Tag Archives: book

iPad Vs. Books

This is a guest post written by Adrian P..

Ive been using the iPad for five months now, and I find it to be a very useful device. The video, apps, music, and the browser make it a worthwhile purchase. Its really nice to have the Internet at your fingertips without having to boot up your machine every time that you want to check out something on the net.

I have found that while many websites/blogs have reviewed the features mentioned above, I haven’t found a lot of salient information regarding the iPad and how it compares to paper books. Sure, everybody knows that you can download and read eBooks on the iPad, but its other features tend to eclipse the ebook experience. If, however, the ebook feature on the iPad is reviewed, its almost always compared and contrasted with Amazons Kindle. I have not seen anybody review the iPads efficacy as a reading device vis-a-vis actual paper books. Being an avid reader of paper books and now having had experienced reading on the iPad for five months, I think that its time I did a review of how the two compare.

Before I begin I think it would only be fair to say that I am a big fan of standard paper books. With that being said, I hope that I can separate my love of books in order to give a fair assessment of the iPad reading experience.

The iPad has some great features:

  • The ability to look up words using the iPads built in dictionary.
  • The orientation can be changed (landscape or portrait).
  • The animated graphic for each page turn mimics page turning in a standard paper book.
  • The paper color can be changed to a yellowish to mimic discolored paper.
  • The typeface can be changed and the font size can be increased or deceased.

The ability to instantly look up unfamiliar words is truly a handy feature. When reading books I normally keep my iPod touch close by to look up words using a dictionary, or I will simply look it up in a book dictionary. This can become irritating as it distracts you away from the subject matter of the book that you are reading. The iPad definitely scores a big win with the built in dictionary.

The orientation and page turning animation graphic are nice touches, but ultimately this makes no difference to me. I find that this is something that is more a novelty that you would show your friends in order to impress them and say: Hey look how my iPad can mimic paper books the future is now! Blah blah blah. The ability to change the color of the pages to yellow from the bright white is an essential feature. When I first started reading on the iPad I used the white colored pages (the default setting), but I found that this really strained my eyes after a long reading session (even with the screen brightness turned down really low). With the screen brightness turned really low and the paper color turned yellow, this can definitely mitigate eye strain, but it isn’t a panacea.

Another feature that effectively mitigates eye strain is the ability to change the font sizes and typeface. This makes reading on the iPad superior to books. It is superior because the only way to enlarge text when reading a paper book is to move the book closer to your face or wear reading glasses.

So far it seems that I would prefer reading on the iPad to books, but this is not the case. I’m not sure if its because the culture of paper books is so firmly entrenched in my psyche, but books just seem to be a more natural method for reading. As you turn the pages you get a feeling for the texture of the paper that the iPad cant even dream of being able to recreate. Another issue that adds to the books experience is that each paper book has a smell that adds to the reading experience. I cant take credit for this observation. I saw an interview with poet/writer Nikki Giovanni on This is America with Dennis Wholey where Wholey asks her opinion on technology/ebooks/ebook readers. She responds by saying that The ebook wont work until they can find a way; well we already know how to turn the page now[sic], but were going to have to find a way to bring the smell of paper and ink. This was something that I hadn’t thought about until I heard Giovanni make this statement, but now I do notice the smell of books. I think unconsciously I was noticing the smell of books all along. However, after reading on the iPad where no smell is emitted, you do start to miss the smell of paper and ink as Giovanni claims. I suppose smell is one of the most under-appreciated senses always being relegated to a subordinate position to sight and hearing. Giovanni’s explanation is far more robust than this; Ill embed the video of the interview at the end of this article.

One thing that can get irritating on the iPad is that after the 9 hour battery dies you have to plug in the device for recharging. This can be irritating because it interrupts the flow of reading during a long session. I know that this seems like an insignificant point. Im sure many would argue that after 9 hours of reading having to plug the iPad in is not a big issue. However, this can be more irritating than it sounds. Suppose you were reading in a comfortable position on your couch and there is no power outlet near you. You would have to get up from that position and find a spot near an outlet where you can plug in the iPad and continue reading. Now if you cant achieve the same level of comfort in that new spot, you will most likely just stop reading and move on to doing something else. Your reading session has been interrupted. Books don’t suffer from this deficiency. So long as you have a working light you can keep reading for as long as you want.

