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1. I Did Some Reading For Halloween

I'm not big on reading holiday books these days. I'll often think that it would be nice to read something related to Christmas during December, but my mind runs to things like Hogfather and I never get around to reading even those. I ended up reading Zeke Meeks vs the Horrendous Halloween by D.L. Green with illustrations by Josh Alves because I heard on Facebook yesterday that the eBook edition was on sale for 99 cents. I love an eBook sale and Zeke Meeks is a series for young readers, something I was interested in a few years ago.

And thus I read a Halloween book.

ZM vs the Horrendous Halloween is a book for kids in the early grades. It involves a realistic story about one thing after another going wrong for Zeke on his big day, Halloween. Nothing is random here. Everything that's brought up about a character is used at some point. There is a dry, sly humor that works and good use of recurring material. I'm thinking, for instance, of the Princess Sing-Along lyrics, which I liked from the very beginning. "Don't feel that you have to change. It's okay to act real strange." 

Zeke Meeks vs. the Horrendous Halloween was quite a nice Halloween surprise because it's different from so many of the other books for this age group I've seen, books that didn't involve any kind of intelligible story because of the random action, characters, and so-called humor. If The Horrendous Halloween is representative of the rest of the series, other Zeke Meeks are worth giving a try.

Regarding the eBook edition: Some eBooks with illustrations don't translate terrifically to the eBook format. This one was just fine. The 99 cent sale is supposed to be continuing this week, though I don't know when the week ends. 


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2. Kobo Adds 250+ Marvel Comics to its Digital Library

marvel logoMavel has formed an agreement with Kobo to add more than 250 comics to its digital library. Kobo users can now access several series including The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America, and The Amazing Spider-Man.

Kobo merchandiser Santiago Melo had this statement in the press release: “For more than 75 years, Marvel has been transporting comic fans to exciting new galaxies. Tackling big issues with larger than life characters, these stories continue to be a constant source of enrichment in our popular culture and we couldn’t be happier to welcome them to the Kobo family.”

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3. Kindle Killer

The Kindle saga has now come to an end.

If you recall, earlier this year my Kindle 2 began giving me trouble. I reset it to its factory settings and it behaved itself until about the end of August when the screen decided it was no longer going to work. So after four years together, it left me for what I hope will be a happier place in Digital Device Heaven.

I moved all my Kindle content over to Bookman’s old Kindle 1 and the two of us were getting along just fine. The Kindle 1 battery only held a charge for 5-6 days but that was fine. I planned on buying it a new battery once the current one was demanding to be charged every day or two. But apparently we were not getting along as well as I thought we were because two weeks ago Kindle 1 decided it would no longer do highlights or bookmarks. It told me my memory was full and I had to delete books. Wow, I didn’t realize I had that many, but ok, I deleted about 10 books. That should be enough.

Nope.

So then I deleted all but 20 books. That definitely would be enough free space.

Nope.

So then I thought, maybe it was the book I was reading. All the trouble had begun when I downloaded a book from the library Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schulz. Perhaps the whole highlighting trouble was just to do with some new DRM on library ebooks. So I opened Jane Austen’s Emma, a DRM-free Project Gutenberg book. And it still would not highlight. And when I tried to bookmark a page it said there was not enough memory.

Clearly it is the Kindle going kablooey. I cannot read on it if I cannot highlight. Though I have continued to read Being Wrong, which I am enjoying very much. However, it has been so long since I have read a book and not marked it up in some manner that it feels totally weird and I am having a hard time remembering things about the book. I briefly considered giving up reading it, but I don’t want to give it up. I have kept reading and when I am done with it, I won’t be able to really blog about it because I won’t be able to remember enough specifics.

Isn’t that interesting? Between college and blogging I had an entire decade in which I read books and didn’t mark them up and I was happy as a clam. Of course, ask me what I read during that decade and I would be hard pressed to come up with much. But then sometimes now at the end of the year when I look back on my books read there is one book I don’t recall reading. Of course I can read the blog post I wrote about it and it will come back, so that’s something. I find it somewhat amusing that I am reading a book called Being Wrong with a constant feeling of wrongness hovering around me.

With the Kindle 1 at death’s door, I was also having a hard debate with myself over whether to get another ereader. If it is only going to last for four or five years, is it really worth it? And if I did get another ereader, what would I get? I didn’t want another Kindle. Amazon has gotten too big and even nastier as a company. It’s kind of like the Walmart of the internet and I refuse to shop at Walmart which means I could not in good conscious buy anything from Amazon. I wouldn’t want a Nook. I don’t have anything against Barnes and Noble, but they are having such business problems with the Nook that with my luck I’d get one and next year they would no longer sell or support them.

