Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Around the Word

Book rebellion: Bibliophiles were shocked and appalled when the police officers dismantling the Occupy Wall Street camp at Zucotti Park confiscated the "People's Library" of over 5,000 books. But Jeremiah Moss, a blogger and author who writes about New York, believes that this kind of high-profile destruction could be just the publicity that books need to combat their old-fashioned image. Despite what ebook retailers and gadget-o-philes will have us believe, he argues, print books aren't fusty, they're revolutionary. "Seeing large numbers of books together in one place has the power to stir emotions," he writes. "And the People's Library was this kind of powerful place -- not virtual, but real. E-readers like the Kindle do not have this power. They don't burn and therefore do not, by the spectacle of their burning, shock us into action."

Publishing faces the music: The music and publishing industries have gone through similar changes due to the digital e-volution. Both music and books have seen an increase in digital sales, a drop in digital prices and a slew of piracy problems. To investigate what each industry can learn from the other, FutureBook has created a four-part series on the digitization of books and music, written by experts who have worked in both industries. Do you think the comparison is apt?

Ye olde sociale networke: Though we often feel like we're in a time of unprecedented change for communication and technology, Stanford professor and language blogger Cynthia Haven points out that the 17th century was also a time of expanding social networks. The postal system allowed people to communicate like never before, and there was even a Twitter-like trend of scattering bits of paper with revolutionary poems written on them throughout the streets of Paris. Check out her article if you need some inspiration to stay on top of your social media strategy. If Voltaire wrote 10 to 15 letters per day, you can surely send out a few 140-character Tweets.

Give the gift of literacy: Even though it's not even Thanksgiving yet, the holidays are looming. And since that means beginning to think about gifts, GalleyCat has compiled a list of ten charities that promote literacy and reading. These organizations provide books to those in need throughout the United States and around the world. Do you have a favorite language-loving charity that should be added to the list? Tell us in the comments.

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