Category Archives: Books

I might start buying real books again

It saddens my little heart when I pickup a book and see my Kindle lying unloved next to the bed, but until some quite fundamental things change, I think I will be do that more often in the future.

A Kindle, they're very good.

Don’t get me wrong, the Kindle is an amazing reading device, it really is one of the best thing to read on, ever. I prefer reading on it to books by quite a long way, but the efforts of the publishing industry and the reluctance of government to move with the times is beginning to get in the way of what should really be a pleasurable experience.

At the moment there are 4 main reasons why I am turning back to real books

  1. Tax: in the UK there is no VAT on real books, because sometime ago we decided books are a necessity for society to function and flourish, ebooks however are an electronic service, and we tax them – so all ebooks have a 20% VAT on them.
  2. Publishers: The net book agreement was broken sometime ago; mainly because it was price fixing, but that hasn’t stopped publishers putting a ‘pricing agreement in’ that means the publishers are setting the price of ebooks. (The EU are looking in to this)
     

    That is why eBooks are sometimes more expensive than the print ones! – Why? It can’t possibly cost more for me to download something; compared to it being printed on paper, stuck in a van, sent to a warehouse, put on a shelf, taken of a shelf, put in a package, put on a van, sent to a sorting office, put in a bag, carried to my house and shoved through my letter box!

  3. Publishers don’t like eBooks: That can be the only reason they are still not putting half the books they print out as ebooks.
  4. Copyright law: Copyright law is stifling ebooks. Now I am a firm believer in copyright as a principle, but the current law is way too aggressive. Copyright remains on a literary works for 70 years after the author dies, even if the book goes out of print! 

    Books: these a very good also.

    For the ebook world this means there are loads of books, that you can just not get, because they are out of print and no one can legally scan them in and sell them to you, and because of point 3 the publishers won’t let this slip.

    This to me is a bit of an economic nonsense, you are a publisher / author your 30 year old book is out of print, someone wants to without expense to you, digitise your book, then sell it online and give you some money – where previously you had none.

    This (oversimplified) is what the publishers and authors don’t want Google to do with it’s Google books library project.

The net effect of all this is:

  1. Books that cost more as ebooks , for example Freakenomics (paperback £5.51, eBook £7.99)
  2. Classic Books you cannot get eBook copies of for example Catcher in the Rye
  3. Books that have just fallen out of print, that can’t be revitalized online.
  4. Books you can’t share because publishers are scared of that too.

And I am being driven to put down my kindle and start buying real books again.

How to Analyze People on Sight

How to Analyze People on Sight

A very scary book from 1921 on how to analyse people. Apparently their are five types:

  • The Alimentive Type (the enjoyer)
  • The Thoracic Type (the thriller)
  • The Muscular Type (the worker)
  • The Osseaus Type (the Stayer)
  • The Cerebral Type (the thinker)

some fantastic bits like

Thus the fat man’s mind acts as his body acts—evenly, unhurriedly, easefully and comfortably. The florid man’s mind has the same quickness and resourcefulness that distinguish all his bodily processes. The muscular man’s mind acts in the same strenuous way that his body acts, while the bony man’s brain always has an immovable quality closely akin to the boniness of his body.
He is not necessarily a “bonehead,” but this phrase, like “fathead,” is no accident
and really there is a chapter called “Types That Should and Should Not Marry Each Other”
1921 was a funny time

do tigger and pooh need help?

For what passes as entertainment in the jump household – I offer this little insight. poohbear.jpg

there was some ‘nearly’ classic Winnie-the-pooh on playhouse Disney this morning, which had us all watching, especially as it’s coinciding with the reading of the Winnie-the-pooh stories at bedtime. they where mixing there stories so we had eeyore in the river, then his birthday.

Anyway I was interested to see just when we where talking about, so i did some interneting, and got to a few interesting things, including the fact that disney makes $1 billion dollars a year from pooh! also in 2000 the Canadian Medical journal published a paper about what was wrong with everyone in the hundred acre wood.

Apparently pooh bear has ADHD and OCD, Tigger is hyperactive and owl is dyslexic : yes, but it’s quite depressing to then read that given the chance the people who did the study would be drugging up half the forest – mainly to cure these problems. I don’t see why ?Pooh is perfectly happy with his lot, why does he need drugs, and if you took the bounce out of Tigger then everybody’s life would be sadder.

my mind is a blanket

books

Walking around Waterstones at lunch time; I had a fantastic blog narrative in my head. It was all about the fruitlessness of searching for books about ditching society, without ending up in the self-help or ‘Mind Body and Soul’ section and after all isn’t a chain book shop what’s wrong with the world? there was a side rant about the comparative size of the foreign travel section and the rather weak British travel section – which was rather undermined by me finding three extra shelves after formulating the rant in my head. 

I was thinking myself to be the next Tim Dowling, or Charlie Brooker – except of course they can write, and have some command over where the commas, and full stops. land in their prose. of course now I’ve gotten to a computer and have time to write, it’s all gone – to quote Clarice bean “my mind is a blanket” – sure I’m getting glimpses of my dramatic and engaging thought processes, but all I can really think to say is – don’t book shops smell funny, and did you know they have a “paranormal romance” section in waterstones now?

Perhaps the difference between us mere mortals and the professional writers in the world, isn’t just commas, full stops and the ability to curb sesquipedalian excesses while still stretching our polysyllabic muscles – maybe it’s also being interesting while actually at a keyboard.