BookADay on temporary leave.

I'm currently headed to Mexico on business. Unsure of Internet access. Taking lots of reading with me.

Sorry for the short hiatus. Expect to return to the States the 10th of December.


Book Texting

Dot Mobile, a cell phone company out of London, is texting students the Cliff's Notes of literature, complete with text message slang. Article via:
Slashdot: Literature Teeters on the Edge of a 'Gr8 Fall'.

Both Yahoo! and Slashdot seem to think this is an awful idea, but I see it as another step in the right direction. I don't like the text slang, but with mobile devices becoming the next thing in communication, it makes sense for phone companies to begin competition outside of ringtones and wireless. Why not books? Books as PDF are taking off--I know quite a few people who read them on the Palms. I hope Dot Mobile sees the greater value of these summaries and eventually pairs them with the full books.


$8000=Entire Penguin Collection

Over the summer, Penguin released its Classic Library Complete Collection available through Amazon. For slightly less than $8K, you can own almost every book in Penguin's catalogue. It's a good thing the shipping is free because it weighs 700 lbs. Wow.

The New York Times: 1,082 Penguin Books story has the tale of one family who bought.

Can you imagine if all publishers released their collection this way? Granted, Penguin's collection lends itself the most easily to this, but wouldn't it be cool for bibliophiles to own the collections of their favorite publishers in one bulk purchase.

In case you're curious of what to get me for the holidays, it's on my wishlist.

Thanks to Shane for the update.


Review of Reviews

Priya Jain writes forSalon.com Books "Years of magical thinking" a nice review that, in addition to reviewing the memoir, reviews the author's history and the other reviewers.

More Eleventh Hour Votes For Limits On The Patriot Act

New bill up in the Senate (S.1389) gives greater reader privacy than the House version. The Senate legislation restricts bookstore and library searches under Section 215 of the Patriot Act to the records of suspected terrorists or those in contact with them. If you agree, contact your senator with your support.

Two Links:
Rising Support Cited for Limits On Patriot Act

Campaign For Reader Privacy


Delicious Library

Woah, what a cool program. For $40, it allows you to catalogue your entire book, music, and DVD library. I'm currently trying the demo version to see how it handles my personal book library (at the last move over 800). I'll report back on how well it does.


The Theory on Bad Reviews

We're at the point that I need to address something that I've been trying to avoid: the subject of bad reviews. Authors and publishing companies send us their books. I feel it's both a great honor and a great responsibility. These are works that people have labored over. The majority are small publishing houses that don't have a lot marketing dollars, including money to send review copies. That means that these same small houses don't receive a lot of reviews for their books. That means they don't generate a buzz, which means the books are harder to sell.

Now, sometimes, these small houses are one-man-bands. The self-published author. This is generally a person who has invested his or her own money into making the book a reality. Sometimes, albeit rarely, self-publishing works. There's a great book out there that, for whatever reason, mainstream publishing companies aren't picking up. These people have even fewer shots of getting reviews for their books, and even less of a chance of distribution and sold copies. These are the books I want to champion.

My interest in publishing has always been wide. The publishing companies are working hard to keep their doors open. The authors often don't make enough on a book to quit their day jobs. Not a lot of people are getting rich. Yet, it's an industry that is flooded with books. It's overwhelming to readers. I originally created this blog for people interested in both reading and the business of books. I've posted the occasional negative review about a book from a large house. My reasoning: there is so much press about the books from big houses that another commentary is just that: another voice in the mix.

But, to this point, I haven't posted a bad review of a book from a small press. I have read some books that were lacking, and written a few negative reviews. But, after doing some Internet searches on the books in question and finding no information, I decided not to post the reviews. The reason? Why should the only mention of a book be negative? Perhaps nobody is buying it in the first place, why bother to post reviews of something not being read? I don't want to hurt a small house that is struggling just to meet its overhead. Yet, at the same time, the publisher has sent their book to me, a reviewer, to critique. Perhaps authors are wondering what happened to their books? (For the record, the process is like this: books come in, are logged and then put in line to be read, critiqued, then at the end of each calendar year, given to the reviewers or donated to the local library.) Why is this blog, one that strives to devote itself to the small press, lacking in book reviews about the small press?

The answer is two fold: 1) some of the books sent to me from small presses have received negative reviews that I chose not to post; 2)I give reviewers the freedom to choose the book they want to discuss.

But, I have a responsibility to readers. If someone sends a book, they do it in good faith. If the book was good, I'd post it in a heartbeat. If the book deserves a negative review, it also should be posted. The first negative review is being posted today. Give me your feedback. Based on that, I'll decide whether or not to post others.

By the way, if you're a publisher who wants your book reviewed, or a reviewer looking for a home for your reviews, address queries to me: Brandi Larsen-- bookaday at gmail.com.


Google Print

The debate continues.

Opposed, in today's Washington Times.

For, from Google.

What Goodle is doing to reading, by Gregory Crane from Humanities.

What's your take?

People Reading on The Train

Red Eye.
The New Yorker.
Devil in a White City.
Harry Potter.
That Was Yesterday. I'll keep notes this morning.

New reviews will be posted on Friday.

Update, 9am.
This morning's train readings:
Red Eye.
Chicago Sun-Times.
A T-Mobile Sidekick.
Jewels of the Sun.
The Mercy Ruler (a library book!)
The Time Traveler's Wife.