Thing 20

Wow!  There are an inordinate number of things in this thing!

I read this article:  Literacy Debate: Online, R U Really Reading? I’m pretty sure I read it when it first came out.   My philosophy is that the visual scan of words combined with a comprehension of the meaning of those words is reading, regardless of the medium.   When the draft of Midnight Sun came out online (still the only place it is available), I read it online; otherwise, I would have had to waste a ton of ink to read it on sheets of copy paper (not an altogether satisfying medium).  I would also say that if I could never afford (or even carry) 1/10th of the books I would have to own/borrow to access all of the craft ideas I find online in one evening of reading craft blog feeds.

Furthermore, when people read online, they have the luxury of adjusting the font size, something that is difficult IRL, unless you use a very retro magnifying glass.

This being said, I’m very glad that I learned to read books before I got my TRS-80 back in 1986.  As the article mentions, reading online does not necessarily prepare you to complete a mortgage application; however, if the application is online, maybe it does.

Watched the pewinternet slideshow.  Underwhelmed and not buying it.

Booksinmyphone?  No way.  No how.

And I used to subscribe to DailyLit.  It was kind of a pain and I felt guilty for not reading the books.  I would rather pick up a used paperback of a classic novel at a yard sale.  Still disposable, and much more portable.

Well, I like Book Stumper, but I wouldn’t want to pay for it.   Plus, they only post paid requests once a week.  Not a lot of instant gratification there, which is kind of a big selling point for most websites.  On the plus side, I found that a childrens’ series that I like a lot is back in print (L.M. Boston’s Green Knowe series) and another book that I would like to read.

I suppose the idea of an online book community is okay; however, frankly, I would rather read books than write about them.   I looked at the Target Bookmarked site.  Yeah!  I would be delighted to give this commercial behemoth my personal information so they can know what I’m reading and then email me ads based on that.  I did like their “Bestselling Books at Target” feature, because sometimes when I’m in there, I do look at books, but I usually don’t write down what I want to get from the library; this way, there is a good chance I might see the cover of the book I saw at the store.

Of the Book Group Resources to consider, I chose Reading Group Choices.  I have to say, I did love this:  The Reading Group Choices 15th Anniversary Book Pack Drawing.  The questions are a great idea, especially for new book clubs.  I once was part of a book club that had existed since the 1930s.  The discussions were rarely about the books; mostly the books were a jumping-off point for whatever local gossip was hot that week, or whatever political axe needed to be ground.  The 1-on-One feature was kind of cool – a short interview with the author of some of the books they featured.   I can see this being a timesaver for someone hosting a book club and might recommend this to a patron.

Of the audiobooks segment, I must say that I love, love, love! Librivox.  Even if the reader isn’t great, it is a great idea and a great free way to access classic literary works on art.  I can envision a library in a poor or rural district using the heck out of this.  I can also see this being a great asset for teachers/parents of kids with reading disabilities.  I also love that they have on staff a copyright goddess.  If you can employ a goddess, well…  I listened to a short segment of “Little Women”; the reader wasn’t bad, but not great.

Of the book reviews, I chose the One Minute Critic.  I listened to One Minute Dracula.  It was okay; I could have absorbed about 3 times as much information in about half the time by scanning a couple of reviews (the critic didn’t talk very fast).  I suppose it is a good idea, but I wouldn’t have much use for it, personally or professionally.  I could just as easily look and see how many stars a book has on Amazon, and scan several reviews there.

In the Books Rental section, I looked at Booksfree Online Book Rental Service.  I can only see myself using this if I lived a great distance from a library and was in such abject poverty that I couldn’t afford to buy books; in which case, I probably couldn’t afford to rent them, either.  I might use them if they offered college textbooks; I can see that being more economical than buying your own.

Of the Facebook apps, I chose to view the Visual Bookshelf.  Then I discovered that it required my personal information.  Nope.  Not having that.  So I guess I will look at the WorldCat page on Facebook.  Fine.  I’m letting them have my info, but I don’t like it.   Did Facebook sponsor the 23 things?   I don’t really mind WorldCat having my semi-fictional profile; however, I don’t know why they need to know about my friends and family.  The WorldCat search of local libraries didn’t really work for me, as I have didn’t put my real location in my profile.  But I suppose it is a good idea.   I don’t have a list of favorite books in Worldcat, although I have considered it.

I observe that people come in our library all the time to read.  They also come in a lot for free Internet access.   And I suppose these 2.0 tools could enhance your reading experience, however, the only thing that could enhance mine would be more free time.


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