Tag Archives: book

aMAZEme

A vast labyrinth of 250,000 books, entitled aMAZEme, has been installed on The Clore Ballroom in the Royal Festival Hall, London between 31 July – 25 August, as part of Southbank Centre’s Festival of the World.

Visitors will be able to navigate the maze, which has been constructed from 250,000 remaindered, second hand and new books. 150,000 of these books have been loaned by Oxfam, which will be returned to the charity’s shop network at the end of the project. The remaining 100,000 books have been gifted by publishing houses from around the UK.

When the maze is deconstructed at the end of the exhibition, all of the books will be donated to Oxfam to raise funds for their work fighting poverty around the world.

Books are wonderful things…

Gloucestershire College LibraryThere is something very beautiful and sensual about a new book. Anyone who has ever bought a new book will know what I mean. Whether you open the parcel from Amazon, or remove the book from a bag of a high street bookseller, there is something about the smell of a new book, the feel of the roughness of the paper between your fingers as you slowly flick from page to page. As you open it for the first time you can feel the stiffness of the spine of a book that has never been read. The smoothness of the dust jacket, the rough texture of the cover, combine to produce a tingling feeling of excitement as you realise you are about to open the book and start to read.

There is even something about a used book, or one from a library. What is the history or legacy of the book? Who read it before you? Where did they read it? How did they feel when reading it? Did they share it with others? Even the annotations, that can be annoying, give a flavour of how previous readers of a book felt and used the book.

Books are extremely portable, they can be easily carried to any location and used. They fit into a multitude of bags and can be used whether you are a passenger in a car, on a train or flying in a plane. You can use books at home, in a coffee shop, on the beach, in a library, a classroom or in the park.

Books have an unique user interface that has never been adequately duplicated on any electronic device. You can flick from section to section, page to page. You can highlight and annotate. Put sticky notes on specific pages. Use a series of physical bookmarks to identify sections.

Books are also easily lent, libraries know this, but I am sure you like me have lent a book to others. You want them to share that feeling you get when reading a book for the first time, something you can’t get back when reading a book for a second time.

Books are indeed wonderful things, but still, the iPad is the future of reading…

A version of this article originally appeared on the FOTE10 website.

Shakespeare – iPhone App of the Week

Shakespeare – iPhone App of the Week

This is a regular feature of the blog looking at the various iPhone Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive. Though called iPhone App of the Week, most of these apps will also work on the iPod touch.

This week’s App is Shakespeare.

A cooperative project between Readdle and PlayShakespeare.com, the free Shakespeare application puts the complete works of William Shakespeare literally at your fingertips.

Free

This is a nice App that incorporates the complete works of Shakespeare.

All of his plays and sonnets in one iPhone App, accessible and searchable.

So reading books on the iPhone is not the best way of reading books according to most people I have spoken to. However I never see books on the iPhone as a direct replacement for paper books, but as an enhancement and enrichment of the printed book.

For example, imagine a learner is studying Macbeth (or the Scottish Play); more than likely they will buy a printed copy of the play to use for their studies, one they can read, refer to, annotate and make notes in. Where they will find the Shakespeare App useful is having immediate and easy access to the complete works to compare writing, characters or other plays.

Reading books on the iPhone is never going to replace the printed book, but books on the iPhone (and the iPad) is not about replacing the printed version, but providing access to books at a time and place to suit the reader.

A enhanced version Shakespeare Pro with added features is also available.

Photo source.

Classics – iPhone App of the Week

Classics iPhone App of the Week

This is a regular feature of the blog looking at the various iPhone Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive. Though called iPhone App of the Week, most of these apps will also work on the iPod touch.

This week’s App is Classics.

So you can download an e-book reader, Stanza (iTunes Store link) for free on your iPhone, you can then download hundreds of public domain books for free.

So why would you spend £1.79 on an iPhone book App with just 23 books in it, all of which can be downloaded using Stanza for free?

Well that is a good question.

I did in fact purchase Classics before Stanza was available so I could use that as the reason (or excuse). However I would still recommend that you get Classics and the reason is that the design of the App, the interface and user experience really make the most of the iPhone. If you ever need to show off what the iPhone can do, Classics is one App which really does impress people and makes them see that this is a device is more than a phone and a Twitter client, you can use it for reading and also learning.

It has a nice page turning effect, you can bookmark where you get to.

The selection is good, I am guessing that there is at least one book that you haven’t read!

It’s not the only book App in the iTunes Store and certainly it’s relatively expensive at £1.79 compared to other Apps, but it does look nice and does a really neat job of allowing you to use your iPhone to read books. It’s not an e-Book Reader as you can’t install other books, but for what it does, it does it well.

So do you like books, or do you like reading?

I am still of the opinion that e-Books and e-Book Readers are going to be big! Both Apple and Microsoft are working on devices which can be used to read e-Books.

I know that some people like books, well I like reading and e-Book Readers offer the reader a lot more than a traditional book.

With an e-Book Reader I can carry more than one book, I can carry a lot more than one book. I can carry documents too. The screen is reasonably large enough too so that it is easy to read. The battery life is pretty good too, much better than a laptop or a phone.

So why would you read a book on a phone?

Well Kevin Tofel from jkOnTheRun makes a very good point:

Think about it this way — if you’re always carrying your phone and an unplanned short opportunity arises to read a book, you don’t want to whip out a computer, do you? In a situation like this, you’re not limited to how much space you have. You can read with just one hand. You don’t need great lighting. It’s simply a win-win, all around.

This I agree with this view, there are times when you want to read and if you have your phone on you, then being able to quickly do some reading

e-Books are not about replacing books, in the same way that online news sites don’t totally replace physical newspapers, or YouTube replaces TV.

Likewise e-Book Readers don’t replace computers; what both e-Books and e-Book Readers do is allow reading to happen at a time and place to suit the reader.

So do you like books, or do you like reading?