I wasn’t going to get a new ereader then. I would just have to figure out how to manage my reading glasses on the bus and metro train and get used to carrying a book in my bag. I wasn’t happy about the prospect, but I was going to make it work.

Then Bookman told me I was being daft. You use the ereader five days a week and for those five days you spend more time reading on it than you do in paper books. You don’t want to mess around with reading glasses, especially in the winter. I’m going to get you a new Kindle. No! I said, not a Kindle. A Nook then? he asked. No not a Nook either. What then? I don’t know, I said. Well, you think about it, he said.

I thought about it. He was right that I do use the ereader a lot and I was dreading trying to juggle book and glasses and mittens and lenses fogging up or getting scratched and all that. I was still reluctant though. Bookman insisted again and told me if I didn’t decide he would just get me a Kindle. No Kindle. Amazon bad. Plus, I am clearly a Kindle killer. I’ve already killed two this year and did not want to make it a trifecta.

The only other alternative to Kindle and Nook is Kobo. I looked at the Kobo website. Maybe a Kobo Touch? Bookman ordered one before I had time to make up reasons why I shouldn’t have one. Kobo is in Canada. It took two weeks for it to get here. It arrived Friday. It’s so tiny. I need to find a cover for it to protect it in my bag. Since I won’t start carrying it until I am finished with Being Wrong on the Kindle, I have time to find a cover.

Yesterday I did all the setup stuff with it and added a couple of public domain books. I played around with it to figure out how to highlight and turn pages and get the various menus and how to make the font bigger so I can read without my glasses. The touch screen is nice, though in comparison with my iPad its responsiveness is frustratingly slow especially when trying to highlight something. But it is e-ink and at least I can highlight things!

I think Kobo and I will get along just fine. I’ll be finishing up the book on Kindle and it can join its Kindle 2 friend in Digital Device Heaven. Then Kobo and I can begin what I hope will be a long and beautiful friendship.


Filed under: Books, ebooks, Kindle, Technology Tagged: Kobo

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4. Love print books but now packing for trips is easier. Used to spend hours choosing which books to take!

Have a great weekend, all! I'm off to OVFF. Here's my explanation of this "filk" thing I mention sometimes, in case you're curious.

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5. Large-Screen Nook Makes Its Debut

large nookSamsung and Barnes & Noble have developed a new big-screen version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. Customers can purchase it starting today at 650 Barnes & Noble brick-and-mortar stores and online.

According to the press release, this new NOOK features a 10.1-inch HD display which is the largest screen that has ever been made available on this device. It weighs 17.28 ounces.

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6. Walter Isaacson Named Keynote Speaker at the Digital Book World Conference + Expo

isaacsonw-100-sqrThe Innovators author Walter Isaacson will deliver the keynote speech at the Digital Book World Conference + Expo. Isaacson’s presentation will focus on “”Innovators, Collaborators and Change Agents of the Digital Revolution.”

More than 100 speakers will give talks throughout the event. It is set to take place from January 13th to 15th in New York City.

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7. Print Books Outsold Digital Books During the First 6 Months of 2014

nielsenNielsen Books & Consumer has released the results of a recent survey focusing on book sales from the first six months of 2014. According to the findings, 23% of unit sales went to eBooks, 25% of unit sales went to hardcovers, and 42% of unit sales went to paperbacks.

Here’s more from The Huffington Post: “Given the explosive growth of ebook sales since the launch of the Kindle in 2007, with increases in the triple digits for several years, many expected the paper book industry to remain in retreat for the foreseeable future. Recently, however, ebook gains seem to have stabilized with hardcover and paperback books still comfortably dominant.”

Last month, horror novelist Stephen King sat for an interview and shared his opinion that physical books are here to stay. King does not feel that print books will meet the same end as CDs or records. What’s your prediction?

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8. Scribd Subscribers Will Have Access to 15,000 Harlequin Titles

Scribd Logo 2Scribd and Harlequin have established a one-year agreement. Readers who use the company’s digital book subscription service will now have access to 15,000 of the publisher’s backlist titles.

The books will come from a plethora of imprints such as Harlequin Series Romance, HQN Books, MIRA Books and Carina Press. As of this time, Scribd currently boasts a count of more than 80 million active users.

Here’s more from the press release: “Featured bestselling authors include Debbie Macomber, Robyn Carr, Susan Wiggs, Heather Graham and Shannon Stacey. Scribd will also be making the full Harlequin catalog available for individual purchase in the Scribd retail store.”

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9. Happy 3rd Anniversary Musa Publishing...

