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Bookmarking the book's evolution
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Ebook Timeline Updated: 20120812 | Twenty-fifth Anniversary of Hypercard

Ebook Timeline Updated: 20120812 | Twenty-fifth Anniversary of Hypercard | Books On Books | Scoop.it
Yesterday, the 11th of August marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of Hypercard.  Alerted by Matthew Lasar in Ars Technica in May, gurus lined up to comment on Bill Atkinson‘s contribution in ...
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Compare this ALA Report with the "LookStore"

Compare this ALA Report with the "LookStore" | Books On Books | Scoop.it
American Libraries Magazine, the magazine of the American Library Association, delivers news and information about the library community.

 

Beverly Goldberg writes, "the ALA today released “Ebook Business Models for Public Libraries” (PDF file) a report that describes general features and attributes of the current ebook environment and outlines constraints and restrictions of current business models."  

http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/sites/default/files/EbookBusinessModelsPublicLibs_ALA.pdf

 

It would be worthwhile to compare the ALA report's proposals with the subject of the previous posting.

http://www.scoop.it/t/books-on-books/p/2356787666/bookmark-for-the-lookstore-bookplacesredux

 

 

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An E-Reader Annotation Mini-Manifesto

An E-Reader Annotation Mini-Manifesto | Books On Books | Scoop.it

Teleread and an employee of Readmill have begun a bookmarkable conversation about an important feature of books that must translate into the digital world:  shareable annotations.

 

To share annotations in a print book, you have to lend the book or photocopy the relevant pages.  Currently, our e-incunabula thrash about in the barbwire of a three-way no-man's land: between publishers and librarians, between anti-DRMists and pro-DRMists and between the ebook as a licensed good and the ebook as a sold good to which the "first sale" doctrine applies. We haven't brought sustainable peace to any one of those fronts yet, although there are fleeting signs of olive branches on the battlefield.

 

Penguin experiments with the New York Public Libraries, Bilbary has pulled together a collection of over 400,000 works (including Random House ebooks) to make available to US and UK public libraries, the Douglas County Library in Colorado continues its purchase-only effort.

http://www.nypl.org/press/press-release/2012/06/21/penguin-group-usa-launches-library-lending-pilot-program

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2012/e-book-website-bilbary-now-carries-random-house-titles/

http://douglascountylibraries.org/content/ebooks-and-DCL

 

Small and large publishers have been and are going DRM-free or nearly so.  In 2009,  Liza Daly of Threepress Consulting started a list of DRM-free publishers and stores. http://blog.threepress.org/2009/11/10/list-of-drm-free-publishers/

 

Today, she can add among others Springer, Tor/Forge and Pottermore (with effects addressed in interesting detail by Mike Shatzkin).

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/content-and-e-books/article/45000-libraries-say-no-drm--springer-agrees-.html

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/07/torforge-e-books-are-now-drm-free

http://www.idealog.com/blog/things-learned-and-thoughts-provoked-by-london-book-fair-2012/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=things-learned-and-thoughts-provoked-by-london-book-fair-2012

 

As Matthew Bostock argues, 

 

"Translating the act of annotating physical books to the digital experience is all good and well, but isn’t there more we could do? Isn’t there more we could dream about? We’re talking about e-readers here—small devices that are connected to something that has the potential to truly evolve the entire concept of digital reading. I’m referring, of course, to the web. ... If we share what we highlight with other people, and bring a discussion right into the margin of a book, what do we have, and what have we done? We have added value to the digital reading experience. And looking at annotation in this way, there’s a clear reason why we should give it a little more thought."

 

See Matthew's mini-manifesto on annotations:

http://www.teleread.com/ereaders/an-e-reader-annotation-mini-manifesto/attachment/matthew-bostock-2/

 

No doubt known to Matthew, but there are forces at work to nudge us toward his vision.  The standards world has not been sitting on its hands: the W3C and NISO both have initiatives underway to address the minimum required technical specifications for a standard on shareable annotations.

http://www.w3.org/community/openannotation/

http://www.niso.org/topics/ccm/e-book_annotation/

 

The book evolves.

