Buying Books

Well, Andra Watkins said I don't buy enough books. You know, pay out money. (She denies it, but I plan on placing the blame squarely on her.) At Home with Books: How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their LibrariesSo I am starting a list to prove her wrong. I may slowly go back and add more from past months, but at the moment it is just a current list.

Now Andra will deny she said this. And in her defense, this is how she responded to my original posting of this.

I said I was appalled at the number of people who say to my face that they will not buy a book when they can download stuff for free, even as they complain about how awful most of it is, when those same people know I am trying to convert to making money by selling books. You want better quality books, people? PAY FOR BOOKS. Many of them are actually worth the price of the cup of coffee you don't need anyway.

Sure. Whatever. From that I get that I should be buying more books. Ok. Fine with me.

So check and what will be an ever growing list of "Books Bought".


Empty Sidewalk In The City

Content Note: I am trying to work on my fiction writing again, so you may see some unusual posts coming up. This is one of them. Basically for this I started with the image and then just kept on going.

He stepped out the front door pulling it closed firmly behind him. He even gave the knob a test to make sure it was locked, while patting the outline of his keys in his pocket. He looked down the street for a moment – the Rainy Sidewalksidewalk was plastered with the flat leaves from the recent rain. He turned for a second and looked back at the door, but no, no need to go back in. Jamming his hands down into his pockets he stepped away from the house and began walking.

He wasn’t quite sure where he was headed this morning, but he knew he couldn’t stay in the house. Things sure weren’t going to get any better for him in there. He had been cooped up far too long staring at the walls, the bookshelves, the ceiling, or at nothing at all. Nope, the television wasn’t one of his options. He refused to have one. The only shows and movies he watched were on his laptop, and he hadn’t turned that on. He hadn’t brought it out with him this morning either. His shoulder felt light without the weight of the bag with laptop and power supply and notebooks in it.

Hadn’t brought it with him. If asked he would have said that he didn’t bring it because he wanted to enjoy his excursion. To see what was going on in the city right now and not lose himself in the machine and have his world view filtered through news agencies and social media. Social media. Crap. About all he knew of his friends these days is what he would stumble across on Facebook. And if those postings were to be believed they were all drunk, sunburned, and shacking up. Actually, with a lot of the folks he knew that might actually be the case.

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Happy, Happy, Happy – Palmetto Traction

OK, it probably takes a real geek of some sort to appreciate this. Maybe a train geek or a book junky or … whatever I am. I just got, for a ridiculously good price, a book I have been looking for forever.Palmetto Traction
Palmetto traction: Electric railways of South Carolinair?t=&l=as2&o=1&a=B0006CZOSK by Thomas Fetters is the only real book on trolleys used in South Carolina. More importantly to me, it covers the use of trolleys in Charleston. He also wrote a book on the Piedmont and Northern Railway which was in the upper part of the state and North Carolina. (Piedmont and Northern;: The great electric system of the Southir?t=&l=as2&o=1&a=0870950517) That was a more major line, and although they started off electric did eventually go diesel like everyone else. A great book, but it doesn’t cover the subject that I want and that Palmetto Traction does, trolleys and streetcars in Charleston.

So anyway, just being happy that I got my book. I ordered it, crossed my fingers, and it came in quickly and better than originally described. I am a happy, happy boy.

Book Review: EPub Straight To The Point

EBooks are the coming wave of publishing, if in fact that wave isn’t already upon us, so I was eager to get hold of a really promising tutorial book I had heard about, “EPub Straight to the Point: Creating ebooks for the Apple iPad and other ereaders” by Elizabeth Castro. Unfortunately after reading it I have some mixed feelings. I would still recommend the book to those interested in self-publishing ebooks, but I do have a few hesitations.EPUB Straight to the Point

My biggest issue with the book, and not that there is any actually problem – the book isn’t bad or is wrong or anything like that, is that the book just doesn’t go far enough. A couple of examples of this: first we will start with the title. The title states, “creating ebooks for the Apple iPad and other ereaders.” What doesn’t make sense to me about that is the fact that the iPad is not the number one ebook reader. That honor belongs to Amazon’s Kindle. I am truthfully not sure where the iPad ranks after that, but regardless, as eBook readers go, the iPad isn’t the most targeted platform. So, you would think that you would want a how-to book that was aimed at publishing ePub books to the dominant platform. Instead it seems that the book, and the title, were designed to grab key word searches.

The other example of this is that the book is designed around teaching you how to use Microsoft Word to generate your ePub. Now I will make no claims that Word isn’t the number one wordprocessing program and tool for writers, but it isn’t the necessarily the main tool for creating ePubs. Castro also covers using Adobe’s InDesign software for eBook creation, but she even admits that the software is costly and cumbersome. But other software that is freely available, such as Calibre, that is much more adept at creating ebooks and is much more frequently used aren’t discussed. Calibre doesn’t get any mention in the book – not even a footnote! This is a glaring omission that can’t be overlooked.
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