COLOSSAL ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

with Musa Publishing
Grand Prize
$15.00 Musa Gift Certificate
6 Paperback Books
Baiting the Hook by Mary Palmer & David Wilton
Brothers in Crime by KM Rockwood
Legend of the Timekeepers by Sharon Ledwith
Indian Shirt Story by Heather Lockman
Pantheon by Josh Strnad Windy City Heat by Remi Hunter
1st Place Winner
$10.00 Musa Gift Certificate 6 Paperback Books
Baiting the Hook by Mary Palmer & David Wilton
Brothers in Crime by KM Rockwood
Legend of the Timekeepers by Sharon Ledwith
Indian Shirt Story by Heather Lockman
Pantheon by Josh Strnad Windy City Heat by Remi Hunter
2nd Place Winner
$5.00 Musa Gift Certificate 5 Paperback Books
Cairo in White by Kelly Ann Jacobson
Chasing Athens by Marissa Tejada
First Frost by Liz DeJesus
Who Wacked Roger Rabbit by Gary K. Wolf Windy City Heat by Remi Hunter
3rd Place Winner
5 Paperback Books
Cairo in White by Kelly Ann Jacobson
Chasing Athens by Marissa Tejada
First Frost by Liz DeJesus
Who Wacked Roger Rabbit by Gary K. Wolf Windy City Heat by Remi Hunter
Plus
Beginning October 1, 2014 we draw 2 winners a day and they will each receive 3 books
And
All participants receive a download of Cooking with Musa.
All entrants are eligible for Grand Prize and Other Drawings October 15, 2014
Winners announced October 16, 2014
Enter daily to win!
No particular order to the daily drawings for the books below
Random Survival by Ray Wenck TRUE blue by Susan Rae Chasra: The Homecoming by Joanne Hirase
Drowning Cactus by Carrie Russell To Catch A Fish by Mary Pamer & David Wilton Lies in Wait by Donna Del Oro
Question of Time by Mary S. Palmer Glass Frost by Liz DeJesus The Andersen Ancestry by Addie J. King
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Contest begins October 1, 2014 and ends midnight CST October 14, 2014. All winners announced October 16, 2014.
Winners who reside outside the Continental United States will receive their prize in e-book format.
All prizes must be claimed by October 20, 2014 or they are forfeited. Prizes will be shipped October 22, 2014.

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10. Digital New Adult Publishers to Check Out

entangled

PLEASE NOTE: The deals listed are only the deals reported to Publishers Marketplace between June 2013 and June 2014. Not all deals are reported.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Book Contracts, opportunity, Places to sumit, publishers, Publishing Industry, reference Tagged: Digital New Adult Deals, e-publishers to check out, ebooks, New Adult Publishers

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11. How We Feel About Amazon

Jason LowIn this post, Publisher Jason Low shares his feelings on the Amazon vs. Hachette battle, the future of publishing, and the view from here as a small publisher.

Since the great Amazon-Hachette feud of 2014 started this summer, many people have asked where we stand. It is no secret that we do business with Amazon—almost every publisher does. At the same time, what I see from Amazon, and where I see the book industry heading as a result, worries me.

To me, Amazon is a different animal. It is unlike any other corporation out there because of the way it treats the bottom line. The problem is, Amazon’s bottom line is growth, not profits. In sacrificing profits they have made a conscious decision to sell books at unsustainable prices, undercutting any and all competitors who are still operating under the profit model, which is everyone.

The consequences of this are twofold. First, it puts other companies out of business, straight and simple. We have seen the continual decrease in the number of independent and even chain bookstores over the last several years as Amazon increases its market share.

Second, selling books cheaply exacts a considerable price from the entire publishing industry. Books still require substantial capital to create, print, and ship. While the cost of doing business goes up, any price increases to help offset these costs are compromised by a major player who is not concerned with making money. Publishers are being squeezed for all they are worth, in a business that already operates with a great deal of risk and razor-thin margins.

Before Amazon, publishers and distributors had a symbiotic relationship. The distributors needed the books to sell and publishers relied on distributors to sell the books. Amazon is looking to upend this entire system.

Here is where I see the publishing industry in the next couple of years: Amazon will control the majority of retail bookselling. Currently, Amazon has 65% of all online book orders, which includes print and digital. As a result, they will have a say as to what gets published and will dictate book pricing. Can you tell me another industry where a distributor has this kind of control over content creators?

The Amazon-Hachette battle is a pivotal moment in our industry. If you are not familiar with this issue you should bring yourselves up to speed because this concerns everyone who cares about books. You should consider carefully the impact that rock bottom prices and free shipping will have on the publishing ecosystem in the near and long term. Here are a few good articles to start, which offer arguments on both sides:

As Publishers Fight Amazon, Books Vanish (NY Times)

Plot Thickens as 900 Writers Battle Amazon (NY Times)

Amazon vs. Hachette: What Would Orwell Think? (New Yorker)

In Defense of Amazon: An Author’s Dissent (Salon)

My Week as an Amazon Insider (The Guardian)

In Defense of Amazon (The New Republic)

Agree? Disagree? We’d love to hear your thoughts.


