Napster-like service for books

jen writes \"CNN Storyon Bookshare, based in Palo Alto, California, is building an online library of books scanned into audio and Braille formats for the exclusive use of the blind and people with reading problems such as dyslexia.

The target audience, about 5 million people nationwide, qualifies Bookshare for a copyright exemption created in 1996 to encourage greater distribution of literature to the blind and reading-impaired. \"

We ran a story on them before, but this story gives some more info.


To boldly read as no-one has read before

A couple of great links found thanks to a little blog called The Future of the Book [with help from Marylaine Block\'s Neat New Stuff].
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received a grant to develop a 3-D digital library of rare books and manuscripts, in this story.
Meanwhile, scientists at Leeds University in the UK are working on a device which will be enable you to read a book without opening it, using the Star-Trek-esque \"terahertz waves\" which produce a readable image when passed through a book. More on this from Ananova.


Canterbury Tales set for the web

Charles Davis writes \"from
ananova with More at

The British Library has begun the task of getting Chaucer\'s
Canterbury Tales on to the internet.

The project is being led by staff from Tokyo\'s Keio
University and should be available to view by late summer.

The Library\'s last digitisation project, the Gutenberg Bible,
drew a million hits in the first six months. \"


One Book, One City Creator Worries

Four years ago Nancy Pearl organized the \"one book, one city\" program in Seattle, worries that the original purpose is getting lost. It has become too popular, and too political.

\"It\'s very gratifying that people are doing this, but this was never intended to be a civics lesson,\" she says. \"This was always intended to be a library program that promoted a deepening engagement that helps people engage in good books.\"

Full Story.


Western Publishing Disbands

Western Publishing Co 1907 is pulling out of Racine, WI.
The last 80 employees at the firm\'s building in Sturtevant will lose their jobs in March when Random House transfers the offices to New York.

Western Publishing Co. once employed more than 1,500 workers and press operators in Racine, where an estimated 1 million Little Golden Books were churned out each week.

Full Story from Bob Cox.


The Gutenberg Home Bible

The Washington Times has a Story that says Slowly and painstakingly, Octavo, a company in Oakland, Calif., is creating a state-of-the-art digital facsimile of the Gutenberg Bible, in partnership with the Library of Congress, which owns one of three perfect copies in existence.

\"Every book has its own personality and behaves differently, owing to varied physical characteristics,\" Ms. Blegen says. \"This book is different because it has no page numbers and weighs more than most. I can\'t tell where I am in it because I can\'t read page numbers and can\'t decipher the text. This is different, too, because it is a national treasure.\"


Library Starts Book Club Aimed At Men

Here\'s One on Terry Eagan public service librarian at the Land O\' Lakes Branch Library down in Florida.

He\'s Created a book club aimed at men. Attendance has been sparse so far, but Eagan is optimistic it will grow as more guys find out about it.

``I like hearing different points of views on books,\'\' Wolf, a member, said. ``And doing this forces me to read something I might not ordinarily read.\'\'


Read A Book In A Minute

Tim writes \"
Here\'s a fun site!

\"Book-A-Minute SF/F have taken several great
speculative fiction novels and extracted the important
stuff, cutting out all the filler. (You\'d be surprised how
much filler there is sometimes.) With our
ultra-condensed versions of your favorite speculative
fiction, you can read entire books -- entire series, even
-- in just one minute! You can have your books and read
them too! And it costs nothing!

\"That\'s nice,\" you say, \"but I don\'t believe you.\" Yah hah,
skeptical soul! We\'ve got our collection of
ultra-condensed books right here! We\'ve got everything
from Tolkien to Dragonlance! See for yourself!\"


Guide to Producing Handsome Books on Home Computers

The Chronicle of Higher Ed has An Interview with Douglas Holleley, an educator and photographer, the author of \"Digital Book Design and Publishing\".

His book \"details the ways that modern technologies and software can help aspiring authors or artists produce their own books at home, taking the power that has belonged to publishers for centuries and putting it instead in the hands of the people.\"


LA Schools Yank Copies of Koran

Tom Tugend writes...

\"Hundreds of copies of the Koran have been removed from California schools because of an accompanying anti-Semitic commentary. School board officials in Los Angeles removed the translations of the Muslim holy book, after a history teacher noted the derogatory commentary in footnotes to the text. The books were donated to schools by a local Muslim foundation to promote religious understanding following the Sept. 11 terror attacks. After the teacher complained about the anti-Semitic passages, school principals were instructed to secure all copies in their offices pending a review. It is unclear how the books were distributed to school libraries without undergoing the customary content review.\" More



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