Sunday, 25 October 2009

The Sunday Salon: More on the e-book debate

The Sunday
This week I am staying on the topic I started last week. I was trying to think of something new but really this is the thing that has stuck with me this week.

Last week I touched on the debate over the e-book and that discussion has continued during the week with the announcement of Barnes & Nobel's Nook. For me that was a bit anticlimactic since I am not in the states but I do like the look of it and hope that something similar will be available here soon. Here in Sweden the debate regarding e-reading has this week centred around the payment to the author with this article in Dagens Nyheter. The author of the piece, who is a writer himself, states that the Swedish Writers Union is missing an important point in their message to their members regarding putting their works up on sites where they would be paid through the advertising on the site. I personally think he has a very valid point. Another important point in the discussion regarding e-books comes from Jane at Dear Author where she points out the importance of sharing books for growing readership (thank you to Jane at A Bibliophile's Bookshelf for bringing it to my attention). I mention below that I am currently reading Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett. Although I was given my first Pratchett book by my parents my real love for the books grew from one I borrowed from my best friend. I went on to read several more and am still buying them. The same can be said for a book I reviewed earlier this week: Mary Anne Saves the Day. As an eight year old I highly doubt these would have been books I would have bought had I not borrowed them from my cousin first. I could keep listing books or authors I have only read because I first borrowed the books from someone else.

I found the comments from some of the authors in the article highly disturbing. People have ALWAYS borrowed books from each other. As Jane rightly points out, borrowing books is not what is cutting into authors profits, less reading is! As the article also points out with print books the reader has the right to sell the book on, it happens every day on Amazon and in used bookstores around the world. Just the other week at Booking Through Thursday the discussion centred around weeding out your books and I bet you that no one stated that they threw out books when they weeded. People sold them, bookmooched them, gave to charity or to friends. How is that different than if I share a Kindle account with a few very close friends? If we all had the same taste in books we would probably have shared the hard copy of the book around. In my house we are eagerly awaiting the new book from J.D. Robb, Kindred in Death, due out on the 5th of November (3rd in the US). Three of us in this house read the books and so does my sister who doesn't live here. Will we be buying four copies? I don't think so. We will buy one and then we will bug the person reading it so that they finish it quickly (as the fastest reader and the actual purchaser of the book I will be the first to read it thank you very much). This has always happened and it does not make us thieves. Just like the fact that I use a bowl then wash it out and someone else uses it does not make us thieves from IKEA.


Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett. With Halloween coming and chatter around the bookblogging world about the new Pratchett book Unseen Academicals (Discworld) I decided to revisit an old favourite of mine: Reaper Man. My best friend and I went through a period in high school when we devoured Pratchett. We quoted from him regularly and we both adored Death. I am thoroughly enjoying this visit back and will read a few others (some I haven't yet read) that are sitting on the bookshelves here at home.

How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren. This weeks chapter focused on the importance of classifying books we read and how the title can help with that.

I continue my history self-education by reading The History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer. To be honest this week I have only read two chapters. It hasn't been a great week for "difficult" books.

I'm still listening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. I didn't get to listen to my audiobook as much this week as I normally do because I forgot to charge the iPod over the weekend so I couldn't listen to it on Monday on the bus (not a mistake I will make again in a hurry).


Castle of Wizardry by David Eddings

Enchanters' End Game by David Eddings

Mary Anne Saves the Day by Anne M. Martin


Fall into Reading
I am reading:
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
The Giver by Lois Lowry
My Ántonia by Willa Cather
The Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs
I haven't read any of these books this week. Going to pick this challenge back up again soon

Childhood Favourites Challenge
The original post is here:
The Babysitters Club: Mary Anne Saves the Day by Ann M. Martin
A Horse Called Wonder by Joanna Campbell
Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Madicken by Astrid Lindgren
I read Mary Anne Saves the Day this week. It took me a couple of hours and was a very nice break.

The Really Old Classics Challenge
Introductory post here:
I'll be reading:
The Epic of Gilgamesh
I might also add the extra credit challenge but I haven't decided yet.

I am also taking part in The Classic Circuit: On Tour With Elizabeth Gaskell where I will be reading Cranford. The Circuit will be visiting my blog on December 18th so please stop by then!

I am an Amazon Associate who so far has either bought or borrowed all the books I read and review. If you click on the links in the text above you will be taken to Amazons site. If you buy the book I get a small percentage. With regards to books I have read you get taken to my review of the book.

1 comment:

Max Weismann said...

We are a not-for-profit educational organization, founded by Mortimer Adler and we have recently made an exciting discovery--three years after writing the wonderfully expanded third edition of How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren made a series of thirteen 14-minute videos, lively discussing the art of reading. The videos were produced by Encyclopaedia Britannica. For reasons unknown, sometime after their original publication, these videos were lost.

Three hours with Mortimer Adler on one DVD. A must for libraries and classroom teaching the art of reading.

I cannot over exaggerate how instructive these programs are--we are so sure that you will agree, if you are not completely satisfied, we will refund your donation.

Please go here to see a clip and learn more: