TBIF – Thank blog it’s Friday! A week’s worth of meme-ery, 1-30-09

Tuesday Thingers: Questions for LibraryThing users, hosted at Wendi’s Book Corner

Library Thing is attempting to gain help from librarians and readers alike to redo the old Dewey Decimal system of book classification, creating a newer system called Open Shelves Classification or OSC (click on the link to read a little about the vision on the LT Blog).

The librarians have already helped to create the main categories, and they are now looking for readers to help classify books.

How we can help: As you add a book or review to your library, scroll down to the bottom of the page where you can see the grid of classifications, select the classification for that book and confirm that you have read it. They have also created a group for the OSC project.

Today’s question: Prior to today, were you aware of Open Shelves Classification? Have you helped to classify any books yet? Is this something you are interested in? Did you know that if you classify any books, it will also show you who else has classified the book?

I wasn’t familiar with this LibraryThing project until this question came up, and it looks like it’s only an option when you first add a book to your library; I don’t see the fields/grid come up when I edit a book that’s already there, so if anyone knows where to find them, please let me know! Now that I’m aware of this, I’ll try to look for the classification fields when I enter new books on LT. It doesn’t sound like it will be all that much more effort to do this, and it will make the information available through LibraryThing even better, so why not help out if I can?

Teaser Tuesday: hosted at Should be Reading

 TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

I don’t have anything to report for Mailbox Monday this week, so I’ll share a Teaser from one of the books I received last week, which was offered to me not long after it made my wish list.

“Here the student/builders had broached the dangerous nexus of water + electricity; I shuddered to think of what was behind the flimsy false wall space. The walls and ceiling were painted.” (page 75)
The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, A Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them, by Amy Dickinson

It’s Tuesday, where are you?: hosted at An adventure in reading

I was, and still am, in New Hampshire, making trips back and forth to the state prison with an ACLU attorney and a priest, and at home with the mother of a child in need of an organ transplant, about halfway through Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult.

It’s Friday – where are you?

Booking Through Thursday: Electronic vs Paper 

Something a little different today–
First. Go read this great article from Time Magazine: Books Gone Wild: The Digital Age Reshapes Literature. (Well worth reading.)
Second. Stop and think about it for moment. Computers and digital media are changing everything we do these days, whether we realize it or not, and that includes our beloved books.
Tell us what you think. Do you have an ebook reader? Do you read ebooks on your computer? Do you hate the very thought? How do you feel about the fact that book publishing is changing and facing much the same existential dilemma as the music industry upon the creation of MP3s?

We were asked to answer this in the comments section of the post on BTT in order to encourage general discussion, so I’ll be putting this over there too instead of just linking back.

The article in question – which definitely is worth a look – was at least as much about changes in the publishing industry and its business model as it was about electronic media and reading. Among other things, it discussed the rise in self-publishing during the last couple of years, and noted the fact that several recent self-published novels have met with popular acclaim and decent sales. In some cases, these books were picked up and reprinted by a major publisher after word-of-mouth success. I can’t prove it, but I suspect that the evolving relationship between authors and book bloggers is a factor there (which is NOT suggested in the article, by the way). Self-published authors in particular need to do their own PR, and reaching out to the book-blogging community, which is full of readers eager to find a great new read and talk about it, seems to be a pretty good approach. And even though in most cases we get those review books for free, we haven’t stopped buying books…and I don’t imagine that we will any time soon. The free item – like a sample music download or movie trailer – is still meant to encourage a purchase of some sort, not to replace it.

Since I do so much reading online now – blogs, news, and magazine articles especially – I don’t cringe any more at the very idea of reading a book on some sort of machine, but I haven’t thought much about getting an e-book reader. I can imagine reading books on my laptop some day, but I’m in no hurry to do it. I like the physical qualities of books – the paper stock and typography, the cover designs, the way they feel in my hands – as well as their contents, and I really don’t want to give that up. “Curling up with my Kindle” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Maybe someday I’ll be as fond of an e-book reader as I am of my iPod, and I’ll marvel at how I managed before, with those bulky old trade paperbacks…and someday I may well have to adapt to “books” that only exist as digital media. It’s probably going to happen, but I hope it’s later rather than sooner – and in some parts of the world, it may be much later, as Gautami suggests in her BTT post at Reading Room.