 

For more about Readmill, see the post of 26 July 2012 below.

http://www.scoop.it/t/books-on-books/p/2244988192/a-bookmark-for-the-librarians-pew-s-10-lessons-in-e-reading-and-one-more-from-bob

 

 

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Ebook Timeline Updated - 20120806 - The BISG Endorses EPUB 3, Amazon UK Sells More Ebooks than Print

Ebook Timeline Updated - 20120806 -    The BISG Endorses EPUB 3,  Amazon UK Sells More Ebooks than Print | Books On Books | Scoop.it

The Book Industry Study Group (BISG), a leading U.S.-based trade association representing the entire book supply chain, announced today the publication of a new Policy Statement endorsing EPUB 3 as the accepted and preferred standard for  representing, packaging, and encoding structured and semantically enhanced Web content -- including XHTML, CSS, SVG, images, and other resources -- for distribution in a single-file format."

http://www.bisg.org/news-5-784-press-releasenew-bisg-policy-statement-endorses-epub-3.php

 

For the Ebook Timeline record and from the Library of Congress:

 

"The Open eBook Publication Structure or "OEB," originally produced in 1999, was the precursor to EPUB.  Version 1.0 of the Publication Structure was created in the winter, spring, and summer of 1999 by the Open eBook Authoring Group.  Following the release of OEBPS 1.0, the Open eBook Forum (OeBF) was formally incorporated in January 2000.  OEBPS Version 1.0.1 [OEBPS_1_0], a maintenance release, was brought out in July 2001.  OEBPS Version 1.2 [OEBPS_1_2], incorporating new support for control by content providers over presentation along with other corrections and improvements, was released as a Recommended Specification in August 2002.   EPUB 2 was initially standardized in 2007. EPUB 2.0.1 was approved in 2010.   EPUB, Version 3, was approved as an IDPF Recommendation in October 2011.  It is substantially different from EPUB, Version 2, both in using only a single form for textual content and in having support for audio, video, and scripted interactivity (through Javascript).  No longer supported are the EPUB_2 formats for text content, one based on the Digital Talking Book [DTB_2005] format and a second form based on XHTML 1.1 compatible with OEBPS_1_2.   A single new encoding for textual Content Documents is based on HTML5/XHTML and CSS3, despite the fact that both of these W3C standards are still works in progress. SVG is supported for graphics and it is possible to have an EPUB_3 document whose "pages" consists [sic] only of graphics, for example for a graphic novel.  Several legacy features are deprecated.  Some legacy structures may be included for compatibility of EPUB_3 documents with existing EPUB_2 readers.  EPUB_3 readers are expected to render publications using version 2 and version 3."

http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/formats/fdd/fdd000308.shtml

 

Coincidentally, Amazon UK reported today that it is now selling 114 Kindle ebooks for every 100 print books it sells.  See

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=251199&p=irol-mediaHome.   The EPUB format is not natively readable on the Kindle device or in the Kindle application.  Customers can add conversion apps easily to their devices to make EPUB readable on a Kindle, but as consumers seek the advantages of an industry standard, how will Amazon respond?

 

Feel free to suggest new additions to the timeline!

Added 20120806.

 

Ebook Timeline Updated - 20120725

 

As we are still in the Age of e-Incunabula, what better than a trip half way around the world to Japan to see one of the world's largest collections of Western incunabula -- and an excellent site to bookmark?  http://www.ndl.go.jp/incunabula/e/chronology/index.html

 

The National Diet Library's site refers to itself as an exhibition based on the book "Inkyunabura no Sekai" (The World of Incunabula) / written by Hiroharu Orita, compiled by the Library Research Institute of the National Diet Library. Tokyo: Japan Library Association, July 2000 (in Japanese).

