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Here comes Bookshop.org! February 13, 2020 – Posted in: Books and Technology, Bookselling / Collecting, bookshops, Content

Have we reached the tipping point? Could this finally be the viable independent alternative to Amazon? Have we accepted the reality that cheap and fast does not equal healthy and does little to foster community sustainability? A tall order for sure but the timing might be a bit better than past efforts to compete against the Godzilla of bookselling. Enter Bookshop.org: Bookshop is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support independent bookstores and…

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The Cost of Reading in Prison: In West Virginia it’s 5 cents a minute February 5, 2020 – Posted in: Banned / Censored / Destroyed, Books and Technology, Content, Reading / Literacy

It is hard to fathom how they got here but the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation is charging inmates to read! As part of their contract with a private company inmates are provided “free” tablets in which they can access Project Gutenberg, an emporium of free, public domain texts. Sounds great right? Well, seems like free ain’t free. From the Appalachian Prison Book Project: The per-minute charge will bring in far more profit…

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An app for Chaucer with an assist from Monty Python’s Terry Jones February 4, 2020 – Posted in: Books and Technology, Content, Libraries

An international team led by the University of Saskatchewan’s Peter Robinson has created the first web and mobile phone app of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. It features an audio performance of the General Prologue along with the digitized version of the original manuscript. While listening to the reading you can access supporting content such as a translation in modern English, commentary, notes and vocabulary explaining Middle English words used by Chaucer. “We have become convinced,…

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Bookseller Revolt: Independents Vacate Abebooks in Solidarity November 6, 2018 – Posted in: Books and Technology, Bookselling / Collecting, bookshops, Content

Banned Booksellers Week has begun with a bang. David Streitfeld’s piece in the New York Times has kicked off what some hope will be a defining moment in the history of online bookselling.  For the week of November 5 to 11, 2018, booksellers around the world will remove their inventory from Abebooks, an Amazon company, in a show of support for their brethren in South Korea, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Russia who were told they…

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Robot Poetry October 25, 2018 – Posted in: Books and Technology, Content

The sun is shining The wind moves Naked trees You dance     The poem above was written by a robot. The kicker is not that a robot created the poem but that it was constructed based on the image! That’s right. Auto-generated poetry based on an image. It’s one of the latest discoveries to come out of Microsoft Research Asia where a pair of Microsoft researches teamed up with a pair of professors at…

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