Monday, Monday

That means time for news reports from long ago . . .

This time we'll be quoting from the Feb 29, 1896

HENRY HOLT & Co. announce "Emma Lou, Her book," edited by Mis Mary M Mears. It is the diary, during her sixteenth year, of an ingenious Western girl, who by her highly serious and lofty views of life supplies an unconscious element of humor.

MR. AUSTIN, assistant librarian, in cataloguing the fine Dante collection presented to Cornell University b Prof. Willard Fiske, found some live bookworms in an edition of the "Divine Comedy" bearing the date MDXXXVI. "This is the third time only," according to the New York Evening Post, "that these rare insects have been found in an American library. Carefully removing the worms, which were eating from front to back, and had only reached the front pages of the 'Inferno,' Mr. Austin took them to Prof. Comstock of the entomological department. There, after making sure that they were genuine bookworms, they were developed, and, having secured the beetles, they were bred from until there were sufficient eggs, bookworms and beetles for the university museum, and enough more to make Mr. Austin a present of a good-sized vial of each."

And on the news that Reed Elsevier is looking to sell Reed Information and that our beloved Publishers Weekly may go completely online. . . we will accept it as rumor until we hear otherwise.

Until next week. . .

How to do the how to do things that you do

Via Shelf Awareness, which you should be reading every day-

The Bookseller magazine has announced the shortlist for the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year:

  • I Was Tortured By the Pygmy Love Queen

  • How to Write a How to Write Book

  • Are Women Human? And Other International Dialogues

  • Cheese Problems Solved

  • If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs

  • People who Mattered in Southend and Beyond: From King Canute to Dr Feelgood

want more? Including short descriptions of the book mentioned above, and a chance to vote? Go here.



Pure print

From the current issue of Shelf Awareness:

"Ah, the smell of pure print."--Spoken after a deep breath by a 10-year-old boy as he came into the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop in Mequon, Wis., on Monday. The moment "made me smile along with the customers and booksellers who saw and heard him," Pattie Cox of Schwartz wrote, adding that Monday was the boy's birthday, and his parents had brought him to the store for a treat.

It has that "hang in there" feeling to it. And sometimes we need to see that kitten urging us to stay the course.


Feel like a librarian

Even though I've been here close to a year(!), this announcement is the first time I feel like an honest-to-goodness librarian.


For me.


The questionable characters news from long ago

it's Monday and that means time for some news from long ago.

Today's entry was part of Publishers Weekly #1620, the Valentine's Day edition from 1903.


ALL printing establishments in Turkey according to a new law just passed, may have only one door, and that opening on to the street. Windows must be covered with close-meshed wire netting, so that no papers can be handed through. A statement must be made a year in advance of the amount of ink required, which will be supplied by the state. A specimen of everything printed is to be kept, and must be shown at any time to a police inspector on pain of a fine.


"ANGUS McNEILL," whose nationality and identity have been questioned, is said to come of a hunting family and lives near Evesham, in Worcestershire. He is said to be a sportsman himself, and to have been for a number of years a resident of England.


THE order of arrest obtained by David Belasco for Mrs. Bertram Babcock ("Onoto Watanna") was vacated on the 6th inst. by Justice Leventritt, in the Supreme Court, because of proof of affidavit that a sufficient cause of action existed was defective.

E.P. DUTTON & Co. have just published "The Truth and Error of Christian Science," by M. Carta Sturge, a Cambridge graduate, with a preface by Canon Scott Holland. Some of the conclusions are not altogether flattering to the cause of Christian Science, but they are of undoubted significance as they author has given the matter very serious study.


THE impression is certainly bound to grow that there exists some wag in the remote regions of the undefined West who amuses himself by sending in unconscionable orders to staid publishers in the East. The latest instance is the receipt by Harper & Bros. of an order for "Napoleon, the Last Faze of Rosenberg," and :Heroine of Affection," by Howls.



Thought organization

Taking a break from creating ISBDs for my Descriptive Cataloging class.
Switch windows from Cataloger's Desktop to Google reader.
Cleaned out most of the reference posts.
"Unread" some of the articles I wanted to look at later on FRBR, copyright (have first copyright class for WP690a on Thursday), and e-books.
Then I read an article on Publishing 2.0 that I looked at earlier and decided I didn't have the headspace to sit and read the whole article. Decided the looks of 1,000 word entry was just too much earlier in the day.

But then I stopped, focused on the article and read the whole thing through.