Filed under: Publishing 101 Tagged: Amazon, ebooks, Jason Low

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12. Josh Ashberry Overcomes eBook Poetry Issues

johnashberyEver since eBooks have come out, authors have been concerned about how their work is is represented in the digital format. This is an especially pertinent issue for poets, whose use of the line on the page is part of the work itself.

But as digital continues to evolve, eBook developers are better preserving line breaks and stanza spacing. Just ask John Ashbery. Just a few years back the poet demanded that four eBook collections of his poetry be pulled after the format mutilated the work. But the 87 year-old has not given up on the digital format and in conjunction with digital publishing house Open Road, has published 17 digital collections of his work. This time, the technology is much better than his first time out.  (more…)

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13. Fitness and Reading

I’m so excited about presenting at this year’s KidLitCon!

1:30-3   Getting Beyond Diversity and Getting to the Story

Edith Campbell Crazy Quilt Edi
Hannah Gómez  sarah HANNAH gómez
Jewell Parker Rhodes

While gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, or ability add to who we are, they do not define who we are. And these differences do not define our stories. How do we teach, discuss, or describe diverse books without making diversity the issue? Should we? How do we respond to the perception that ʺdiverse booksʺ are only for ʺdiverse peopleʺ and deliver book reviews and essays that highlight what makes books universal for those disinclined to think diversity is for them while acknowledging readers who need and deserve to find themselves in literature? Presenters Edith Campbell, Hannah Gómez, and author Jewell Parker Rhodes will deliver an interactive session with talking points, booktalks, strategies and much honest discussion.

IMG_2966

I garden! Isn’t kale gorgeous?

It’s an important opportunity to share my diversity message along with Hannah Gomez and Jewell Parker Rhodes. I am too outdone by these ladies!

It’s also an opportunity to meet folk in real life that I have known for years online, but never met in person, like Mitali Perkins, Natalie Mvondo, Charlotte Taylor and Laura Atkins. Will you be there? If so, please let me know!

I have several book reviews to write, some good, some not so much. I’m getting a lot of my reading done on the treadmill, elliptical and stationary bike these days. The better the book, the faster the time goes. Today’s read was Love Is The Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson. I went for an extra 10 minutes because of that book. It helps if the book is good, but some books, like some music are better for walking than others. The language in Bombay Blues by Tanuja Desai Hidier is so creative and expressive and the action so passive that it’s not a good read for the treadmill.

Fitness gurus generally say that treadmills and stationary bikes don’t provide the best exercise out there, but

Today!

Today!

I’m pretty sure they’re better than sitting on the sofa and reading.

It’s tough having reading and quilting as hobbies. They’re both time intensive and both require sitting and that’s not good for someone with a weight problem! Ebooks make reading easier to accomplish while working out, as I don’t have to find ways to hold pages down and books open. I suppose audiobooks would free me up

Two varieties of sweet potatoes; hundreds of those critters to harvest.

Two varieties of sweet potatoes; hundreds of those critters to harvest.

even more, but listening to a book is a completely different experience than reading.

My ereader of choice these days is my Nook reader. If at home, I’ll use my Surface. It has a very nice page display that will include images. However, turning pages can be tricky on it and, the Nook app doesn’t work requiring me to read through Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). I took the device to the gym once, accidentally left it and decided not to take it again.

I have read on my phone (the BlueFire App syncs to ADE) and would have no problem doing that again if I didn’t have another device available. It’s just too small for sustained reading. My Nook is a 1st generation that was giving to by my son and daughter in law. No color, horrible formatting, no images… but there is just something about that old thing that makes me love reading on it. I’ll upgrade it one day, but I’m certain I’ll probably have a dedicated ereader for occasional reading such as when traveling, exercising or if no other format is available.

I do have so many posts that come to mind, but now they seem more appealing as journal articles rather than blog posts. I know that some people do post on their blogs about their article ideas and they generate in-depth conversations that probably enhance the article when it is written. There’s also the possibility, though of someone snagging your great idea! I have mentioned some things here that I consider writing about, but it rarely (never!) turns into a conversation. Perhaps I’ll try again in the future. For now, I think I’ll get back to Love Is The Drug!