 

The exhibition provides a timeline of incunabula from the second half of the 4th century when the shift to the codex occurred to 1980 when the British Library began entering data on its collection of incunabula into the ISTC. The site provides much more than this chronology.

 

Images from the collection, statistics on the type fonts used, coverage of design and how the quires (sheets of paper folded, forerunner of book signatures and files in EPUB!) were arranged, and the binding process -- all are covered straightforwardly and often in entertaining detail.  Look on this site and consider how far we have to go with our ebooks and apps!

http://www.ndl.go.jp/incunabula/e/chronology/index.html

Added 20120725.

 

Ebook Timeline Updated - 20120719

 

Not as interactive as the Counterspace timeline for typography below, but certainly as densely informative, and it extends to typography online. http://static.colourlovers.com/uploads/images/typographic_infographic.html

Added 20120719.

 

Ebook Timeline Updated - 20120717.

 

Another timeline, this one focused on bookbinding. Is .zip the binding for an ebook?
http://blog.bookstellyouwhy.com/news/2012071017/collecting-a-quick-history-of-book-binding/

Added 20120717.

 

Ebook Timeline Updated - 20120710

 

On the heels of the question above comes an outstanding interactive infographic on a critical element of the book and ebook: typography.

http://www.counterspace.us/typography/timeline/.

Added 20120710.

 

Ebook Timeline Updated - 20120706

 

Yet another ebook timeline, and this one is broken down into interpretive categories, "The Age of Writing" and "The Network Era," which is thought-provoking. Are we in "The Age of the Tablet"? http://robotwisdom.com/web/timeline.html

Added 20120706.

 

Start of the Ebook Timeline

 

In 1936, "Chronology of Books & Printing" appeared in its revised edition, published by Macmillan in New York. In 1996, Cor Knops picked up the torch and started a Book History Timeline from Sumerian clay tablets (he could have started with the caves at Lascaux!) through to 1997 with the first issue of "Biblio Magazine" but with little acknowledgment of ebooks. http://knops.home.xs4all.nl/timetab.html

 

Now in 2012, looking back to 2002, we find this journalistic stab at a timeline for ebooks. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2002/jan/03/ebooks.technology

 

Forged together, the chronologies would have to include "As we may think" by Vannevar Bush in 1945, Ted Nelson's coining of "hypertext" in 1963-65, the Apple Newton in 1993 (how many publishers and authors have kept track of the free downloads of their Newton ebooks at http://www.4shared.com/dir/sbh5D8Eh/Newton_eBooks.html?) and much more.

 

Another extension of the ebook timeline appears in this book by Marie Lebert (http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/29801), which fills in important gaps, misses others and offers more than a few overemphasized continental developments. Her timeline takes us through 2008, which means that the signal events in 2011/12 of ebook sales' outstripping those of print in some markets are still to be added.

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Let us not to the marriage of print and digital admit impediments.

Let us not to the marriage of print and digital admit impediments. | Books On Books | Scoop.it

The Bodleian is offering a prize draw to attract participation in its crowdfunding for the digitization of its First Folio.  

 

"Dr Paul Nash, an award-winning printer, will reprint Leonard Digges’s poem in praise of Shakespeare from the front matter of the First Folio. It will be printed on a folio bifolium of English, hand-made paper and printed in the Bodleian Hand-Printing Workshop at the Story Museum.  The text will be composed by hand, using types first cast in the 17th century, with ornaments.  Each sheet will be printed with a title and colophon, sewn into a paper cover."

 

They call this "kickstart" the "Sprint for Shakespeare" in conjunction with the cultural and sports Olympics events going on this year.  

 

Where there's a Will, there should be a way.

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Another bookmark for the Future of the Book: Bob Stein: "Build conversations around books"

Another bookmark for the Future of the Book: Bob Stein: "Build conversations around books" | Books On Books | Scoop.it

Yesterday, Claire Kelly caught up with Travis Alber.  Today, Philip Jones of FutureBook, a digital blog from "The Bookseller," caught up with Bob Stein.   Social reading serendipity?

