Archive for December, 2009

More on Ereaders

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Devices to Take Textbooks Beyond Text

A lot of the talk about digital reading devices has centered around their usefulness for textbook-toting students. Although the ability to carry a lot of hefty textbooks around on one much smaller device is a big plus, the drawback has been that the monochrome screens of current ereaders don’t allow for presentation of material that involves more than just text (i.e., illustrations, figures, tables). But, according to this article, all that may be changing:

Now there is a new approach that may adapt well to textbook pages: two-screen e-book readers with a traditional e-paper display on one screen and a liquid-crystal display on the other to render graphics like science animations in color.

Expect news of these new devices in January and February 2010 to compete with Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and the Sony Reader.

Not Yet the Season for a Nook

David Pogue, technology writer for the New York Times, reviews the Nook, which he says is astonishingly similar to the Amazon Kindle. He calls the Nook’s missing features “symptoms of B&N’s bad case of Ship-at-All-Costs-itis. But the biggest one of all is the Nook’s half-baked software.”

How E-Books Will Change Reading And Writing

The Kindle and other electronic reading devices have already started to make their mark, but they may begin to change the very words authors commit to posterity. Lynn Neary talks to Rick Moody, Lev Grossman and Nicholas Carr about the way these devices are shaping the publishing world.

From NPR.

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Round-Up: Best Books Lists for 2009

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

I really hate it when people put up their Christmas decorations right after Halloween. In the same way, it rankles me when “Best Books of the Year” lists begin appearing well before the year is over. Now that 2009 is officially approaching its end, here’s a round-up of some of the more prominent “Best Books of 2009″ lists:

Favorite books of 2009: What’s yours?
Book reviewer Jane Henderson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch asked readers to post their favorite books of the year. Check the comments to see what books ordinary readers liked best this year. Here’s Henderson’s take on the subject of these lists:

The New York Times’ top fiction named four women and one man while Publishers Weekly’s top 10 books included no women (and none of the fiction the Times named). Obviously there is a great deal of subjectivity in these lists of favorite or best books. How can there not be when upwards of 200,000 books are published each year in the United States?

The tastiest coffee-table books of 2009
Mary Ann Gwinn of the Seattle Times lists her picks of the biggest, lushest books of the year.

10 best thrillers of 2009
Harry Levins of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch presents his favorites among spy and crime thrillers.

The Best Five Books To Share With Your Friends
On the NPR Web site, Glen Weldon says,

Below, a short list of books I’ve pressed into other people’s hands over the past year. On the surface, they’ve got little in common. Obsession figures largely in several — and meteors, too, weirdly enough. But the thing that truly unites these books is the urge they spark to send them out into the world so that they might sink their hooks into someone else.

Best Books of 2009
NPR (National Public Radio) has an extensive list of lists, including more unusual topics such as best airplane reads, best gardening books, best book club reads, and the year’s most mesmerizing mysteries.

All hail the printed word: Best books of 2009
Reviews from the Seattle Times offer their choices in the categories of fiction and nonfiction.

Best children’s books of 2009
Best books of 2009: nonfiction
Best books of 2009: fiction
Three lists from the Christian Science Monitor.

The 10 Best Books of 2009
100 Notable Books of 2009
The New York Times weighs in with its own collection of lists. On each of these pages you’ll find links to several other categorized lists.

Best of 2009
Of course no story about books would be complete without reference to giant online bookseller Amazon. Here you’ll find lists of choices in every category by both the company’s editors and its customers.

Most Literate Cities in the U. S.

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Central Connecticut State University (CCSU): AMLC Home:

This study focuses on six key indicators of literacy: newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment, and Internet resources.

Seattle, Washington DC, and Minneapolis head the list. My hometown of nearly 40 years, St. Louis, came in at #11.