student affected by life during wartime.

http://www.npr.org/2010/11/19/131442476/oh-to-be-young-the-year-s-best-teen-reads

With Facebook Claiming the Word ‘Face,’ Some Alternatives

Facebook is a few steps away from trademarking the word “face,” according to a filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Full article here

Philip K. Dick’s Masterpiece Years

Article in the NYT about the book The Search for Philip K. Dick

Kindle next to Softbook

Picture on Flickr of a Kindle next to a Softbook. The Softbook is an ebook ereader than came out in 1998. In addition to the picture is some commentary about e-ink.

Mark Twain’s Autobiography Flying Off the Shelves

Article in the NYT: Mark Twain’s Autobiography Flying Off the Shelves

Excerpt: When editors at the University of California Press pondered the possible demand for “Autobiography of Mark Twain,” a $35, four-pound, 500,000-word doorstopper of a memoir, they kept their expectations modest with a planned print run of 7,500 copies.

Now it is a smash hit across the country, landing on best-seller lists and going back to press six times, for a total print run — so far — of 275,000. The publisher cannot print copies quickly enough, leaving some bookstores and online retailers stranded without copies just as the holiday shopping season begins.

OK

Budget Watchdogs Warn of Worsening Deficit, Explore Strategies to Cut

Budget Watchdogs Warn of Worsening Deficit, Explore Strategies to Cut

Authors of "All the Devils Are Here" on the Daily Show

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Bethany McLean & Joe Nocera Extended Interview<a>
www.thedailyshow.com
-- Read More

Facebook's 'Not Email': Simpler, Stickier & Bound for Success

This morning, Facebook announced its new messaging system. CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it clear that the system was "not email" and not intended as the media-hyped "Gmail killer". Zuckerberg did say, however, that "this simpler type of messaging is going to be how people shift their communication."

Full story

A Palin Flub Becomes a ‘Word of the Year’

At the start of the year the word “refudiate” didn’t exist. In mid-July Sarah Palin, Alaska’s former governor, changed that when she used the word in a Twitter message, somehow mashing up “refute” and “repudiate,” while trying to say something like “reject.”

Full piece here.

Time for a New Theory of Money

By understanding that money is simply credit, we unleash it as a powerful tool for our communities.
http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/time-for-a-new-theory-of-money

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