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Ebooks: do we really want our literature to last for ever?

Ebooks: do we really want our literature to last for ever? | Books On Books | Scoop.it
A book published earlier this year by an Argentine firm raises questions about the desirability of indelible ink and trackable data, writes James Bridle...

 

The title of Bridle's item in "The Guardian" -- or "The Groaniad" as it is fondly known for its ponchant [sic] for typos -- is "Ebooks: do we really want our literature to last forever?"   It's hard to tell at first whether Bridle has his tongue partly in his cheek.  

 

He introduces his theme with William Gibson's collaboration with Dennis Ashbaugh -- "Agrippa (a book of the dead)" -- which is covered in the July 20 post below.   Though he mentions the competition to reverse-engineer the cryptography that encrypted the poem on its floppy disk at the playing of its first reading, he doesn't mention the site (http://agrippa.english.ucsb.edu/) dedicated to archiving the event of that first reading.  

 

But as Bridle notes, the physical might have now accomplished the disappearing act the digital could not.  He refers us to "El libro que no puede esperar|The Book That Can't Wait," which its publisher Eterna Cadencia just released in print with ink that disappears in two months.  Bridle's contrarian view to the negative press greeting this instance of print-performance-art is "the persistence of books is a myth in any case: ... One of the advantages of ebooks might in fact be that they are easier to move on from, to delete, to forget, preventing us from getting bogged down in bad books and past selves, and, as Eterna Cadencia want us to do, move on and discover new things."

 

That may be a clever Heraclitean spark -- or Zen cone as "The Guardian" might have it -- disguising a marketing ploy.   But that very clamor for attention and the clamor of the self-publishing remind us of what is really at stake:  time.     

 

Our ebooks may be "reading us," but perhaps we are the ephemera in this case.  Long after we have ceased being tracked, some of those ebooks and books -- like the illuminated manuscripts this March at the British Library's exhibition "Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination" -- will mark the human effort to prove the myth that our words and images will last. 

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Our ebooks need a “commons” | No, not that kind of commons, Professor Lessig.

Our ebooks need a “commons” | No, not that kind of commons, Professor Lessig. | Books On Books | Scoop.it
Like most folks on the web, I've been watching the ebook shift with great interest over the past few years. I don't own a Kindle, but I do own an iPad with some Kindle books and some iBooks books and some book apps, and I find them valuable.

 

Jonathan Stegall is another designer (a design thinker) like Craig Mod (see July 2 posting below) who is looking for the next bookmark or may create the next bookmark in the book's journey.  

 

The workings of a designer's mind, inspiring.

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A bookmark for the librarians: Pew's 10 lessons in e-reading and one more from BOB

A bookmark for the librarians: Pew's 10 lessons in e-reading and one more from BOB | Books On Books | Scoop.it
Pew Internet's latest report on e-reading offers librarians ten valuable lessons on how they can increase the usage and demonstrate the value of their collections.

 

The 11th corollary -- there are "herds" of ebook readers out there whose watering holes are here:  

 

Readmill (http://readmill.com/)  

Kobo Vox (http://www.kobobooks.com/kobovox)

Copia (http://www.thecopia.com/home/index.html)

Subtext (http://subtext.com/press/)

ReadCloud (http://readcloud.com/ Australian site aimed at schools).  

 

These are only five among several to watch.   Most of these reader apps are available for the iPad, and even Amazon has introduced the facility to share annotations and comments via Twitter and Facebook in Kindle Fire 6.3.  

 

There is also a new kid on the block:  Zola (http://zolabooks.com/), one to watch if only for its ambition to compete with Google Play and Amazon.

 

Now, if Overdrive were to enhance its recent acquisition Book.ish with this social reading facility, then ....