 

 


Filed under: Me Being Me Tagged: ebooks, gardening, nook, walking

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14. Happy Birthday Oyster: eBook Subscription Business Turns 1

oyster_iphone_book304eBook subscription service Oyster is turning 1! The venture-capital backed service lets readers pay $9.95 a month for access to as many eBooks as they can read. Since its launch last year, the playing field has gotten more competitive. Amazon launched a similar offering in July.
Over the past year, the Nexflix-for-books service has grown its list of 100,000 eBook titles to more than 500,000 titles and continues to grow its partnerships now counting more than 1,600 publisher partners. Their catalog includes works from more than 200,000 authors in 46 genres. At launch last year, the app was only available on iPhones, but is now available across iOS devices, on the web and on Android devices.
To celebrate their birthday, Oyster is running a Yearbook promotion calling readers to vote for their favorite books for the chance to win a free year’s subscription to the service.

 

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15. Curse You Kindle!

I hate you - I love you

I hate you – I love you

Once again my Kindle has turned on me! It has been behaving so well since I zapped it back to its original factory settings earlier this year. And now that I have been lulled into believing its rebellious days are behind us, it has gone rogue again. This time it has decided to blank out half the screen so that only text appearing on the bottom half of the screen is visible. I usually only read one book at a time on it but this week I began reading a second. I had both Far from the Madding Crowd and She going at the same time. I didn’t think that was too much to ask from Kindle. But maybe Kindle got stressed out and was feeling overworked? Whatever the case, it refuses to negotiate. Googling Kindle’s current half-screen strategy does not provide any hope that Kindle and I might be able to reconcile. I will attempt over the upcoming weekend to, once again, return it to its original settings. If that does not solve the problem then I am out of luck, Kindle will be dead to me.

Thing is, I don’t want it to be dead. We have had a relationship for five years and I am not prepared to move on. I don’t want to give up on Kindle, don’t want to replace it with another. If Kindle really does turn out to be done for, I am considering giving up on ereaders entirely. Kindles have gotten pretty inexpensive but if I am going to have to buy a new one every five years or so then I want no part of it. I would rather spend the same money on books that will never have a technological failure. Plus Kindle’s periodic fits make me all kinds of grumpy and woe to anyone who gets in my way. Bookman can attest to how pissed off I was when I left the house to catch my bus to the train station Wednesday morning. I’m afraid I blamed him for everything because he had just added a book I had mentioned I might like to read to Kindle. Poor Bookman!

I would get rid of Kindle in a heartbeat if, in spite of everything, I didn’t get something out of the relationship. Trouble is, I like Kindle because I can make the font just a little bigger so I can read on the metro train without having to fiddle with wearing my reading glasses. I can no longer read book print comfortably without glasses unless I hold the book at arm’s length and that just won’t do on the train. Plus Kindle is slim and light and fits easily in my bag without adding a lot of weight.

I feel caught in a dilemma. If Kindle refuses to come back to me, I don’t know what I will do. I grow weary of love-hate relationships and want peace and harmony. Kindle seems to feel differently. I guess I will have to wait and see if we can work out our problems over the weekend. If not, then I will decide what to do. Stupid Kindle.


Filed under: ebooks, Kindle

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16.

Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told me in my childhood than in any truth that is taught in life. ~ Johann Christoph Friedrich v. Schiller, German Poet (1759-1805) Using fairy tales, fables, and other story forms to guide and nurture our children. I’m very excited to announce the launch of my publishing site […]

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17. Former Amazon Books Editor Kevin Nguyen Joins Oyster

fte_mte_kevin._V376638312_Kevin Nguyen, former Editor at Amazon Books, has joined Oyster as Editorial Director. In his new role, he will spearhead new editorial initiatives and continue to evolve the brand’s content offerings.

“We believe the best product lies in the pairing of high-quality editorial with our work in personalization, data science, and design,” wrote Oyster CEO Willem Van Lancker in a blog post. ”I am excited to have Kevin join Team Oyster as we continue to innovate at the intersection of product, data, and editorial—connecting readers with books they would have otherwise never discovered.”

After 3.5 years at Amazon, Nguyen revealed in a post on Oyster’s blog that it was a tough decision to leave. However, he said that he wants to work at a place where people are passionate about reading — a mood that he feels is going away at Amazon. Check it out:  (more…)

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18. ‘The New World’ Turns Novel Into Digital Experience

Chris Adrian and Eli Horowitz, winners of the Webby & SXSW Interactive Awards for their digital novel The Silent History, have a new digital novel out from Atavist Books that pushes the boundaries of the published word.

The story and the user experience of The New World  reflect the digital experience. The book tells the tale of a tragic love story between two doctors. The storytelling concept was conceived in cyclical structure, and is comprised of three cycles. Readers can swipe between pages and follow the story in different directions based on how they swipe. The reader reads through Cycle #1 and when they are finished, the content page reappears revealing Cycle #2.

