January 2008

Amazon to Buy Audible for $300 Million

Amazon.com said Thursday that it reached an agreement to buy Audible, a provider of digital audiobooks, for $11.50 a share, in a deal that bolsters the online retailer’s offerings of audio downloads.
Skip to next paragraph Reuters

Amazon values the transaction at about $300 million, including Audible’s cash and short-term investments.

Audible’s over 80,000 programs, including audiobooks from authors such as Stephen King and Jane Austen, may complement Amazon’s growing digital music store that offers songs without copy-protection technology known as digital rights management. Amazon MP3, launched in September 2007, now includes more than 3.3 million songs.

Complete story in the New York Times.

Bringing Foreign Language Books Home to California

Don’t underestimate what Friends can do. For example, the Friends of the Long Beach (CA) Library paid for a trip to Cambodia for librarian Susan Taylor and fellow library employee Lyda Thanh to purchase books for a community of local residents who speak, and sometimes read, Khmer.

The Mark Twin Library paid $3,500 for just over 1,000 the books and almost as much, $3,100, to ship them back to the states, Taylor said. All of the travel expenses for Taylor and Thanh were paid for by the Helen Fuller Cultural Carrousel committee, which is part of Friends of the Library. Story from the Press Telegram.

Cartoons of Muhammad To Be Archived in Denmark

Denmark’s National Library plans to permanently preserve those cartoons of Muhammad that inflamed the Islamic world two years ago.

The royal library in Copenhagen – founded in the 17th century by King Frederik III and home to many historic treasures – has declared the drawings to be of historic value and is trying to acquire them for “preservation purposes”. Around 100 people died in riots across the Muslim world as protests spread after the publication of the cartoons.

Jytte Kjaergaard, a spokeswoman for the library, said they were unlikely to be displayed publicly and insisted the decision was not intended to be controversial. “We are not interested in an exhibition, we are interested in them being kept safe for future generations because they have created history in Denmark. ”

Parent Complains About Policy

Yet again, yet another parent is shocked, yes SHOCKED that a library would check out a movie like Underworld: Evolution to his 11 year old daughter.

The father, whose daughter is a patron of the Merriam-Gilbert Public Library, claims to have contacted “the state” about the library’s loan policy. Curiously, he refused to identify exactly which state agency he contacted.

More from Masslive and The Republican.

LISTen Needs Your Help

LISTen is busy during its hiatus preparing to be even better. In terms of discussion after comments received we are trying to build in capacity to have guest appearances on the show without having to book a flight to Las Vegas. I wish this were an inexpensive matter but it is not.

Right now I am robbing Peter to pay Paul relative to podcast production. To pay for upgrading hardware and initiating a new back-end service the funds outlay is US$125. The funds needed are broken down this way:

US$50 – Parts to create a bridge to allow guests to be included in the recorded episode
US$75 – Cost to set up for a continuing period access to Skype so that guests can just call in from Canada and not be hit with international phone call rates

From the demographics survey and other response I know we have quite a bit of listeners in Canada. With SkypeIn we can set up a phone number to make calls cheaper rather than paying international rates. Access numbers could also be set up here in the United States and a few other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

When does the money need to be raised by? Thursday or Friday is when such needs to be on-hand. I wish I could truthfully say there is some other way to obtain the funds for this but I cannot.

Every little bit helps. I am not asking for somebody to donate the whole $125 but will not turn such money away either. PayPal fees are fairly minimal with the way the account is set up. Paying for SkypeIn service establishment can be done directly from PayPal which eliminates a few steps for the team here. An e-mail sent to me at [email protected] may elicit a response via my Gmail account as to alternate ways to contribute too.

Thanks for supporting an effort that so far has had no budget, few staff, and other constraints. It has not been easy but it has been great.

Donation button for US listeners:

Donation button for Canadian listeners:

Donation button for listeners in New Zealand:

Sick of supermarket-sized chain book stores? Around Melbourne many small specialists are thriving

“NO ONE running an independent niche bookshop is in it for the money,” says The Haunted Bookshop’s owner, Drew Sinton. “If you want to earn money as a bookshop owner, you do what Angus and Robertson does, all books for all people.” Running a haunted bookshop may be unusual, but the decision to make a career and lifestyle change by running a niche bookshop is far from unique.

Mystery of missing Da Vinci sequel

He Wrote The Da Vinci Code, which became one of the bestselling books in history. For an encore, Dan Brown is serving up another literary mystery, though not the one his fans had hoped for – what on earth has happened to his next book?

Frugal librarian amassed 4 million pound art trove

At least she didn’t steal it… Frugal librarian amassed 4 million pound art trove: A thrifty 77-year-old spinster who rode the bus and ate frozen meals, died in 2006. But art experts and auctioneers have now completed the sale of the exceptional works hoarded in her modest home.

The auctions have raised an estimated 4 million pounds, according to valuers, about 20 times the price of the house they were kept in, stunning experts and Preston’s relatives alike.

Freed From the Page, but a Book Nonetheless

Freed From the Page, but a Book Nonetheless: Why have books have resisted digitization. That’s simpler: Books are portable and easy to read.

The book world has always had an invisible asset that makes up for what it lacks in outsize revenue and profits: the passionate attachment that its authors, editors and most frequent customers have to books themselves. Indeed, in this respect, avid book readers resemble avid Mac users.