So which method of reading is superior? This is a very difficult question to answer. I will say that the iPad definitely has clear advantages (all of which have been mentioned above). I don’t think that the iPads advantages necessarily eclipse the advantages of books. Books are low-tech, but they are still effective at disseminating knowledge. I think the reason for ebook popularity is really more of a consequence of novelty rather than efficacy. When we look at both methods objectively the main purpose is to disseminate and read information no matter how high-tech or low-tech the medium is. Both the iPad and paper books serve the purpose of making knowledge accessible, but is one a better method than the other? Really, I don’t think it makes a difference. While it is true that you can buy an ebook and have it downloaded to your device instantly, I don’t think that this necessarily makes the ebook experience more advantageous. Have we really become that impatient as a society that we cant wait a day or two for a paper book to arrive in the mail? Personally, I can wait for the paper version to show up, but that’s just me. The final verdict: I will say that the iPad and ebooks are here to stay, but they will never fully replace paper books. In terms of which method is better really depends on which method is more suitable for the individual.

I will personally be using both the iPad and paper books for reading.

Let me know what you think in the comments section.

Read and Share Book Samples Online with Kindle for the Web

Kindle for the Web allows you to read a portion of a book right within your web browser, without having to install anything. Click the “Read first chapter FREE!” button on selected Amazon book overview pages. A new browser window will open containing your sample. When you are ready to purchase the full edition of the Kindle book, click the “Get Kindle Edition” button. Choose whether to download direct to your Kindle or another reading device and you’re finished.

Sharing your favorite books has now become even easier with this application. How often have you thoroughly loved a book and wanted to tell your friends about it? When was the last time you wished you could somehow explain what a particular storyline was about? Kindle for the Web makes it simple by helping you to share more than ever before.

  • Book samples can be made visible on any website that supports embedded content. If you can add script tags to your site or blog, you can post a sample.
  • First, click the “Embed” button, visible on the right side of the screen when viewing any book sample. You will then see the code to embed. Click on “Customize” if you would like to change the width and height of the window or add your associate tag.
  • After making any customization changes, simply copy the embed code and paste it into the source code of your website or blog.
  • You may also share book samples via email, Facebook, or Twitter by clicking the “Share” button on the right side of the sample screen.

This is an excellent way to decide if a book is worth the money to buy – and the time to read all the way through. I don’ t know about you, but I can always tell within the first chapter if a tome is worth my time. If I’m still interested at the end of that first look, then I will settle in to finish it. Being able to consume a bit more of the content than the jacket or cover provides is an excellent step, in my opinion.

What are your thoughts? If you’re a Kindle owner, will you be using Kindle for the Web?

The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia Book Review

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Wicket and Pixie were as excited as I am about the newest addition to our library. The Star Wars Complete Encyclopedia is crammed full of every detail you could possibly need to know. The secrets of the galaxy far far away will be revealed within the pages. Luckily for my dogs, the books are also full of illustrations. They can’t exactly read very well.

Thirty years’ worth of information is packed inside of these little beauties. You’ll find everything Star Wars from science and technology to history, geography, culture, biography and ecology! This encyclopedia was last updated over ten years ago, so you can imagine what new treasures you’ll uncover with this edition. In that decade, there have been four new feature films, several official novels, new comic books and several video games. All of this has been included for your learning enjoyment.

To give you a small taste of what you’ll find:

  • Character portraits of both the renowned (Luke Skywalker, Queen Amidala, Darth Vader) and the obscure (Tnun Bdu, Tycho Celchu, Bib Fortuna)
  • The natives and customs of planets as diverse as Tatooine and Hoth, Dagobah and Kashyyyk
  • The rituals, secrets, and traditions of Jedi Knights and Sith Lords
  • A timeline of major events in Star Wars history, from the Clone Wars and the inception of the Empire to the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker and the invasion of the monstrous Yuuzhan Vong

I have a feeling I won’t be sleeping much this weekend. I’ll be too busy reading every line of these three tomes to remember to pass out. I want to have the world’s geekiest library one day, so help me out by sending me your book suggestions.

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What Technology has Shaped Your Life

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My cousin, Dr. Adrian Lamberti, is writing a book about technology, and wants your help. She and her co-author are putting together a book about technological history. It will look at watershed moments in communications technology, beginning with the advent of email and the World Wide Web back in the 90s. Take a listen to the video and hear the list they’ve already come up with. Then, leave a comment on the corresponding post in my blog with your ideas. Who knows? You may contribute to the book!