Content-wise the story in Cycle #2 moves backwards in time, as readers swipe in the opposite direction. Readers might get the sense that the book has ended with Cycle #2, but once they have completed the text, Cycle #3 appears. This section of the book is read scrolling downwards.

 

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19. Reading Online: How will it affect developing readers?

I read with interest a recent New Yorker article, Being a Better Online Reader by Maria Konnikova, and I would love to explore my thoughts on this article. We all are reading much more online than we did ten years ago, but how is this affecting the way young children are developing as readers? How is this affecting the way teachers and librarians help students learn to read, discover a love of reading, and develop their critical thinking skills?


Over the past several years, I have observed these changes:
  • most adults read for work online -- mainly on desktop or laptop computers
  • many adults read for pleasure using digital devices, like the iPad, Kindle or Nook
  • most children (ages 7-12) read primarily print books when reading for pleasure or school
  • students are learning to research online, starting at about age 8-9
  • standardized tests are shifting to online assessments
I feel very strongly that if we are going to start assessing students online, then we need to provide specific experiences and instruction for reading online. Explicit instruction is crucial -- it is unfair to assume that our children are "digital natives" and learn through osmosis how to read online. If we make those assumptions, we will simply reinforce the digital divide that is created by unequal opportunities and access.

Konnikova points out that the way we read online is different than the way we read in print. She steers clear of passing judgment, but rather ponders how this affects the way we acquire knowledge. Konnikova writes,
On screen, people tended to browse and scan, to look for keywords, and to read in a less linear, more selective fashion. On the page, they tended to concentrate more on following the text. Skimming, Liu concluded, had become the new reading: the more we read online, the more likely we were to move quickly, without stopping to ponder any one thought.
I would argue that this skimming is an essential skill for coping with the huge amount of information we have to sift through online. We need to teach our students how we skim effectively. But we also need to talk with them about strategies for when we discover a nugget -- how we need to consciously slow down to digest the information.

Later, Konnikova looks at research that has explored this point -- that we need to teach our students explicit online reading skills:
Julie Coiro, who studies digital reading comprehension in elementary- and middle-school students at the University of Rhode Island, has found that good reading in print doesn’t necessarily translate to good reading on-screen. The students do not only differ in their abilities and preferences; they also need different sorts of training to excel at each medium. The online world, she argues, may require students to exercise much greater self-control than a physical book.
I have noticed this with my own daughter, whose high school is now one-to-one iPad. She likes reading her English texts online because she can annotate them well, but she prefers to read in print if she is just absorbing and enjoying a book.

Schools must specifically teach students in 4th grade and above how to apply their reading skills to digital reading. Starting in elementary school, they need to practice researching online and teachers need to talk about how this might be different from reading a print book. It is essential that our schools invest in technologies, so that teachers and students can learn these skills. But I would also argue that it's essential for schools to invest in librarians who understand this intersection between reading, information and digital experiences.

Adults often ask me if kids will continue reading print books. I believe the answer is absolutely yes. First of all, there's access and quantity issues. Children in first through third grade need to read 10-20 short books every week. They want to browse through physical copies. Schools, libraries and families need access to inexpensive paperbacks. Even highly digital affluent families are reluctant to continue purchasing ebooks at this rate.

I would also argue that there is something more tangible, more comforting, more reassuring for young kids holding print books. Konnikova quotes Maryann Wolf, author of Proust and the Squid, as saying “Physical, tangible books give children a lot of time." Young children need that time. Families need that time.

It is interesting that I read this article online, following a link suggested by KQED's Mindshift blog. But I returned to it several times, reading it in different chunks, rereading it, skimming it again. This type of repeated reading might be what our students need to get comfortable doing, taking the time to dive into ideas and ponder them.

As you watch your children and your students, are you noticing that they are reading digitally more than they were a few years ago? Is the way they are reading changing? The digital world certainly brings more opportunities within easy reach for many students, but how are we preparing them to take advantage of those opportunities?

©2014 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

0 Comments on Reading Online: How will it affect developing readers? as of 8/5/2014 3:24:00 AM
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20. Scribd Redesigns Browser For eBook Subscription Service

eBook subscription service Scribd has redesigned its browser experience. The goal is to make shopping around for books to read more akin to the physical world than the digital world. For example, the new browser features niche shelves, guest curated collections and personalized staff picks, as a physical bookstore would have.

The Scribd library has more than 500,000 titles available to subscribers who pay $9.99 a month. The new browser lets readers search for titles based on keywords including “Arthurian Legends,” “Private Eye Mysteries Set In LA,” or “Nordic Noir” rather than simply fiction & literature or nonfiction.