Have you read any good e-books lately – or ever? Do you want to?

Friday Fill-ins #109

1. I’d really like to get back the two hours I lost in traffic on Thursday right now.

2. “OW! Crap!” is the word you’d most often hear me say if I stubbed my toe.

3. Possession is a word that describes a thing you’re holding on to – a thing, and not a person.

4. I would never want to date Captain Jack Sparrow (he drinks too much and wears more eyeliner than I do – oh, and then there’s the whole “pirate” thing…)

5. Marshmallows and fire go together like umbrellas and rain.

6. Babble on and on (or Babylon And On, for my fellow Squeeze fans)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to nothing in particular except hanging out at home, tomorrow my plans include an American Idol audition-shows marathon (to clear them off the DVR!) and Sunday, I want to get some chores done, and hopefully some reading too!

What’s in store for you this weekend?

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  1. I think Jack and I wear the same amount of eyeliner. LOL. And then again, maybe he does wear more than I do….

    This weekend is the weekend where I MUST get my act together. I have several things needing to be done but I have procrastinated all the way through most of January and I cannot live with myself if I do not get some of the things out of the way. Do not want to be queen of procrastination no more!

    But tonight I will watch some tv and hopefully finish the book I am reading!

  2. Lenore – I think he could be amusing in small doses. I don’t mind a guy with a roguish streak and an earring – just ask my husband :-)!

    Karen H – Actually, the rum might make him more appealing ;->.

    Janet – He’s all yours, then. Have fun, but not TOO much fun, if you know what I mean :-D.

    Louise (Bogsider) – A guy who is prettier than I am AND wears more makeup really isn’t my style, I’m afraid :-).

    And here we are – January’s almost over already! Yikes. I’m hoping to finish my book this weekend too. Have a good one!

  3. 1. Your Tuesday Teaser sounds like an intriguing read –what is it about–and is it fiction or non?
    2. I LOVE Squeeze.
    3. Jack Sparrow: wouldn’t want to date him, but he might be fun for a night or two!
    4. Weekend? Who makes plans that far in advance. It’s only FRIDAY for god’s sake!

    Have a good one!

  4. I don’t know about e-books myself. I’ve seen the Kindle and it looks okay, but I still like holding a book, seeing the cover, reading the jacket; maybe I’m just getting old. 🙂

    I get to work the midnight shift Saturday night, so you know I’m looking forward to that!

  5. I never thought I’d be the type to go electronic instead of physical books, but I can see that that’s where this is headed for me. I have stacks of unread books on my nightstand, but you have to surgically remove me from my computer. I’m actually wondering if a Kindle would help me get more real reading done. Maybe pushing buttons is more gratifying to me than turning pages? I don’t know, all I know is I need to figure something out to get me off of the internet and back into reading. Might be worth a try.

  6. Amber – They usually are, but that’s the fun :-).

    Karen – It’s fiction. Jodi Picoult writes very topical novels, and I think I’ve read every one of them.

    Good to know you’re another Squeeze fan!

    We try to plan out weekends, but that doesn’t mean they happen AS planned :-).

    Mike – I know how much you enjoy those midnight shifts :-). But hey, don’t you have some vacation time and a trip to San Diego coming up soon?

    My feelings about the Kindle are about the same as yours.

    Siren – I hear you on that one. My book-reading has suffered since I took up blogging, which makes the fact I blog about books just a bit ironic. Right now, I think the fact that books DON’T resemble computers is probably part of the appeal for me. You might want to give the e-book thing a try, though.