Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ereaders - a tool to use while traveling

Jonathan Rees writes a post "When your books aren't really yours" (http://moreorlessbunk.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/when-your-books-arent-really-yours/). He says he has decided to take an extra backpack filled with print books rather than succumb purchasing an ereader. He plans on abandoning the print books in Korea rather than drag them back home. So is print precious or not? I suppose someone else might get use out of the copies he leaves behind, but otherwise, he's simply discarding books. He mentions a print book he owns that contains his dad's marginalia. I presume he wasn't going to take that book on the trip. I'm don't get it. Why not learn to use an ereader - a great tool to use while on a trip? It can be the right gadget for that purpose. Leave those print books at home where weight and bulk don't matter.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Oprah Book Club 2.0 - A MOOC

Oprah Book Club 2.0 http://www.oprah.com/packages/oprahs-book-club-2.html

Oprah has started her Book Club up again. The Digital Reader Morning Coffee - 4 June 2012 - had a link to the New York Times video about Oprah's new interactive online book club.

Can we think of Oprah's Book Club as a MOOC? I'm impressed with how many options there are for learning about the book from the Oprah, the author, and her readers and for sharing comments.

First pick for the new book club: Cheryl Strayed. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. The book is autobiographical - Strayed's of her hiking the Pacific Crest Trail at age 26 after the death of her mother. Strayed had no experience as a long-distance hiker and the journey chronicles her physical and emotional journey on the trail. The book is available in all kinds of digital editions - and in print. There are detailed instructions on getting the ebook from various sources. I went for the Kindle edition which is marked (Oprah's Book Club 2.0) The Oprah ebook editions are lightly highlighted and ends with a list of the highlights with annotations - Oprah's reactions to the highlighted passages. There is also a list of discussion questions at the end of the book. The Guide (E-Reader Extras) are also available online at the Book Club site.

Participants are invited to form virtual book clubs: "Form a virtual book club on GroupMe; watch video interview with the author, what readers are saying around the world, go behind the scenes with Oprah's Book Club 2.0"

What about other social media? "Using Mass Relevance Companion to capture and display the best conversations, Tweets, posts, and photos all in one place. To participate, just add the hashtag #oprahsbookclub to your tweets and Instagram photos." Participants are urged to send an Instagram photo of their favorite place to read. Follow @Oprah @CherylStrayed

Also online at the Book Club site: There is a list of the 60 print books from the original Book Club.

O Magazine for July 2012 is laced with information about Oprah's Book Club 2.0. The Book Club is highlighted on the front cover with the page number for the article. Oprah publishes a "What I Know for Sure" essay on the last page of every issue of O Magazine. Magazine. The July 2012 issue's last page "What I know for sure" is devoted to Oprah's embrace of ereaders as useful devices. She says that she is still fond of print books, but loves the ability to go online and buy a book and download it in an instant. She likes using her ereader when she travels.

Opposite her essay: an ad for the Kindle Fire.

I've received the Book Club's June 12, 2012 newsletter. Strayed discussions writers block. There's a section "how to write your memoir." There's a link to video with Strayed talking to Oprah about the book. There's a place to submit questions to Oprah about the book.

Sunday, July 22 at 11/10c: Oprah's television interview with Cheryl Strayed on "Super Soul Sunday".

Lots of ways in and lots of options to participate in discussions about this book.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Twitter Short Story by Jennifer Egan

I've been reading the New Yorker science fiction issue (June 4 and June 11, 2012.) Jennifer Egan has done a Twitter short story Black Box - broadcast on Twitter over a few days. Kirtley at Underwire hopes that it's the start of a return to serial fiction. http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/05/jennifer-egan-black-box-twitter/ I saw part of the story on the New Yorker's Page-Turner (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/ for June 2, 2012) and then after following @pageturner on Twitter, found the tweets. Did Twitter work for me as a way to convey this story? No... I didn't happen upon the tweets coming out in real time so I found myself reading the tweets backwards. Would it have worked if I were following the tweets in real time? Maybe. (How do I follow one person's tweets updating without seeing everyone else's tweets interspersed? I seem to be lacking some Twitter expertise.) Did the short tweets on the site at Page-Turner work for me? Not really. I had a really difficult time reading the sentences that were split in two in what seemed a extremely arbitrary way since some of the sentences were already very short. The breaks didn't seem poetic to me - maybe more like code that I was forced to break. Nevertheless I had a feeling that there was something going on with the story so I overcame my initial frustration. Once I finally saw the whole piece published in the New Yorker in print, I really got into the story!

William Gibson did a short piece in that same issue of the New Yorker about how he got into reading science fiction: Olds Rocket 88, 1950.(http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/06/04/120604fa_fact_gibson) Now I'm trying to remember how *I* got into reading science fiction. I'm not certain! There were some Oldsmobiles in our family during the same time period. Maybe that was it! However I think it might have been Jules Verne and on from there.