 

Caveat:  Michael Kozlowski (http://goodereader.com/blog/electronic-readers/should-e-readers-embrace-social-media-more/) has this to say about the phenomenon:  "In the end, social media in electronic books is severely lacking. ... Having more embedded social functions in an e-reading indie app or mainstream company taking [it] to the next level will only help the industry grow and spurn [sic] more companies to offering competing or better options."

 

But that's where the 11th corollary comes in.  Librarians might be able to make a difference -- introducing (or following) their patrons into the social e-reader experience, making the global more local, sparking local reading groups and reading lists, providing a local human interaction in helping readers find books and answers about them.  

 

If the companies mentioned have not already reached out to the library community and publishers to push this possible next step in the evolution of the book, perhaps the librarians should reach out to the social ebook readers and the publishers?

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"Publishing Perspectives : Japanese-style Print-to-E-book Scanning Catching on in the US"

"Publishing Perspectives : Japanese-style Print-to-E-book Scanning Catching on in the US" | Books On Books | Scoop.it
Already popular in Japan, affordable services that scan your print books and turn them into e-books have come to the US, with 1dollarscan.com leading the way.

 

Check out this story by Daniel Kalder and consider this as "half" a bookmark in the evolution of the book.   Kalder touches on the copyright issues.  But if you are a publisher and can set aside the possibility of nefarious consumer behavior, think of some of the business-partner models that could fill out the bookmark.  

 

If 1dollarscan.com were to offer you -- with the consumer's approval -- information about which titles were being scanned, would you be willing to offer the consumer a credit toward purchasing similar titles?

 

The service that 1dollarscan.com offers promises the benefits of spring cleaning one's library and a step toward being able to read more productively (for example, being able to search across several books at once).  And there is where books and reading could take a bit of an evolutionary step forward.

 

 

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"The Bookless Library" and "What Will Become of the Paper Book?"

"The Bookless Library" and "What Will Become of the Paper Book?" | Books On Books | Scoop.it

Today, two bookmarks for the price of one.

 

In his ruminative article, David Bell draws together the currently indigestible trends and events facing the library community:  the economic crisis and rising costs, the shift from print to digital, the improvement in technology's reliability and functionality disintermediating libraries and the decline of foot traffic in libraries, the academic ones especially.    

 

Bell's is truly a well-contrived essay.  His survey builds to the presentation of a credible but nightmare scenario, whose credibility is enhanced by his carefully modulated tone up to that moment.  

 

"The year is 2033 ... the Third Great Recession has just struck. Although voters have finally turned the Tea Party out of office in Washington, the financial situation remains .... New York City in particular faces skyrocketing deficits as a result of the most recent Wall Street wipeout, and the bankruptcy of Goldman Chase.  In City Hall, a newly elected mayor casts a covetous glance at the grand main branch of the New York Public Library. Think how much money the city could save by selling it, along with the thirty remaining branch libraries scattered throughout the five boroughs. After strenuous negotiations, the mayor announces a deal with Googlezon, under which the company will make fifty electronic copies of any book in its database available at any one time to city residents, for two-week free rentals on the reading device of their choice. Two years later, where the main branch library once stood, the mayor proudly cuts the ribbon at the opening of the Bryant Park Mall."

 

Bell deftly punctuates his scenario with the question:  "why should most libraries still own physical copies of out-of-copyright books—that is to say, for the most part, books printed before 1923"  -- especially twenty to thirty years from now when the digital divide has narrowed and another born-digital generation dominating the Sprawl accesses its media digitally?       

 

As Bell tolls it:  "The transformation is upon us.  ... [and] Ultimately, to survive, libraries will need to become part of the new, partly digital public sphere, attentive to its needs and rhythms, as well as to those of traditional learning and scholarship. The balance will be hard to strike, things will be lost, and the lovers of traditional scholarship will continue to issue their laments. But if we do not try to strike the balance, and move libraries into the new age—well, I’ll meet you to discuss the question in a few years at the Bryant Park Mall."

