Avoiding bookstores

On Tuesday this week my wife and I took the day off for trip to the countryside. There were no bookstores on the agenda. We planned to visit two rural towns we knew and go for a bike ride. I was not looking for books, did not want to buy any books, and meant to have a good bike ride followed by a cold beer before heading home. So I…

The Old Bookshop

We’ve all been there. The sign says used books, or old books, or just books for sale, so we turn in the drive. Usually it is an old barn or a garage where the owner has stacks of used books on tables or tossed onto shelves — popular fiction from the last twenty years, at least one Arthur Hailey novel (for some reason it’s usually Airport), a stack of microwave…

Reproduction and the value of noise

I’ve just been reading David McKitterick’s Old Books and New Technologies and something he says on page 15 (clearly, I’ve not gotten far yet), has made me pause. He is writing about the reproduction of early texts done by the ProQuest (then known as University Microfilms), in which the pages were copied onto microfilm. “Not surprisingly, quality varied, of the film when it was originated in libraries across mostly Britain and North…

A Reader’s Manifesto

A Readers’ Manifesto Written in response to Phillip Jones call for a ‘Manifesto for the Future of the Book Business‘, which I came across too late. In our digital age when all things appear possible for writers and publishers, in an age when the entrepreneur of the book trade believes “if you build it he will come”, the reader has frequently been reduced to the role of the consumer who…

eBooks and Audio books

Downloaded audio continued its multi-year growth track. The category hit record growth in both units (27.0%) and revenue (26.8%) over 2013. While the category has been growing steadily and significantly, physical audio slightly declined. (source: dbw 2015) The popular wisdom regarding eBooks, and what some see as their inevitable replacement of physical books for the majority of readers, is that eBooks are far more convenient than eBooks and therefore a superior…

Booksellers lead innovation

he Poets of Great Britain Complete from Chaucer to Churchill all fitting in a single book-shaped suitcase

It’s always nice to find historical evidence of the leading role the bookseller has taken in innovating the book industry. eReaders, which are frequently sold based on the portability they provide (the Kindle claims to hold 1100 books, therefore Kobo claims 10,000 and so on), are typically dated back to the Rocket eBook or Softbook Reader, both of which were the result of technological innovations developed by engineers. Thanks to Mike…

Amazon is a delivery service

I’ve just been reading Clay Shirky’s recent post on the Amazon – Hachette feud, Amazon, Publishers, and Readers, in which he does a good job of presenting the standard argument that Amazon is on the side of the consumer because it keeps the price of books low. Publishers, the argument continues, are only looking to support their own profits. I suppose it makes sense to assume that Amazon is not…

Edtech idea sources

Here are some further sources for innovation ideas that might be helpful. The first is the TWitter #edtech hashtag. #edtech Tweets

Innovation in edtech

History of Crayola colors

This is a presentation I’ve played with to show students on Bangor’s PGCert in Higher Education induction course. I’ve done tried all the ideas listed, nor have I listed all the ideas I could. But hopefully it will inspire some ideas. Feel free to share them below.