Friday, August 28, 2009

Twitter as Newspaper: Emily's Front Page

This morning, I realized that I've been using Twitter as sort of a newspaper substitute. I check out my feeds, open links to interesting articles in new tabs, go make coffee, and then sit and absorb the articles. Am I contributing to the death of the newspaper? It's like I'm the content editor of articles that my "friends" have submitted to me.

This would be my above-the-fold Front Page today:

From NPR, a story on the demise of Reading Rainbow. Oh, this one makes me sad. We were nearly the same age... Butterfly in the Sky 4-evah...
'Reading Rainbow' Reaches Its Final Chapter

From, a look at how Sony and others might challenge the monopoly of Amazon and the Kindle.
How To Beat the Kindle

From the Christian Science Monitor, a particularly eloquent homage to all that books are and the Kindle is not.
I shall not be Kindled
"But I immediately sized up the device and knew that, while it is "neat" and convenient, it is not, nor will it ever be, a replacement for the book in the way that transistors replaced vacuum tubes or electronic calculators, the slide rule."

From Wired Magazine, a fascinating discussion on how technology is affecting the quality, content, and frequency of our writing.
Clive Thompson on the New Literacy

Friday, August 21, 2009

A few quick links (late) on a Friday...

Greetings Emerging Leaders and Fans!

Here are some tidbits that I found interesting this week:

is live! A great way to show off our collective knowledge!

Richard Nash, as always, has pointed the way to an interesting perspective on Twitter from performer/composer/director Amanda Palmer: "i started making the music in the first place not because i wanted music, but because i wanted human connection. music was the bridge there... connection = primary. music/art = secondary. twitter = realtime connection."

At the very end of a reading by Dave Eggers at my store last night, he said to expect a McSweeney's newspaper. Does that mean there's hope?

I've written a couple of pieces lately on the development of digital technology and its perception as either a format or a medium: one on this ABA Emerging Leaders Blog and a second one on the Two Dollar Radio Blog. Admittedly some heady stuff. But I discovered an amazing example of using digital as a literary medium on the JayIsGames blog: a game called Silent Conversation. This thing is totally mind-blowing. It creates a digital landscape using words, and it is interactive. You have to do something to continue reading the text. The text often visually illustrates what it is doing, like concrete poetry. It is soothing and challenging and beautiful and thought-provoking. Just go play it already!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Perks of Being a Bookseller

We've had some luck (and a whole lot of fun) putting on authorless events here at Magers and Quinn Booksellers and I'm curious what other booksellers have done in their stores. Please chime in down there in the comments and share your ideas and success stories.

This month we're doing two big off site events in conjunction with an exhibit at the Soap Factory gallery (yes, it's in an old Soap Factory!)called Common Room. Common Room will be a temporary curated gathering space within The Soap Factory designed to facilitate interactivity and the blurring of the boundaries between curators, performers and audience, all within in a casual, living room-esque environment.

We were invited to curate some community gatherings around the subject of books.
And here's what we have on tap:

During our book club discussion of Time Traveler's Wife, we're having our attendees (circa 100 people) each create a paper sculpture (Clare's profession/hobby in the book). And, in honor of Henry the time-traveling librarian, we're building a card catalog of information on the reading habits of our book club regulars.

Afterwards, once the beer and wine have been flowing for a while, we'll do:

Competitive one-on-one writing contests (sort of like Balderdash, but trying to write a cover blurb for a book you've never read) and Giant Mad Libs on a 1970s projection screen that looks a little like Wall-E.

We're also hosting a release party for the new issue of Granta Magazine, which will feature:

5-minute book reports (think Reading Rainbow for adults)
A presentation on literary hoaxes, which may or may not include slides.
An interactive book report (requiring audience participating to act out various scenes)
A presentation by author Eric Hanson titled "When Ted met Sylvia." The working subtitle is "excerpts from Eric Hanson's birthday miscellany on crossed paths and bypaths of literary and historical figures."
A literary trivia challenge with author Brad Zellar taking on the crowd.
An Exquisite Corpse writing game using a vintage typewriter

Jay D. Peterson
Magers and Quinn Booksellers
Minneapolis, MN