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Category technology:


The Evolution of Book Clubs

posted July 9, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in Bookselling E-books book design books digital media events technology translation trends world literature

booksandbars

Book clubs are pretty amazing things. I don’t belong to one at the moment, but I would say 80 percent of my friends are members of book groups. I really believe there is a book group for everyone. There are highly structured book groups, very laidback ones, clubs that read only classics, I could go on and on. Well, I just learned of a public book club in Minneapolis called Books & Bars. The group meets once a month at Bryant Lake Bowl, a theater that is adjoined by a pub and bowling alley.

Books & Bars has a moderator, comedian Jeff Kamin, and each session boasts about 70 attendees. Among the book club’s sponsors are independent bookseller Magers & Quinn and satirical newspaper The Onion. Participants are encouraged to purchase the selected books from Magers & Quinn and to enjoy food and drink at Bryant Lake Bowl during the gatherings. And even though it’s a book club, reading the book selection is not a requirement.

Upcoming book selections include The Magicians by Lev Grossman, Zeitoun by Dave Eggers, and illustrated novel Blankets by Craig Thompson.


Looking for a Vintage Keyboard?

posted June 25, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in technology world literature

A while back I posted about vintage manual typewriters and how they have once again become desirable and popular. Well, if you are attracted to the look and feel of the old manual typewriters yet loathe to give up any modern technology, there is a solution for you—the USB Typewriter (TM).

Jack Zylkin modifies and sells vintage typewriters that can be plugged into just about any modern computer via a USB port. He sells these on his etsy site. In addition, you can purchase a D.I.Y. Kit if you already have an old typewriter you’d like to adapt, or you can send Jack your old typewriter and have him complete the conversion for you.


Spreading the Translated Word: JLPP

posted May 14, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in books marketing publishing technology translation trends uncategorized world literature

JLPPI just learned about this really interesting project, the Japanese Literature Publishing Project (JLPP), that promotes Japanese literature to a number of foreign countries. Sponsored by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, JLPP has been around since 2002 and has so far been behind the publication of 34 Japanese titles translated into English. JLPP selects about 10 books per year, and the titles are translated into several languages, including English, French, German, and Russian. It then promotes the translated works to publishers, and following publication, JLPP buys a good number of the translated titles and distributes them to libraries. What a good way to increase access to translated works!

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Digital Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

posted March 5, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in Bookselling E-books books publishing technology trends

A Picture of a eBook
Image via Wikipedia

People seem to have very strong feelings about digital media. It seems every day I read articles embracing digital media and articles dismissing it. And even within the differing camps there is discord—Kindle vs. iPad vs. whatever the e-readers from Sony and Barnes & Noble are called. Putting aside the nuts and bolts of publishing costs, I just don’t understand what the big deal is. If you want to read books on paper, then read books on paper. If you want to read ebooks, go right ahead. Can’t we all just get along?

One thing on which we can probably all agree is that the traditional publishing model is outdated and needs to be modernized. So, whichever tribe you belong to, you might find some humor in this tongue-in-cheek article from The Atlantic.


An iPad is an Apple. A Kindle is an Orange. What Is an Orizon?

posted February 19, 2010

Posted by Thomas Riggs in E-books books technology

Orizon

Inundated with a never-ending stream of tech news, it’s easy to confuse apples and oranges, so here’s a simple thing to keep in mind. The Amazon Kindle is an e-book reader. The iPad is a multipurpose tablet that can be used for many things, including reading.

In fact, the iPad doesn’t come with an e-reader app. If you want to read a book on it, you will have to download Apple’s iBooks app from its App Store. It will be interesting to see how many people will never bother to download the iBooks app and how many people will never use the iPad for book reading. It’s worth remembering this comment about the Kindle from Steve Jobs in the New York Times.

“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” he said. “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”

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