Reading Local

January 7, 2009

Sorry for the recent inactivity here at Nonfiction Dad, my computer time as of late has been spent setting up my new blog, Reading Local. The basic premise of the new blog is to try and cover “anything and everything” to do with the Portland, OR “book scene“. A recent success was landing an interview with the winner of the 2008 Oregon Book Award for Nonfiction, Steven W. Bender.  I have some ideas for making the site a lot of fun.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

Leading to the biggest traffic day so far here at Nofiction Dad, my review series on Nudge was highlighted on the authors blog.  I’m sure glad that I ended up liking that book 🙂

Often times I peruse through the postings tagged “books” by other WordPress bloggers.  Today while doing so I came across a blog that goes by the name “historians craft“, which is maintained by rachel leow.  Why point this blog out over the thousand others that write about blogs each day?  Because of her series of posts entitled “bookporn.”  Obviously this is a girl after my own heart.

Nudge: Money

December 30, 2008

NudgeThe second part of Nudge deals with the issue of money. Specifically human beings habits around saving, investing and borrowing money. There is also a chapter concerning the privatization of social security, and how if the US government does ever adopt something akin to this they can learn from the Swedes.

The book has begun to fall short of the initial high standard it set for itself.  Their proposed solutions, or “nudges”, towards getting people to save more, invest wiser, and become more educated borrowers seem half baked.  Especially when compared with their treatment of the human conditions leading towards the need for nudges.  I think in an attempt to remain true to their idea of “libertarian paternalism“, their solutions are too incremental and soft to truly address the weighty problems they are dealing with.

Read the rest of this entry »

As Determined by the amount of page views, here are the top five book related posts from the previous week:

  1. Baby Book Review-Hop on Pop
  2. The Art of Making Books
  3. Penguins Great Ideas Series
  4. Abraham Lincoln: A Discussion
  5. Nudge: Humans vs. Econs

Coming next, the top 5 Stay at Home Dad Posts.

eBookGuru

December 26, 2008

I received a couple comments from a contributor over at eBookGuru, and since I have recently commented on the increasing digitilization of the book industry I decided to check out their site.  According to their “About Me” page, they are a:

“magazine-style site dedicated to promoting the digital medium, eBooks. We believe that this new realm of the publishing world will take us into the future and beyond. On our site you can except to find great articles, ebook reviews, writing and publishing tips, and much, much more!”

There are consistent updates on the site, and it’s the most relevant and current one I have found covering this field.  If you are interested in staying up to date on the latest trends in this segment of the book industry, are a writer looking for ways to publish an eBook, or are wanting to get honest reviews on the most recent eBook releases, I suggest you check eBookGuru out.

The Art of Making Books

December 24, 2008

In relation to my previous post on Google and Amazon’s ties to the book industry, I came across a recent article in the Buffalo News that tells the story of the Western New York Book Arts Colloborative.  This is an organization dedicated to the craft of book making.  A craft that like many others offers several layers of intricacy and detail that deserve to be celebrated.  The Collaborative offers a “museum, workplace, and inspiration center for people devoted to paper, ink, and type.”

Maybe there is a silver lining to the growth of the internet and specifically it’s capacity to completely disrupt an entire economic sector.  Music has been revolutionized.  The way we consume movies is being turned upside down.  The news industry is being dominated by online commentary.  You can read the latest bestsellers on the equivalent of an iPod for books.  As much as we can pine for the “good old days”, they aren’t coming back.  If they were ever here to begin with.  But in conjunction with this you are seeing people increasingly turn to honest craftmanship.  This is in part because our lifes are moving so fast towards being controlled by a “digital cloud”, that we want to seek out and remain in contact to that which is real and tangible.  But it can’t be fake, we have had enough of fake.  We don’t wan’t some mass produced piece of garbage, we have storage sheds full of mass produced pieces of garbage.  We wan’t something that was created by someone who was in love with what he/she was making.  That is what will get us to pull out our wallets, even if it costs a little bit more.

So in essence what the internet is in the beginning stages of doing to the economy is getting rid of the low end crap, which can’t compete with the economic scale of free.  Which is the scale that the internet works on.  In the place of these low end offerings you will find genuine products.  Products that convey pride, dignity, respect, and love of craft.  Additionally the internet is making it easier to find and connect with the people behind these products, and with others who possess the same interests.

We aren’t there yet, but I think we have only just begun to fathom the true capacity of the world wide web to enhance the world around us.  Yes there will be hiccups along the way, but hiccups are how we learn, what leads to innovation.  Have you come across any craftsmen or craftswomen that have made you feel more connected to the world around you?  That inspired you with their devotion to their particular trade?  Share your stories below.