The Book Vending Machine is Here!

Okay, not here. Paris. But still, the concept has been actualized. Even more gratifying than Amazon and ebay put together: The Book Vending Machine. You have to read the full article.

I think this is the coolest thing ever.


Boo to Blog Spam

Please do not spam this place with great dating sites. There's a whole Internet full of porn. Leave it out there, kids. Grr.



E-books are making their way to campus.

E-books only account for a tiny share of the market ($3.2 million in an entire quarter, $10.6 million less than the newest Harry Potter book sold in the first 24 hours). But, they're trying to grow.

They're offering 30% off normal textbook prices, which is a lot to cash-strapped college students, who on average spend $800 a year on books. This could be great news, but it's really more of the same. There's a catch: The books are only available for download to a single computer and expire after five months.

Personally, I think that's a big catch. With students having multiple devices (palm, several computers, phones with e-book readers), they should be able to read how they like. The expiration date is ridiculous.

This kind of business model begs for some angry inventive student to begin file sharing or hack into the system as a whole, leaving the e-book industry to whine like the MPAA. I propose a better idea: borrow the I-tunes model. The whole point of the Internet is flexibility. Let students download their textbooks by chapter at a less expensive price point. Allow a certain number of copies to their own devices. Put it in a format that's clean, but a pain to copy. Place it in a nice looking easy-to-use interface. Hyperlink to other things that could be of help, like Wikipedia. Ditch the idea of expiration dates.

This builds a loyal audience who will come back to you. It grows the e-book market. And, it's fair.


The Review Apology

The Washington Post printed an apology to John Irving in Sunday's editor's note. His latest novel had been reviewed by Marianne Wiggins, who panned it, calling its writing style "lazy". She had a social relationship with Irving, which she did not disclose to the paper.

BookADay, who does not have connections to John Irving, plans to review Until I Find You.

This situation begs the question: how close it too close? Irving was a friend of Wiggins' ex-husband. Could it be that she didn't like the book, no matter to her relationship with him? Probably. Was she wrong in not telling The Washington Post. Definitely. Writers bump into reviewers all the time. Some reviewers, present company included, also write. I believe you always need to be honest about who you know and if it's really questionable, don't review it. That said, I also believe that you can read your best friend's book and if it's a bomb, you need to call it a bomb. Your thoughts?


New Book Review Up and Two Tidbits

It's in the BookADay Book Reviews section.

Two tidbits:

An ironic view on what America really needs to read right now. A juror on the Michael Jackson trial is writing a book called Guilty as Sin and Free as a Bird.

I've been reading indie book seller Robert Gray's blog, Fresh Eyes. The posting on 7.22 describes a dream job: Professor of Books.