Paperus: Ereader of the Future? [Video]

Dear reader,

Here is something very interesting to look at, if only as a novelty.

This is a very thought-provoking concept of the ereading device, designed by Paperus, Germany.

The idea restores the ancient way of navigating through the book, back to the times when papyrus was being used. The design is based on rolling (or scrolling) instead of page-turning.

Does it have chances? Would you be willing to try it and use it? Or is it just one step too far?

Via Paperus on YouTube.

Featured quote

All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.
– George Orwell

Indie promotion

Dear reader,

Welcome to a new Indie Promotion. Today I present to you:

Death Wish: Book I (The Vamp Saga)

by Danielle Blanchard

Ebook Short Description: Welcome to Las Vegas in the year 2020.

The cold war between mortals and vampires has ended … the vampires won and now they control the most powerful organizations in the world which include the Global Six, the pharmaceutical industry, the gaming industry and banking.

Manon Mourey is a half-breed (too bad she doesn’t know it) and one of the most powerful vamps in the world, Mikkel Damgaard, has eyes only for her. She holds the key to a dream most vampires have had since they were turned… yet her secret to changing the undead into Day Walkers could spark a war on the International Vampire Council… and soon ensnare the whole entire world.

Death Wish 1 – The Vamp Saga is not YA friendly, contains a lot of profanity, a bit of snark, and has a few choice scenes of sex and death. It is not for the faint of heart. So you are warned. Or enticed.

Where to find.
You can find this book .

If you want to know more about this author, visit herfacebook page .

Preserve your rare books

Setting up and Maintaining Your Home Library.

Dear reader,

Like everyone, you will probably have paper books in your home, some of them old and precious.

As a collector of rare books, your goal is to keep your collection in optimum shape. You’re careful with dust jackets and protect fragile books with clamshell cases. Even the way you shelve your rare books can impact their condition. It’s important that your home library provides the support and protection that rare books need.

Umberto Eco's Personal Library

Umberto Eco could use a few of these tips in his personal library!

Building Your Library from the Ground Up
Serious collectors know not to let their rare books come into contact with just any old paper, as  paper can contain harmful chemicals and acids. But what about the shelves themselves? We often assume that any bookshelf is fine for our books, but choosing the right shelving materials will help you preserve your books even more effectively:

  • Institutional libraries don’t use metal shelves because they’re less expensive. The ideal material for shelves themselves is actually metal, coated with a baked enamel finish.
  • If metal shelves aren’t an option, coat your wooden shelves with a proper sealant to prevent acids from seeping into your books from the wood. The best options are a water-based aliphatic urethane or a clear two-coat epoxy finish.
  • Wood dries out as it ages, and the chemicals often used to treat wood also dissipate over time. If your books are housed in an extremely old wooden bookcase, they’re likely safe from damage.
  • In locations with high humidity, consider ventilated shelving. The additional air circulation can help prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

Storing Rare Books Properly
It’s important to store rare books with care; rubbing, pulling, and pushing can all cause unnecessary damage and decrease the value of rare books and manuscripts. It’s easy to simply place books on the shelves straight up and down, but that isn’t always the best position for your books.

  • Avoid letting books slouch on the shelf. Any book with a spine wider than three inches, or taller than 18 inches, should be laid flat. The bindings of these books sometimes cannot support the spine, weakening the spine, warping the covers, and damaging the pages.
  • Do not stack these books more than three volumes high. Too much weight can warp the covers of the lower books.
  • Give your books a little space to breathe on the shelf. They should be close enough to support each other, but not packed so tightly that the bindings are abraded when you remove a book.
  • If you use bookends, make sure they are tall enough that your books don’t lean over the top of the bookends. The weight of the book against the bookend can cause damage to the cover.
  • Tall books that are shelved next to short books tend to get warped and deformed over time.  Shelve books by size whenever possible.

Using the right materials and shelving techniques can make all the difference in maintaining the value of your rare book collection.

Video-comparison of 3 e-readers

Dear reader,

I admit, this video is somewhat dated. It is from October 2011, which in current times is not exactly stone-aged yet, but close to medieval times. Still, the information presented is good, even when has released their Kindle Fire by now. The Fire inherited the closed format of the original Kindle, so that is still valid.