The article was on a change from linear thought to networked thoughts. The article is a really short essay by Scott Karp on how he no longer reads linear literature and relates it to Evan Schnittman's article from earlier this week about using an e-reader on a plane and how convenient it is, but still gave Evan something to think about in terms of the publishing biz and e-readers. he also goes in to the recent NEA study that people aren't reading (books) anymore.

At least with the NEA article he points out that the NEA is only considering printed. complete books.

I was passive in my reading of the article, since I read 1-3 articles from publishing/ content bloggers (sorry, I can't think of a better descriptor right now, but it is only there to define the point of publication, in comparison to a reprint of an article from paper media), until I came upon this:
We still retain an 18th Century bias towards linear thought. Non-linear thought — like online media consumption — is still typically characterized in the pejorative: scattered, unfocused, undisciplined.

And that's when I had to respond here as things began clicking for me.

This is something that's I've been thinking about, especially when talking to my students in my e-publishing class. In the surveys they fill out at the beginning of the semester they admitted they don't read online. This is the second semester I've used the survey and the students have responded that they don't read online. I always read the results as the students saying they don't read complete books online. But after going over the basic expectations for class, it turns out most of the students weren't using any kind of RSS reader or bookmarking sites.


So here are my students- graduate students for an esteemed publishing program who were eager to learn about e-publishing and I was feeling a giant disconnect with them. It wasn't until reading Scott's article that I realized I've been working on "networked" thought for the past 5 years and I have this preconceived notion that most digital natives have had the same kind of training, but it's become apparent to me that linear reading/ linear thought is more than the predominant method of "learning." Even for students who have always know e-mail, online library catalogs, online articles, blogs, they still generally view this material in a linear fashion.

And there's the rub. How many people have left behind linear thought? It's a hard jump to make as we spend most of our schooling training to be linear. I don't think it's something natural, but necessary as all our information was constructed in a line for the past few hundred years. Now that we no longer rely on linear construction, we need to start thinking about learning in a non-linear fashion and I don't think it's as easy as the internet would have us believe.


Back to simpler times . . .

It's Monday and that means time to look at some breaking stories from the 19th Century, courtesy of Publishers Weekly.

This week's news comes from issue 1358, February 5, 1898.

LAIRD & LEE, Chicago, have issued a useful "Combination Memorandum Book" for the vest-pocket. It contains a calendar for 1898 and 1899, identification card, reminders for daily use, help in accidents, weather signals, poison antidotes, postal rates, interest laws and tables, population of States and cities, value of foreign coins, electoral votes, presidents, States and territories, wars of the United States, weights and measures, cash book, etc.

A MAN who gives himself all sorts of famous names and represents himself as the son of any number of distinguished men, but who has lately appeared as Edward Epps, and has described himself as the brother-in-law of Alma Tadema, has been swindling New Yorkers prominent in literature or art out of all sorts of commodities, ranging from a good square meal to considerable sums of money. Mr. Epps is a young man, slight in build, with a pale complexion and blond hair and moustache. Sometimes a consumptive cough forms part of his stock in trade.

FRANCIS P. HARPER, New York, has in press an illustrated work of considerable interest to book-lovers, librarians, and naturalists, entitled "Facts about Bookworms, their history in literature and work in libraries," by rev. J.F. O'Conor, S.J., former librarian of Georgetown College. The author has gathered a vast amount of curious information about these destructive little creatures and skillfully interwoven them with anecdotes and quotations from ancient and modern writers. No less that 72 specimens of various kinds of bookworms have been discovered and studied under the microscope. The appendix consists of entomological notes. The entire edition is limited to 750 numbered copies.

SCRANTON, PA.- W.H. Anderson, bookseller, is selling out.


What's in a name?

Lolita Midsleeper Combi

It's not everyday that furniture manufacturers use literature to name their product lines, and that seems to upset some parents. Silly parents, the furniture won't act like some kind of osmotic Cliff Notes, your child will still need to read Nabokov to know how to act like Loli.

I think I'm more upset about this quote than I am about the unfortunate decision to name some furniture after a fictional character- "Am I being particularly sensitive, or does anyone else out there think it’s bad taste for Woolies to have a kiddy bed range named ‘Lolita’?"

Woolies? Maybe if you stopped abbreviating everything to make it sound cute. . .

If only Ikea started a line based on famous literary characters. Sign me up for the Raskolnikov night stand and the Anna Karenina wardrobe.

They could always rename the furniture as the Naomi midsleeper combi, at least that way most parents wouldn't even have a clue. . .

And now I'm sure I've doomed myself to countless hits from less-than-reputible Humbert Humberts.

Quick someone call Chris Hansen.