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Posts tagged Reading

Morning Roundup: February bookstore sales dropped. Which metrics really matter? and more
April 16, 2014 | 9:00 am

bookstore sales droppedThe Chicago Sun-Times Shuts Down their Comment Section (The Digital Reader) It’s widely accepted that the anonymity of the internet can turn almost anyone into a troll, and nowhere is this more true than in the comment section. *** February Bookstore Sales Dropped 6.8% (Publishers Weekly) Hampered no doubt by bad winter weather, bookstore sales fell 6.8% in February, to $791 million, compared to February 2013, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. *** We are Drowning in Data About Readers and Attention, But Which Metrics Really Matter? (GigaOM) Thanks to the web and real-time measurement tools, the media industry has gone from having...

Morning Roundup: Amazon Publishing: authors are customers. How I became a booktuber and more
April 11, 2014 | 9:00 am

amazon publishingRIP, Sue Townsend (Boing Boing) She was one of the great comic writers, with all that implies: wisdom, wit, compassion and ruthless honesty. She was 68. *** Amazon Publishing: Authors are Customers (Digital Book World) “Our authors are our customers,” Sarah Jane Gunter, director of international publishing for the company, told me at the London Book Fair this week. “Amazon Publishing is going to become a house that is focused on authors. Our focus is service.” *** The Bullies Win: Authors Abandoning Publishing Over Online Behaviors (GoodeReader) News has come out this week of at least two authors who have declared that they will no longer write...

Morning Roundup: Rise of mobile apps. Kobo for iOS updated and more
April 9, 2014 | 9:00 am

Income vs. Expenses: How a Freelance Writer Makes a Living (The Billfold) Remember that this is pre-tax income. It’s also before Paypal takes out its fees, which add up. I wish Paypal were not the ubiquitous method of paying freelancers, but I did not create the system. *** The Rise of Mobile Apps and the Decline of the Open Web (GigaOM) Venture investor Chris Dixon of Andreessen Horowitz and others say they are concerned that the increasing use of mobile apps means less investment in the open web, and that this could have a negative effect on innovation. But is that true? *** Kobo for iOS...

Morning Roundup: Feeling dumb while reading? Why publishers want to sell direct and more
April 8, 2014 | 9:00 am

On the Perils of Feeling Dumb While Reading (Book Riot) Or maybe you don’t hate it, but you certainly don’t love it like everyone else seems to. And you can’t help but ask yourself, “Is it me? Am I just not smart enough for this book?” *** Why Do Publishers Want to Sell Direct? (The Scholarly Kitchen) During my conversations with press staff, I was able to put together a list of motivations for why a press would want to sell direct. After all, this is not a self-evident proposition. *** Scholastic Launches Summer Book Reading Challenge (GalleyCat) Scholastic has opened the pre-registration for the 2014...

Review: Reading A-Z.com
April 3, 2014 | 4:40 pm

reading a-z.comMy school recently purchased, at my request, a one-year subscription to the website Reading A-Z.com. The website offers hundreds of printable leveled reader books in a variety of languages (English, British English, French, Spanish), and I found it when I was looking for French resources I could use to enhance my program for a child who speaks French at home. I think this resource will be useful for other teachers in my school, and I am looking forward to seeing what people do with it. I had thought initially that I could save the PDF files for use on my iPad....

UK Inspector of Prisons condemns political interference in book ban policy
March 28, 2014 | 12:25 pm

inspector of prisonsThe storm of criticism that greeted the UK Government's new policy of stopping anyone sending books to prisoners has gone beyond writers and left-wing politicians to professionals in the prisons system. Now, in an interview with The Independent, the UK Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick, has condemned the ban as "not sensible,” with individual prison governors best placed to decide what prisoners should and shouldn't receive. "The problem in this case… is trying to micro-manage this from the centre, with the centre describing very detailed lists of what prisoners can and can't have,” he said in The Independent. “I think...

Hey Amazon, make my reading workflow easier!
March 27, 2014 | 2:25 pm

amazonI resolved in January to see how long I could go without spending money on ebooks. I have just broken my buy-free chain---sort of. I received an Amazon gift card and decided that was fair game since I wouldn't be spending money per se. And a book I once had in paper has finally made the Kindle store for $2... Amazon has much to recommend it as an ecosystem. I love my Kobo Glo, but I loathe the Kobo iOS app, and I have recently found that much of my reading progress was getting stalled by not having the Kobo with...

UK government fosters crime, bans books for prisons
March 24, 2014 | 10:25 am

books in prisons[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="376"] Grayling says: Go to jail. Learn nothing. Come out. Commit crime. Go to jail. Repeat cycle.[/caption] It pays to be nasty. At least, so Britain's current government appears to have calculated, by deciding that there's electoral dividends in barring prisoners from receiving books sent by relatives or others. The rules imposed by UK justice secretary Chris Grayling have not exactly passed unchallenged. "This is part of an increasingly irrational punishment regime orchestrated by Chris Grayling that grabs headlines but restricts education or rehabilitation," asserts Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, the UK's longest-established...

Story Cards tablet CCG gamifies reading for K-12 students
March 12, 2014 | 2:58 pm

storycardsHere's an intriguing game I just learned about. Educational publisher Amplify, makers of the Amplify Android tablet we covered last year, has come up with a way to gamify classic literature, in the hopes of getting students interested in reading it. Story Cards is a turn-based character-driven CCG. Players unlock character cards with specific abilities by reading the books they come from, and can gain bonuses by answering trivia questions related to the books in question. The game supports both single-player and multi-player modes. Students can build their own decks and compete with the game or each other. The...

Just like literature, mathematics can boot up your brain
March 8, 2014 | 6:08 pm

Anyone who knows the recent research that shows that a reader's brains are directly, measurably affected by reading fiction won't be surprised to learn that mathematics can have a similar effect - at least on mathematicians. A recent article in Nature citing research in Frontiers of Human Neurooscience describes how scientists at University College London used nuclear magnetic resonance imaging to track the response of mathematicians' brains to equations - but specifically those that the mathematicians regarded as "beautiful." Comprehension apparently plays a big part in the response - once again, something that won't surprise those familiar with similar instances in literature. The...

Spritz offers a spritzer for your onscreen reading – whatever the device size
February 28, 2014 | 2:39 pm

spritzThat new generation of smartwatches and small wearable devices supposedly in the offing could be about to get a boost as ereading platforms, no matter how small their form factor. That's if a new onscreen solution just announced by startup Spritz Inc., and already much publicized (and hyped), delivers on its promise. With a mission to "change the way people read and make communication faster, easier, and more effective," Spritz works through technology that focuses reader attention on the so-called "Optimal Recognition Point" within a word, where the human gaze centers to start actually reading and comprehending it. By "allowing you...

2014 Reading challenge: February update
February 25, 2014 | 3:07 pm

2014 reading challengeMy January reading was great---I read some great books, both in English and French, and didn't spend a dime. So, how did the 2014 reading challenge in February go? Well, not as great. I am a little behind on some things! I'll need to pick up the pace in March... Goal 1: Read 100 Books Here's what happened in February to put me behind on this: I read my first five-star book of the year, The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. It was a beautiful reading experience, and after I finished it, I froze. I turned on my Kobo, saw screen...