Archive for the ‘print’ Category

McHappy Books

A report that mcDonalds in the UK is giving way books instead of toys in their Happy meals:

McDonald’s UK is to hand out around nine million popular children’s books with its Happy Meals, as part of a new partnership with publishing house HarperCollins. The promotion aims to get books into the hands of families and support mums and dads in reading with their children.

Of course, a book is never enough:

Each book comes with a finger puppet to help parents bring the stories to life for their children, and to encourage children of all reading abilities to use their imagination and create their own tales.

Print versus Electronic

The argument over reading print versus reading on screens continues. Some remain convinced that paper has no peer. But recent research from Germany suggests otherwise:

There are no disadvantages to reading from electronic reading devices compared with reading printed texts. This is one of the results of the world’s first reading study of its kind undertaken by the Research Unit Media Convergence of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with MVB Marketing- und Verlagsservice des Buchhandels GmbH. “E-books and e-readers are playing an increasingly important role on the worldwide book market…

Professor Dr. Stephan Füssel, chair of the Institute of Book Studies and spokesperson for the Media Convergence Research Unit at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz [says] “This study provides us with a scientific basis for dispelling the widespread misconception that reading from a screen has negative effects…”

The name of the University that did the research is, of course, noted 🙂


(via the Common Room Blog)

WSJ on eBook prices…

A WSJ piece on ebook prices:

As physical book sales fall, publishers’ fixed costs are becoming more cumbersome. One area major publishers can cushion the blow is by keeping e-book prices higher. “If e-book prices land at 99 cents in the future we’re not going to be in good shape,” said one New York publishing executive, who asked not to be identified

And now, even Billy’s changing

In my house, we have fourteen Billy bookshelves. Some are waist high, some go floor to ceiling. But they all contain books – mostly double shelved. Now the Economist (in a wide-ranging review of the impact of digital technologies on the book trade) tells is this little gem:

TO SEE how profoundly the book business is changing, watch the shelves. Next month IKEA will introduce a new, deeper version of its ubiquitous “BILLY” bookcase. The flat-pack furniture giant is already promoting glass doors for its bookshelves. The firm reckons customers will increasingly use them for ornaments, tchotchkes and the odd coffee-table tome—anything, that is, except books that are actually read.


Fourteen percent down

Quick link to a New York Times piece about the state of the paperback market:

A comprehensive survey released last month by the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group revealed that while the publishing industry had expanded over all, publishers’ mass-market paperback sales had fallen 14 percent since 2008.

“Five years ago, it was a robust market,” said David Gernert, a literary agent whose clients include John Grisham, a perennial best seller in mass market. “Now it’s on the wane, and e-books have bitten a big chunk out of it.”

The old staggered release schedule of hardback -> Trade paperback -> paperback is suffering as ebooks make an impact:

Cost-conscious readers who used to wait for the heavily discounted paperback have now realized that the e-book edition, available on the first day the book is published, can be about the same price. For devoted readers of novels, people who sometimes voraciously consume several books in a single week, e-books are a natural fit.

Who would have thought?? 🙂

Computer Says…

From PaidContent, news of computer-generated book recommendations via the Book Genome Project: is the public face of the Book Genome Project, which was founded by University of Idaho students in 2003 and aims to identify, track, measure, and study the features that make up a book using computational tools. Other book recommendation sites exist, but they tend to rely on user-submitted data and social recommendations. BookLamp is different because it actually analyzes the books’ text. Its algorithm breaks books down into 32,160 elements: “StoryDNA” (“setting” and “actors”), language and character DNA.

Sunday Funny




This made me laugh 🙂


The Daily Show on the Death of Borders. (Techcrunch link because the Daily Show link is US-limited)


Quick link to a New York Times piece on self-publishing. With the advent of ebooks and print on demand, it’s a whole different world:

Before, you had to fill your garage with books and pass them on to all your best friends…

And here’s a survey of how US Independent booksellers are doing in a nation without Borders. A sample comment from Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver (from PBS):

I have every reason to believe that in ten years’ time there will be a retail setting that everyone recognizes as the logical descendent of today’s retail bookstores. The trick for all of us is to juggle declining printed book sales with new products and new services and the appropriate amount of real estate in the right location. Hardly an easy task but if the indie community has anything going for it, it is the fact that we are a feisty, determined, creative bunch that love what we do. Taking a cue from some of the technologies that been so disruptive, collectively the indie community is crowd-sourcing the sustainable bookstore-like thing of tomorrow. One of us is going to figure this out.


Yep, someone will figure this out one day!!

But what if there’s a fire in the building…

From Ars Technica:

If you want real long-term backups of digitized ebooks, then look no further than dead tree. At least, that’s the consensus of the Internet Archive project, which has announced an incredibly ambitious plan to store one physical copy of every published book in the world.

“Internet Archive is building a physical archive for the long term preservation of one copy of every book, record, and movie we are able to attract or acquire… The goal is to preserve one copy of every published work,” writes IA’s Brewster Kahle in a lengthy blog post about the plan.

I’m not convinced that this is better than a strategy which archives multiple copies in a range of distributed locations.