Choose

When I was a kid, the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series was one of the most popular set of books in our school library. If they didn’t have one of the books, I either went to our public library, or convinced someone to get me to a bookstore so I could buy the one I was looking for. It wasn’t just “one” book; each one could be read over and over, each time with a different path and a different ending. These were popular with everyone I knew, and it’s not surprising that they’ve kept up their popularity with young readers even today.

choose

The creator of the series, R. A. Montgomery, recently passed away at the age of 78 at his home in Vermont. He was a vital part of the series, including the website, and even went forth to create a series of video games that became popular in the 1980’s. I’m sure that the newer books have been written by a number of authors, but Montgomery will always be a vital part of the series, and readers will miss him.

We often get asked for these in the library, or something similar, even today. The outdated book covers aren’t even a deterrent for kids, which is unusual in this day of modern covers. It’s the idea of the this type of reading….being able to move back and forth through a book, making choices like they are a part of the outcome, that draws young readers in and keeps them coming back.  I think an adult version of this would be fun.

Did you read these when you were younger? Or are your children fans of the series?  We’d love to hear what you think!

Published in: on November 19, 2014 at 3:41 am  Comments (2)  
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The Book Olympics!

If you’ve ever wondered how those books you read are bought and sold right from the start, this could be for you. Each year, there are large book fairs held throughout the United States, as well as in Germany and other places overseas. At these book fairs, agents, publishers, authors and editors meet over the course of a few days to wheel and deal. Popular books are sold to foreign publishers, agents bring their latest and greatest finds and try to sell them off to potential publishing houses, and yes, there are even some great author readings and signings. If you’re lucky enough to be in one of these cities during a book fair, you might take in a workshop or get in a long line to have that best-seller signed by a favourite author. It’s an exciting time, for both authors, publishers and readers.

pbs-master675Miami Dade College

PBS has decided they’ll try something fun this year and stream live coverage of the Miami Book Fair on their station November 21st – 23rd.  Producers are promising it to be Olympic-style coverage, with popular hosts dropping into various venues and events throughout the course of the fair. While it’s never really been done before, PBS knows their audience base has a high percentage of readers, and they felt this would appeal to viewers, even though book fairs generally are not the source of wild publicity.

You can read more about the event on PBS here.

 

Published in: on November 13, 2014 at 3:27 am  Leave a Comment  
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Letters

If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to receive a letter in the mail from a famous author, wonder no more! Now you can subscribe to a really interesting program through The Rumpus called “Letters in the Mail”.

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Twice each month, you’ll receive a letter from a famous author….in the mail! Yes, they’ll be real letters, although photocopied. Some are hand-written, some typed, and some even include illustrations. The best thing? They include a return address, so you can always write back to the author, if you’re so inclined. It doesn’t cost much to subscribe, and it might be a fun idea for that special person if you’re thinking about gift giving for the holidays. They even have a kids version for your favourite bibliophile!

Prices are $6/month US, and a bit more if you live outside of the United States, but it’s still worth it. Isn’t this a fun idea? You can read more about the whole program here and sign up.

Published in: on November 5, 2014 at 3:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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Ghomeshi Book Cancelled

In wake of allegations of abuse towards women by former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi, Penguin Canada has decided to terminate its contract with him and will not publish his next book. It seems that each day, new details arise about Ghomeshi and the women he dated or had contact with while at work on his popular radio program, Q. The CBC chose to terminate his position with the company, and now there are lawsuits being filed and more women coming forward, so it makes sense that Penguin would want to distance themselves from the announcer.

19821982 by Jian Ghomeshi

However, in light of many scandals over the years, I wonder if this is premature. Canadians are a non-confrontational bunch and might not see that a tell-all book after the conclusion of this mess as something they’d want to be associated with, but let’s face it….scandal sells. And in light of how much the publishing business is changing, it might not be a bad thing for Penguin to keep him on their roster, at least for now. We need these money-making traditionally published books to build funds and presence for publishing houses so that smaller books can be bought and sold without the company facing losses.

If Penguin doesn’t reconsider, or can’t change the contract, I’m sure someone will snatch Ghomeshi up soon enough to write his own side of the story–whether he’s telling it from the comfort of his living room or from behind bars.

What do you think? Would you read a tell-all by Ghomeshi? Or are you tired of his story already? Leave us a comment……..

Published in: on November 4, 2014 at 3:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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Frivolous Friday Fun!

Some fun from the Nashville Public Library!  Get a library card, wherever you are!

Published in: on October 17, 2014 at 3:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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Technology at the Library

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Electronic resources are popular at the library, both eBooks and Audiobooks. And while we like to make our patrons feel secure in being able to download either one to any kind of device (computer, phone, tablet etc.), it’s not always as straight forward as it should be. But trust me, originally, it was way, way more difficult.

When eBooks and Audiobooks first arrived through the Over Drive website, you needed to download a small program, register for an Adobe ID, have all of your computer equipment up to date, and then make sure you accepted all of the conditions when downloading your books. Of course, it also requires a library card number and PIN, both of which you can get from the library.  Sounds simple, right?

Next, once you had everything installed on your computer, it was simple enough to do a search and select a book. If you weren’t on high speed internet, it wasn’t impossible, but took a little more time to download, especially those audiobooks. But you could do that here at the library…providing you didn’t mind wiping everything off of your iPod when you began the download (yes, public access computers made things a bit tricky). Then, if everything went well, your book was downloaded into your program, where you could then plug in your iPod or eReader and transfer it over.  That could take a bit of doing, as well. Some of the devices required certain functions to happen in a particular order (ie…plug in the USB cord first to your device, then to your computer etc.).  And teaching people to drag and drop a book into Adobe Digital Editions (as well as helping them to navigate the software if it opened in a different configuration was always fun), the whole thing sort of lost its shine.

With the invention of tablets and apps in general, things have changed quite a bit. Now, with most newer devices, you can download a small program and the eBook or audiobook simply downloads straight into the app. No separate programs for each type of electronic resource, and not much in the way of registration (except for the Adobe ID, which they’ve now eliminated for new users!).  Yes, there are still people who are using their computers to listen to or read books, but many of us like the portability of smaller devices.

What remains a bit frustrating—-and something that’s difficult to explain to new users, especially when we tell them “it’s easy!”—–is that not everything goes smoothly. We could install the same apps on the same type of devices for five people in a row….and run into different problems with each one. Keep in mind, we all install different updates, run different programs that might interfere in some way, and purchase our devices at different times. What might be standard on the first issue of a tablet might be upgraded slightly in a few months, even though it is technically the same device. So, keep all of that in mind when downloading your electronic resources. It’s not always perfectly simple, but hopefully, we can get you there without many issues.

Similarly, any updates to the app or to your device might also render some new steps or a new look when using OverDrive. Have patience….if you experiment a bit, sometimes you’ll learn more about how to do things than coming in for help. But, we’re always here to give you some assistance, so please drop by anytime.  If it looks like it might be a difficult issue, you can always call and make an appointment with us so we can spend a bit more time.

If you haven’t been using electronic resources, why not start now?  Drop by the OverDrive website to get started!

Published in: on October 16, 2014 at 3:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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