Kindle- Day 1

About two months ago I was asked to participate in the development of a professional staff grant for the college on getting Amazon Kindles. Earlier this month the grant committee approved our grant request for two Kindles.

The idea behind the grant was to start playing with Kindles to see what issues and problems they present to a library. We also hope to explore the opportunities electronic readers may present.

The Kindles arrived today! And we added 4 titles from Amazon as samples.

I took one of the Kindles home and used Stanza to upload some PDFs for reading on the Kindle.

I hope to start using this blog to record my experiences with the kindle.

Initial reactions:

  1. The reading experience is really smooth. I started reading The Story of Edgar Sawtell on my ride home and quickly read through several pages. The reading experience is even better than I thought. I know e-ink provided an experience well beyond what the old e-readers did, but I'm still surprised at how nice it looks on the screen.
  2. Converting PDF is going to be a big issue. Stanza does not do a great job and Amazon's conversion is "experimental." I'll have to try Amazon's conversion later. Stanza does provide a way to get the content on the screen but all the formatting is lost or altered. This is not a fault of Stanza as it is a beta program and I will continue to use it for the trial period, but it's still not ideal and not something I would feel comfortable using on a device I would lend out to patrons.
  3. Staff seem interested in using the Kindle. I was surprised how many people just wanted to hold the device. There's still a strong sense of novelty about the device. I hope to quickly get beyond that response and see how the reader is as a work-horse.
I'm planning on bringing in the camera tomorrow and taking some pictures of the Kindle in it's holding area before we release it into the wild.



late news from yester year

I meant to publish this last week, but never got around to it...
Anyway, some news from September 4, 1897 from the esteemed publication, Publisher's Weekly [no. 1336].


VLADIMIR TCHERTKOFF, a disciple of Tolstoi, will soon have finished a work on "spirit Wrestlers of Russia."

MRS. CRAIGE has finished her novel, "The School of Saints," which will be published in the early autumn by T. Fisher Unwin. The story refers to political life in the middle of the century, and one of the characters is modeled, so it is said, on an eminent politician of the time.


BYRON'S sword, which he wore in the Greek revolution, was saved from the Chicago fire by Mrs. Keith, and now hangs in her library in Chicago. A picture of it appears in the September Scribner's, to accompany Mrs. Sanborn's article on "Lord Byron in the Greek Revolution."

ONE of the first newspapers to be started in the Klondike region will be owned and operated by a Chicago woman. Mrs. Caroline Westcott Romney, who will leave immediately for the Alaskan gold-fields, will take with her a small hand-press and an outfit comprising all the necessities of the newspaper business when conducted on a small scale.


LAMSON, WOLFFE & CO. have just ready "Ballads of Lost Haven," a book of the sea, by Bliss Carman, whose "Low Tide on Grand Pre" proved that the waters speak to him of many things in the present and hereafter.

C. & E. LAYTON, London, announce "Fires and Public Entertainments," by Edwin O. Sachs, a study of some 1000 notable fires at theatres, music-halls, circus buildings, and temporary structures during the last 100 years.

THE AUTHORS' PUBLISHING CO., Chicago, will issue early in September "Zelma, the Mystic, or, white versus black magic," by Alwyn M. Thurber. The author offers solutions to many all-absorbing questions of the hour. The book will be illustrated.

THE J.B. LIPPINCOTT Co. call attention to two important books. "Getting Gold" by J.F.C. Johnson, is a compendium in specially concrete form of useful information respecting the processes of mining from the soil and after-treatment of gold and gold ores by a life-member of the Australasian Mine-Manager's Association; and "The Metallurgy of Gold," by T. Kirke Rose, Assistant Assayer of the Royal Mint, is ready in a second edition, revised and partly rewritten, with many additional illustrations.

FREDERICK WARNE & CO. have just ready "The Art of Conversing, or, dialogues of the day," by the author of "Manners and Rules of Good Society," in which sample conversations are given for many social occasions, such as chance meetings, dinner parties, ball-rooms, morning calls, etc. Great attention is given to charm of voice and manner, and the writer instructs carefully how it may be acquired with care and observation.

LAIRD & LEE have just ready "The Little Klondyke Nugget," a trustworthy vest-pocket companion for the gold-seeker. It contains the mining laws and regulations of Canada and the United States and a wealth of information on gold-mining in general- in California, at Cripple Creek, etc., as well as in the Klondyke region. The contents of the "Klondyke Nugget" are all well classified and every one starting for the new gold-fields will find this little book thoroughly up to date and a great help.


More diversion titles

So, here are a second group of potential titles for the Simmons College Diversion Collection. This list is of more books that just came out that I think would be perfect additions to the collection:

So many books. Feel free to add any additional titles to the comments.