10% of English book sales in Canada are now in digital format

by Paul Biba:


From a post in The Distant Librarian which discusses the new Canadian National Reading Campaign report:

In a nutshell, the NRC now has data from a week in Jan 2011, and a week in Jan 2012, so they’re able to give us some information about book sales AND book circulations from Public Libraries in Canada, including both hard and e-copy. Some of the interesting numbers:

  • E-book sales comprised 10% of all books sold in English Canada. Public libraries reported that 3% of their circulation comprised digital formats.
  • 1,153,081 print books were sold by retailers including Indigo Books & Music, and other national chains, as well as over 260 independent bookstores across the country. English language print book sales for the week increased 4% over 2011.
  • 111,053 English language e-book sales were counted. As this is the first year counting ebook sales, no direct comparison can be made, but publishers report a “significant” increase from 2011.
  • 2,141,553 print books were borrowed from 28 participating public library systems. 63,196 e-books were downloaded. Canadian libraries saw an 8% increase in print circulation and a 50% increase in digital circulation for an overall increase of 9% total circulation for libraries that participated in 2011 and 2012

Thanks to Paul Pival for the link.

Buying a Kindle Fire for Europeans. Worth the trouble?

Dear reader,

This might be an interesting article for European e-reader friends. I found it and thought it good to share:

“Recently, a friendly colleague brought a Kindle Fire back to the Netherlands after his US trip. I had bugged him for weeks to buy this tablet for me because I really think the Fire matches my needs: “reading books and blog articles on a back lit tablet that is small enough to hold in one hand for one to several hours”. Also, I am Dutch, so yeah, low prices will score bonus points with me ($200) 😉 As an avid tablet user I also own a Ipad 2 and, although a fantastic machine, it is not ideal for e-book reading. Too bulky. Still. So I decided purchase the tablet with the second largest market share ( ) in the world.

Frankly, I am also quite the Amazon fan. I already own a Kindle Keyboard (based on e-ink, a bliss to read in well lit environments) and purchased several books on the Amazon store that are smoothly synced with my Kindle apps and tablets. Through whyspersync, I can always continue reading where I left of on any Kindle app or Kindle tablet. Its ecosystem truly works like a charm.

Unpacking the fire, I noticed how thick it is. Although much smaller than the Ipad, it feels solid even borderline clunky. Not too heavy to hold in one hand for several hours though, so that’s good.
Its screen is great and crystal clear. I was surprised that watching high quality movies/series is actually above all expected standards.

The Amazon UX layer for Android is fully content driven. On iOS or Android you start by opening a program. The kindle expects you to start with content, e.g., a movie, mp3, magazine or book. It is geared that way. No suprise with the world’s biggest content merchant behind it.

Watching movies & reading books works great on the Fire. But if you are expecting a regular Android / iOS user experience you might get disappointed. Yes, you can “root” the Fire to get such an experience but you will lose your guarantees and some of the “Amazon experience” build in the Amazon UX.

A big, no huge, disadvantage is you need a US address/credit card and IP address to stream movies or series delivered by Amazon. This is the reason why the Fire isn’t sold outside the US yet: there are too many content rights issues for non US citizens. It is simply not sold beyond the US yet.

My conclusion/friendly advice to you, European or non US citizen, is that you should not get a Kindle Fire right now. The tablet works great, is relatively cheap but is not worth going through the troubles of importing UNLESS

  • You may use a valid US address;
  • You obtained a US credit card;
  • For movies/music consumption: you have access to DNS utilities that can change your ip address to a US ip address (and your ISP does not block this);
  • You are an Amazon fanboy/girl like me.

Smashwords Surpasses 100,000 Indie Ebooks

Via Smashwords, by Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords:


Today we announced an important Smashwords milestone. Over 100,000 ebooks are now published and live in the Smashwords catalog, thanks to the efforts of over 36,000 Smashwords authors and publishers around the world.

This month also marks our fourth birthday. Four years ago we unveiled Smashwords at the Tools of Change conference in New York. It’s fun to read our original Smashwords launch press release. Back then, ebooks accounted for about two-tenths of one percent of the U.S. book market. Self published authors were considered black sheep.

What a wild ride it’s been the last four years. Millions of books sold. Millions of readers touched by your words. Lives changed.

My favorite emails are from complete strangers who contact me and write, “Because of Smashwords, I’m writing again.” Those emails make this all worth it, and inspire me to do more and do better for our authors.

Four years in, it still feels like we’re just getting started. The next couple years will be exciting. New global markets are opening up. Billions of new, potential readers will be equipped with ebook-ready smart phones, tablets, computers and yes, even e-readers.

These potential readers will all be a few clicks away from discovering, sampling and purchasing books previously unknown and unavailable to them. Maybe some child growing up at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro will enjoy your book some day. Maybe your words will inspire them to write. Maybe it’s already happening.

Ebooks transcend geography and make your words accessible to vast audiences. The secret to reaching your audience (beyond of course publishing and distributing with Smashwords!) is to write words worth reading. If you honor your reader with quality work, your reader will honor you back by reading more of your words, and by recommending you to their friends.

Read today’s press release in the Smashwords Press Room.

On behalf of all 13 of us at Smashwords, thank you for joining us on this journey to change the world of publishing one indie ebook at a time.”