She also lists such things, such as MMORPGs, Google, Flickr, Twitter, blogging, Facebook, and MySpace. Also collaborative media such as Google Docs. They’ve even listed the iPhone and iPod Touch!

They are coming at this from one disciplines’ point of view. It will be radically different than what your list might be. What suggestions do you have for Adrian and her writing partner? What can you think of in the world of tech that has really impacted and/or changed your life?

[awsbullet:writing for dummies]

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How to Improve Reading Comprehension

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I enjoy reading the chat room that we have. I tried to record this video several times, and had trouble. I’m a perfectionist, whether it’s when I’m recording a video or read something. I enjoy reading, and love enhancing my knowledge as much as possible. To this end, I have a top five list here that was submitted by Dallas. This list is full of tips to help you improve the way you read and comprehend things!

  • When reading a book, you must be completely focused on the book. Quite often, people will complain that they cannot comprehend/retain what they are reading (or have already read several times). Take a look around – the television is on, the radio is playing, your computer is pulling you in and teasing you to take a peek every two minutes. There are constant distractions. You need to focus in order to properly absorb what you’re reading. To do so, you have to remove those distractions.
  • Take your time. Unless you’re in the middle of a test where you only have a set amount of time… slow down. What’s the rush? You need to take your time – it’s not a race!
  • Take a lot of breaks. Even if you love what you’re reading, taking a short break is necessary to keep your comprehension at its maximum level.
  • After a certain amount of pages or chapters, take some time to pause and reflect on the main points of what you just read. Let your mind digest the information you have taken in. The more you reflect on something, the more likely it is you’ll remember the things you need.
  • Use highlighters often. Highlight or underline something that may be useful to you, or if you have a question about it. This allows you to come back and revisit when your mind is fresh.

These are excellent tips that should help you when you’re reading, and attempting to remember what you’ve just done. These will be especially helpful to those of you in college or school! Thanks to Dallas for putting these together, and sharing them with us.

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Are There any Good Books about YouTube?

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Hey YouTube!! I’ve been recording digital videos for a long while. At first, I saw YouTube as just a place to upload videos. Soon, I realized what a huge community it really is, and I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to get to know people there, learn from them, exchange ideas with them. I needed to just get in there and do whatever I could to grow with the rest of you.

My earliest videos on YouTube were compliations of submitted questions. I had a slight production problem, since I was doing everything myself. I did my best, but my old stuff was rough around the edges. If you watch the progression over time, the amount of videos I was able to push through increased significantly because of the live stream. Anyway, I just had to do a video about YouTube after getting my hands on the book YouTube: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts.

Want to make a splash on YouTube? Even go viral? You’ve come to the right place. This book is written by two veteran ‘Tubers who live their art and know what they’re talking about — especially Alan Lastufka, a.k.a. “fallofautumndistro,” who has over 10,000 YouTube subscribers and millions of views. Alan and co-author Michael W. Dean show you how to make a quality video, and how to optimize, encode, upload, and promote it. This book can’t promise you’ll be rich and famous, but it can tell you how to make great video art, and what you need to do to get your work seen.

Join Alan, who makes part of his living from YouTube, and Michael, a successful filmmaker, author, and D.I.Y. art pioneer. They’ll take you from the basics of gear to making it big on YouTube, with a focus on networking and interaction. You’ll also sit in on informative interviews with YouTube stars LisaNova, Hank Green (vlogbrothers), WhatTheBuckShow, nalts, and liamkylesullivan. Alan and Michael understand viral marketing — and they know what it takes to get your work on everyone’s YouTube radar. And, once you read this book, so will you.

In the book, you will learn about:

  • Storytelling and directing
  • Shooting, editing, and rendering
  • Creating your very own channel
  • Broadcasting user-generated content
  • Re-broadcasting commercial content
  • Cultivating a devoted audience
  • Fitting into the YouTube community
  • Becoming a success story

Everyone needs to have an angle. Mine would, of course, be the live streaming. That’s just my thing! The book will teach you many things to help you be successful, yes. The most important thing you need to remember is to be yourself… and have fun along the way!

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I Am Ninja. You Are Ninja. We Are Ninja Book.

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I realize I’m kind of ruining it for you, but I am the Ask-a-Ninja. You didn’t know that until now, of course. Not really… that would be someone else. The only way I’ve been able to embrace my inner Ninja is thanks to Kent and his crew from Ask A Ninja. You guys already know who I am. If you don’t, just Google the word Chris. I learned to be a Ninja courtesy of the new book The Ninja Handbook.

