Beware, public libraries: You’ll go the way of print newspapers if you automatically diss nonlibrarians’ gutsy ideas – A very interesting series on the BiblioTech project in Bexar County, Texas, which not only provides an all-digital library, but is also working to ensure that patrons have sufficient access to digital reading devices, so that they can take advantage of the digital books. When you think about the digital divide, and the way in which low-income patrons, whose need for free access to books is so much higher, are often not able to afford the technology necessary to access those books, this is an incredibly important program. Also, the community-building aspect of BiblioTech seems to have a great deal of potential. That it’s all happening in Texas provides a counter-narrative to the not-so-progressive happenings around other issues, including the death penalty, multicultural education, and women’s health.
“A courageous nonlibrarian named Nelson Wolff set up the BiblioTech project so the all-digital library could loan out hundreds of devices capable of reading e-books. Likewise Judge Wolff, the leading official in the county government, cared about BiblioTech providing technical support to patrons, and his head librarian, Ashley Eklof, is excited about the possibilities of librarians spending more time on patron contact and community outreach. No need for shelving of paper books and related chores. From afar, this strikes me as good old-fashioned librarianship reinvented in the spirit of the Five Laws of Library Science. Books are for use. Not just paper books. Books, period. And the same for other library content and services, including the facilitation of connections between members of the local communities—for example, a virtual book club. “Outreach,” as I see it, can cover a lot, both online and offline.”LibraryCity
Romance writer Megan Mulry takes a risk on self-publishing – Okay, so it’s hardly news that yet another traditionally published author is striking out on her own. But one of the things that’s interesting about this piece on Megan Mulry’s foray into self-publishing is the breakdown she provides of outlay and costs, relative to what she’s going to have to sell to break even and/or make a profit:
“For cover design, developmental editing, copy editing, proofreading, print design/formatting, and e-book formatting, I paid approximately $2,500 total,” Mulry says. “At list price of $14.99 (print), I make $4.14 per book via Amazon and $1.14 everywhere else. At list price of $3.99 (digital), I make about $2.80 per unit. I have also retained my literary agency to handle all publicity and marketing, as well as foreign rights and subsidiary rights, so there’s an additional percentage that will be taken off net for them. Therefore, in terms of units, I need to sell close to 1,000 copies before I start earning a profit.”CNN
Please stop live tweeting people’s private conversations — I.M.H.O. – So for those of you who saw Bachelor producer Elan Gale’s alleged live tweeting of his feud with a fellow airplane passenger, you have probably heard by now that the whole thing was a hoax. For those of you who did not hear about either of these two things, you didn’t miss much of value, except, perhaps, in noting who thought this misogynistic rant was “funny.” This particular piece does not benefit from the knowledge that the Diane incident was a hoax, but Nisha Chittal raises some very interesting points about the way we shame people on the Internet “for our own personal amusement.” I would narrow this even further to contemplate the question of shaming women online, and whether or not the woman in question is real, the whole thing seemed so outrageously douchey to me, that I am still flinching from the positive feedback Gale got. And I have to agree with the way Chittal characterizes the public pillorying: “Whether Diane was in the wrong or not, that’s creepy.”Medium
Famous Novelists on Symbolism in Their Work and Whether It Was Intentional – Jayne sent me this nifty post, which summarizes a project that a high school English student took on in 1963, in which he asked 150 fiction authors about their use of symbolism. Of the 75 who responded, the answers are incredibly illuminating, but not in the way of setting a pattern or any kind of consistent guide of authorial intention. Which, I think, is true to the reality of individual writing processes. Anyway, you can read the full survey responses through a link to the Paris Review in the story, but this Ralph Ellison comment, in particular, stuck with me. In response to a question about how the author responds to reader inference of symbolism in his work, Ellison noted:
“Yes, readers often infer that there is symbolism in my work, which I do not intend. My reaction is sometimes annoyance. It is sometimes humorous. It is sometimes even pleasant, indicating that the reader’s mind has collaborated in a creative way with what I have written.”Mental Floss
Bad sex award goes to Manil Suri and his shoals of atomic nuclei – Presented by Joan Collins at the Naval and Military Club in London — which apparently goes by the nickname “In & Out,” the Literary Review’s bad sex prize was awarded this year to University of Maryland Mathematics Professor Manil Suri, for his novel The City of Devi. Anyone who thinks Romance novels contain bad euphemisms and out of control hyperbole needs to get a load of Suri’s sexual imagery:
“Suri wrote: “Surely supernovas explode that instant, somewhere, in some galaxy. The hut vanishes, and with it the sea and the sands – only Karuns body, locked with mine, remains. We streak like superheroes past suns and solar systems, we dive through shoals of quarks and atomic nuclei. In celebration of our breakthrough fourth star, statisticians the world over rejoice.””The Guardian
isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnÊ¼t know, didnÊ¼t think about, or didnÊ¼t feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!