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Posts tagged Budapest

Budapest’s beautiful libraries
May 9, 2015 | 12:25 pm

Budapest, where I live - and love - has some amazing libraries, as it turns out. Showcased courtesy of, here are just a few of them. Probably the most stunning is the Szabó Ervin Library, a family-friendly venue which just happens to house the most incredible neo-Baroque interior imaginable. Or for something a little more austere, but still magnificent, how about the National Technical Information Centre and Library at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (above). Or, similarly monumental, the Library of the School of English and American Studies and the Library of the Institute of German Studies at...

Cory Doctorow speaks on self-publishing, Amazon, DRM, Hachette, and a whole lot else besides
January 16, 2015 | 10:25 am

IMG_20150115_103208Cory Doctorow came over to Budapest at the invitation of the Center for Media, Data and Society of Central European University to speak on policing computers and other issues. In the course of a fascinating interview with me, he shared a slew of observations on a great many issues, many of which I'll be presenting in subsequent articles. To begin with, though, here are his thoughts on where self-publishing has got to, and what the whole Amazon-Hachette spat reveals about the impact of DRM on the market. The most important thing that self-publishing does isn’t merely enriching the people who succeed in...

Budapest’s beautiful book stations
December 16, 2014 | 11:25 am

IMG_20141211_143113 Budapest has one delightful and very practical resource for the reading public: drop-off book stations where people can both deposit and pick up books. These are ... ahem ... stationed in the northwestern district of Obuda, which as per the description on the book stations, describes itself as "the cultural city." And the principle is that they serve as book exchanges: readers leave one book and borrow one - or of course, can donate as many as they like. In keeping with the same Budapest public spirit that sees guests at bars and cafes leave their bags and phones unattended when...

One of Budapest’s loveliest bookshops: Rózsavölgyi és Társa
December 11, 2014 | 1:00 pm

IMG_20141202_182020 One of Budapest's most fascinating and attractive specialist bookshops, as well as the storefront for one of Hungary's largest music publishers, is Rózsavölgyi és Társa, just off the tourist thoroughfare of Váci utca and a major feature of the Rózsavölgyi House, itself an architectural monument. As the pictures indicate, this is mostly a music bookshop, with possibly the largest selection of sheet music available anywhere in the city. It also sells musical instruments and accessories of all kinds for performing and student musicians, as well as a huge selection of classical CDs and DVDs. However, for visitors and others, it has a big...

A Buyout for Shopline, Hungary’s Amazon
July 5, 2013 | 12:06 pm

ShoplineHungarian online retail site, the Central European country's local equivalent to Amazon and operator of online book sales platform, which also has its own e-book operation, is currently the subject of a takeover bid by investment fund SQ-Invest, which owns Libri, one of Hungary's largest bricks-and-mortar bookstore chains. If the deal gets regulatory approval, it will create a Hungarian book trade giant, with print and digital arms. According to Shopline's Budapest Stock Exchange information page... "at present, nearly 80% of its turnover comes from the sale of new books, while the sale of used books accounts for the remaining 20%. The...

MyAudio Arena in Budapest shows Europe’s generic device makers pushing up-market
June 18, 2013 | 9:23 am

MyAudio ArenaWith some e-reader and tablet manufacturers apparently feeling the strain, and other brands pushing hard to corner more of the increasingly commoditized market in smaller generic tablet devices, Budapest showcases one example of a regional device maker trying to build itself some brand equity and move up the value chain, closer to the dizzy heights of an Apple Store. Hungarian tablet, smartphone and mobile device manufacturer MyAudio has opened its MyAudio Arena on central Budapest's hip Király Street, showing off its product range in fine style. The MyAudio Tablet Series 7 range is probably the most suitable for e-reading, with the...

The Bitter Struggle for E-Reading
December 23, 2012 | 2:17 pm

e-reading I was unpleasantly reminded of the sometimes virulent passions that can be unleashed by the e-book debate on Mayan apocalypse day, as I was sitting in a cafe near Budapest's Chain Bridge, reading on my Nexus 7. A middle-aged English couple were sitting at the next table, and as they left, the man launched into an angry anti-e-reader rant to his partner: how the book had been around for thousands of years and was unimprovable; how if he was given such a device he would throw it away ... and so on. As usual, I was too slow on the uptake...