The idea is to make it feel like you are talking to someone in a bookstore who might give a more personalized recommendation. “Our goal with the new browse experience was to retain the same human touch that we have come to love about personal recommendations from a trusted friend, but use the power of technology to extend it to our catalog of over 500,000 books,” explained Jared Friedman, co-founder and CTO of Scribd, in a statement.

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21. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: August 8

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include book lists, growing bookworms, ebooks, apps, KidLitCon, Cybils, reading, schools, libraries, and summer reading.

Books and Authors

I can't believe that people are protesting The Scarecrows' Wedding b/c the bad guy smokes http://ow.ly/zYVlU via @bkshelvesofdoom

Children’s Lit Questions From Beyond the Grave: A Wild Things! Interview of @SevenImp + @FuseEight by @100scopenotes http://ow.ly/zZ2fS

Book Lists

es! RT @BookChook: @JensBookPage Think u wd like: @BooksBabiesBows Ten Reasons to Read Aloud During Times of Tragedy http://www.booksbabiesandbows.com/2014/06/ten-reasons-to-read-aloud-during-times.html?spref=tw …

New Stacked #BookList and general thoughts from Kimberly on Matriarchal Societies http://ow.ly/zZ2a2 #yalit

Stacked: Get Genrefied: Climate Fiction (Cli-Fi) http://ow.ly/zVYbo #yalit @catagator #BookList

Top Ten Novels in Verse by @katiestrawser @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/zTWpJ #kidlit

THIS is a great resource | Easy Reader Books That Are Actually Easy, selected by @momandkiddo http://ow.ly/zVXDe

Nice list of Back to School Books for different ages from @bankstreetedu http://ow.ly/zTSEw via @ChoiceLiteracy

Children's and YA books featuring unlikely friendships from the SSHEL #Library http://ow.ly/zRc5C #BookList

5 Superhero Comics with Girl Power | Friday’s Five @5M4B http://ow.ly/zRbP1

25 Contemporary Picture Books To Help Parents, Teachers, And Kids Talk About #Diversity @buzzfeed http://ow.ly/A1RrK via @FuseEight

eBooks and Apps

Eight Apps to Support Early Reading and Writing | Cool Tools @ShiftTheDigital http://ow.ly/zZv6r

Important thoughts from @MaryAnnScheuer | Reading Online: How will it affect developing readers? http://ow.ly/zZ0ED

Smartphones: The Silent Killer Of The Web As You Know It @ow at The Next Web via @cmirabile http://ow.ly/zRkWL

Growing Bookworms

Great advice from @TrevorHCairney | Helping toddlers to develop reading comprehension http://ow.ly/zVXip #literacy

#RT @ReadAloud_org Babies are born learning and parents are a child's first and most important teacher. Download our 15 Books & Tips http://www2.readaloud.org/15ReadAloudTips

Raising Readers: The Power of Rereading from @SunlitPages http://ow.ly/zZ37Y #literacy

10 easy tips for keeping the love of books alive in an early childhood classroom | @NorahColvin http://ow.ly/zYW43

Kidlitosphere

On Poetry Friday, @JoneMac53 has A Couple of Announcements about #KidLitCon + the call for #Cybils judges http://ow.ly/zRdZ3

Various interesting #kidlit tidbits in: Morning Notes: See You in 2114 Edition — @100scopenotes http://ow.ly/A56VN

Kidlit PictureRT @KidLitCon: Check out some of the people who will be at this year's #KidLitCon. Will you be there, too? http://t.co/pk1Xzlpcpw

A #Kidlitcon program teaser @charlotteslib (+a note that the deadline for panel ideas has been extended a week) http://ow.ly/zTWrA

Congratulations to @FuseEight + @SevenImp on the publication of Wild Things! Lots of fun stuff planned http://ow.ly/zYXuu

At A Year of Reading, @MaryLeeHahn + @frankisibberson are Celebrating the fabulous @KateMessner http://ow.ly/zRcCR

On Reading, Writing, and Publishing

"Being readers makes us friends" | Happy Esther Day, Nerdy Friends! | @CBethM @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/zTVLN

Gorgeous post on The State of Photography Illustration in 2014 @100scopenotes http://ow.ly/zRewm #kidlit

Interesting: Wikipedia, Amelia Bedelia, and Our Responsibility Regarding Online Sources — @fuseeight http://ow.ly/zRd6s

Programs and Research

New @RalphLauren program has designs to promote kids' #Literacy, 25% of price goes to @ReachOutAndRead http://ow.ly/zYSvJ @Scholastic

Very nice, from SFC Blog: The Y Helps Kids Combat ‘Summer Slide’ http://ow.ly/A1QVQ via @FuseEight #literacy