After much debate and in a spirit of morbid amusement, the International Order of Ninjas has chosen to produce The Ninja Handbook, the first-ever secret ninja training guide specifically designed for the non-ninja.
Most non-ninjas who handle these delicate, deadly pages will die–probably in an elaborately horrific and painful manner. But whether your journey lasts five seconds or five days or (rather inconceivably) five years, all those who bravely take up this text and follow the tenets and trials laid out within will die knowing they were as ninja as they possibly could’ve been. For the true of heart or the extremely lucky, this powerful and honorable manuscript contains such phenomenal ninja wisdom as:

  1. How to create and name your very own lethal ninja clan
  2. The proper weapon to use when fighting a vampire pumpkin
  3. Why clowns and robots are so dangerous on the Internet
  4. Easy-to-follow charts showing when to slice and when to stab
  5. How to execute such ultradeadly kicks as the Driving Miss Daisy
  6. Why pretty much every ninja movie ever made sucks
  7. How to make a shoggoth explode using well-placed foliage
  8. What the heck a shoggoth is and why you’ll need to make it explode
  9. Death Aide certification

Remember: People do not take the Path, the Path takes people.

This book will save your life, even though the front of it says “This Book Looks Forward to Killing You Soon”. It will save your life, and help you kill other things! Release your inner Ninja today.


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Blog Book Questions

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I’ve written a couple of books in my life. I’ve also considered taking some of these videos I do, adding the text we write, and putting them into books. I got an email today from an author who is writing a book about blogging, and he asked me if he could do a chapter on me. I decided to answer the questions using a video.

Why do you think blogging has become so popular, and bloggers so influential? My opinion is that it’s all about the platform. A blog is nothing more than a personal publishing platform. The newer software makes it easier for people to get their thoughts out. I think that’s why it became so popular. Bloggers are influential because of their unfiltered thoughts and ideas. We share thoughts and ideas, create conversations, and link to each other. We have transcended the way publishing used to be.

Who reads your blog, and why do they read it? What is so good about your blog that makes it popular? My blogging style has evolved over the years. I used to do a lot of personal blogging, but not really anymore. Much of my blogging surrounds the videos I create, because that’s what I enjoy, and that’s what people seem to want to read. I do occasionally add in some blog posts with my thoughts about the technology industry. I think my blog has become popular because I’ve been doing this so long now, I tend to catch trends before they even happen at times.

What do you do to drive traffic, or get new readers to your blog? I do my best to create original and compelling content on a daily basis. I could care less about being on the “A-list” of bloggers. I care about attracting people who want to participate, and maybe learn something along the way. Another way is that I love to help people. Whether it’s answering a computer question, helping others make money or save money… I just love to try to help people as much as I can.

What’s the best way for someone to approach you if they want exposure through your blog? The best way is to never approach me. You’re not likely to get the coverage and exposure you want. Friends… occasionally I will help them out, yes. However, I don’t really do this unless I really feel something they have or are doing/writing.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be heard, but doesn’t want to (or cannot) blog every day? The number one key is consistency. Having your own domain name is good, but you’ll lose a lot of attraction and attention if you aren’t very active. Check into blogging networks or forums.

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Free eBook Novel

I think Jake’s talking about arranging an eBook sale at some point in the near future. Until then, this offer will have to tide you word lovers over:

I’ve been a follower of Lockergnome for several years now, going back to when it was the single newsletter. I’m amazed at how you guys can still crank out quality info every day. I love it! I work in IT at a relatively low-end job, but it puts clothes on the kids, food on the table, and a roof over our heads. Best of all, I work nights and get to spend the days with the kids (sleep is something thats missing though). Along with technology and the kids, my real passion is writing (and reading). I’ve written one novel and I’m working on a second. I went the self publishing route using LuLu.com. I’m really happy with them; the books look great. My only two wishes are for an editor and marketing guru. What i’d like to do, if you are so inclined, is to offer the first twenty Gnomies to email me (gnomie @ jasontjohnson.com) the PDF for free. If you want to check it out first, I have the prologue and first few chapters online.

Well, a free eBook is certainly better than no eBook at all. If only I wasn’t behind on my reading materials. Everybody, could you please not publish anything new this week? Thanks. I ‘preciate it.