Category: Technology

Nonfiction November Week 3: Be the expert on tech pessimism

This week’s #NonFicNov prompt is hosted by Veronica, who has given us a few options: you can be the expert, ask the expert, or become the expert on a topic of your choosing. I informally put out a “ask the expert” call in my previous post, and it was answered! If you also want to learn more about Iceland, look no further. This week, I’m going to be the expert on tech pessimism, or to be more precise, on the many, many ways in which social media is harmful.

I’m not really a tech pessimist, or if I am, I’m deeply in denial, seeing as I tweet an average of 250-300 times per month. And yet I’m drawn to these books. I read them, agree with them, vow to change my ways, take week or month-long social media breaks, and then go right back to where I started. I see my Twitter addiction like my (long dormant, but never really gone) smoking addiction; the only way to beat it is to go cold turkey and to never give it an inroad. But unlike smoking, I can’t fully give up social media and neither can you, probably.

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(Taking a) Break (from) the Internet

douglas-coupland-i-miss-my-pre-internet-brain-800x800

From Douglas Coupland’s “Slogans for the 21st Century”

This is a self-indulgent post (“as opposed to what?” you may well ask) meant to solidify my plans and give myself a little accountability, but it could be used it as a guide or jumping off point for anyone looking to take a break from the internet.

Yes, let’s go with that.

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How to read a book every week by ignoring your responsibilities: seven tips

Inspired by “How to read a whole damn book every week” by Kevin Nguyen, who has great bookish tweets

Ever notice that most “how to read more” articles are really basic? Smug too, but that’s inevitable. The GQ article above was better than most, but let’s talk about some ways to increase your book consumption that you might actually not know about. Continue reading

Ebook appreciation month #2: One (e)Book, One City

Ebook appreciation month continues!

One Book, One City events predate the ebook, but technology sure makes it easier to get one book into many hands. In my first ebook appreciation post, I told you how publishers put a damper on ebook borrowing, with limits on how many epub files can be borrowed and for how long. But a big event like this means a city (or its library) can negotiate a deal with a publisher to allow unlimited borrowing, and Edmonton is the first Canadian city to do so.

Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper is the One Book One Edmonton selection for 2015. If you have a Edmonton Public Library card, you can borrow it. But, you can’t download it to an ereader, so you’re stuck with your phone or tablet. And it’s being released in six parts. The first one is up till the end of the program on November 16, and subsequent parts are available for a week at a time. Part 2 is only available till October 19, so get on it!

At first, I was put off by having to read on my phone. It’s smaller than an ereader, the battery life sucks, and the back-lighting is harsh. However, the BiblioCommons technology on the back end allows you to do this:

Not only can you easily share quotes to social media, but it’s all pretty. In other words: it’s branded, social media-ready content. What if a publisher could do this kind of branding in an ereader? Or an author? Or… a book blogger? Those who clutch their pearls at the thought of ereading must be strangling themselves over this kind of application, but I think it’s got a lot of potential.

Have you participated in a One Book, One City event? Would you post branded quotes to your social media?