Scientists Say Child's Play Helps Build A Better Brain, more important than class time | @NPR http://ow.ly/A5lT5  via @PWKidsBookshelf

Schools and Libraries

Love it! A Librarian's Guide to getting to 10,000 Steps in a day from @abbylibrarian http://ow.ly/zTWjU

TEN TIPS FOR A PERFECT AUTHOR VISIT at school by Michael Shoulders | @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/zYWTv #kidlit

Nice idea to encourage reading outside of class | The Phenomenon of the 100 Page Club @stephaseverson @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/zVXYK

Summer Reading

Rocking #SummerReading and STEAM @RIFWEB http://ow.ly/A56jG

#SummerReading Tip36 @aliposner | As we head into August, take a moment to reflect on your kids’ reading lives | http://ow.ly/zTW4c

#SummerReading Tip37 @aliposner | When in transit to your destination this summer, establish some no technology time http://ow.ly/zTWgh

#SummerReading Tip38 @aliposner | Parents of boys, pay special attention to your boys’ reading this summer http://ow.ly/zZ2QI

#SummerReading Tip39 @aliposner | Consider motivating summer reading with some great graphic novels! http://ow.ly/A2GJN

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

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22. Copywriting–3 Things You Must Know About Content Writing

Writing Web content is rewarding for many reasons. You […]

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23. Kindle Flare

Most of you are probably aware by now that I have a plain old e-ink Kindle and that I read on it five days a week during my public transit commute to and from work as well as during my lunch break. When I first started reading on a Kindle five years ago there was hardly anyone one else on the metro train who had an ereader. In fact, I’d frequently have people ask me questions about mine. Now there are so many people reading on ereaders, tablets, phones and iPods that the people actually carrying books are outnumbered.

As someone who loves to spy and see what people are reading, with the increase of digital devices it has become difficult. Though there was a woman yesterday next to me on the train who was obviously reading over my shoulder. It wouldn’t have been so annoying if she had been a bit more surreptitious about it. It was so bad I almost tilted my screen towards her a little and asked if that was better for her. I doubt she was able to figure out what I was reading — Willa Cather’s The Troll Garden. I have considered taping a piece of paper with the title of my book to the inside of my Kindle cover so when I am reading the curious reader will not be left wondering, but I’ve never gotten around to it.

But now The Onion reports the release of the Kindle Flare, a Kindle that will loudly and repeatedly tell everyone what you are reading. And, if you are reading something you aren’t so very proud of, it has an “explanation mode” where it will explain that yes you know the book is trash but you are also reading Infinite Jest.

My favorite feature, however, is “bookshelf mode.” In bookshelf mode you can place your Kindle on you now empty bookshelves (because, you know, you don’t need to buy print books any longer) and it will run through a list of all the books on your Kindle. So it is still possible to impress your friends at parties by the books on your virtual shelves.

I think I’ve got to get me one of those Kindle Flares!

If you haven’t figured it out by now, this is a joke produced by the satirical newspaper The Onion. Unfortunately, The Onion and WordPress would not let me embed the video, so you will need to click on the link above to have a good laugh. Enjoy!


Filed under: Books, ebooks, Humor, Kindle

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24. Test an EPUB File With FlightDeck

Formatting a Word file into an EPUB file that works well across the different eBook stores can be a challenge. Firebrand Technologies has a new tool designed to help authors and publishers overcome any formatting issues. The service is called FlightDeck and it allows users to run quality checks in EPUB 2 and EPUB 3 files.

The tool allows you to see whether or not your EPUB files will be accepted by eBook retailers and distributors including: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google, Kobo and NetGalley. The tool was built with insights from these partners and includes some of the same validation checks that their own in-house systems use when determining whether or not to accept a file.

FlightDeck has been in open beta for the past couple of months but is now widely available. The service offers one-off pricing and bulk pricing. You can test one book for $35.00 and 500 books for $5000, with varying price points in between.

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25. Capstone Inks Distribution Deal With Scribd’s eBook Service

Children’s publisher Capstone Young Readers has signed a distribution agreement with eBook subscription service Scribd. The partnership brings 500 new children’s eBooks to the platform, expanding Scribd’s children’s selection significantly.

This includes titles from Capstone’s licensing partnerships with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment. Titles include: You Choose: Scooby-Doo, Sports Illustrated Kids Rookie Books, Sports Illustrated Kids Graphic Novels and Sports Illustrated Kids Victory School Superstars, as well as Tony Hawk books. The selection also includes a number of toddler and picture books.

Scribd competitor Oyster added kids books to its collection back in February. Their collection includes Disney books.

 

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