 

Over on "Slate," in "What Will Become of the Paper Book?",  Michael Agresta wanes where Bell waxes.  While, like Bell, he extols the extras that ebooks and apps are bringing, he warns that the paper book may well become a luxury item available only to the well off or be unrecognizably remediated and synthesized into book art.    

 

His example:  German artist Dieter Roth’s "literaturwurst," which presents the complete works of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel -- all 20 volumes -- ground up and used as a substitute for meat in a recipe for homemade sausage.  http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/design/2012/05/will_paper_books_exist_in_the_future_yes_but_they_ll_look_different_.single.html

 

Well, perhaps Roth's works will be displayed in the Bryant Park Mall, but let's hope it is not near a deli.    

 

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The Library of Utopia - Technology Review

The Library of Utopia - Technology Review | Books On Books | Scoop.it

Nicholas Carr talks sense about the DPLA.

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"This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas….."

"This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas….." | Books On Books | Scoop.it

From Central Stn: The Creative Social Network ...

 

Starting in March 2011 at the Scottish Poetry Library and recurring the rest of the year in various corners of Edinburgh, small anonymous sculptures made from books appeared mysteriously.  It was as if Joseph Cornell had come to life, translated to Scotland and was using the cultural centers of Edinburgh as a community showroom for the art he would have created if he were alive.

 

More than "translated," rather "reborn digital."  Always accompanying the arrival of each sculpture, a tag addressed to the Twitter account of the "display case" was placed with the work or somewhere from which it would give clues to the work's location.  The SPL's Twitter account is @byleaveswelive, and the tag seen in the image here reads:

 

"It started with your name @byleaveswelive and became a tree.… … We know that a library is so much more than a building full of books… a book is so much more than pages full of words.… This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas….. a gesture (poetic maybe?)"

 

Click through to Central Stn to see all 26 sculptures, enjoy the full story of, and comments on, the Anonymous Book Artist of Edinburgh, and consider how this complex, ingenious and creative blend of print and the digital is mysteriously apropos to Books On Books.

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Bookmarking the Footnote | Creating pop-up footnotes in EPUB 3 (and thus in iBooks)

Bookmarking the Footnote | Creating pop-up footnotes in EPUB 3 (and thus in iBooks) | Books On Books | Scoop.it

Liz Castro's blog "Pigs, Gourds, and Wikis" performs a stellar service to the evolution of the book by focusing the spotlight on how EPUB 3 supports footnotes in ebooks (with a snippet from Dave Cramer's EPUB 3 version of "Moby Dick") and providing many other insights into the making of books.   

http://www.pigsgourdsandwikis.com/

http://twitter.com/dauwhe

 

Castro's post should remind us of Anthony Grafton's book "The Footnote: A Curious History," which delves entertainingly into the origin of this historical nonlinearity of the page.  Several of his other books are noteworthy for making us think about the "text." 

http://www.amazon.com/Anthony-Grafton/e/B000APS4YO

 

If only Harvard University Press would spring for an EPUB 3 version of "The Footnote," the trufflers of the history and future of the book could be in pig heaven!

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Bookmark for the "LookStore" | BookPlacesRedux

These are Tony Sanfilippo's slides used for his Ignite presentation at the 2012 meeting of the Association of American University Presses. The slides have been transferred to YouTube with a voiceover.  [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_ie0ffkG7M]

 

As the book evolves, so too the ways in which it reaches us, or we reach it. We have lived through one stage of that evolution with online bookstores. We are living through another with ebooks.

 

It's not over yet.

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In The E-Book World, Are Book Covers A Dying Art? : NPR

For the past 25 years, Chip Kidd has made a name for himself as a top book designer. His designs have helped transform books into visual icons.

 

With the disappearance of the dustjacket's original function -- to protect the binding of the book -- is it imaginable that the book cover will no longer be needed as the book evolves?

 

Imaginable, yes.  Likely, no.  As long as the imagination of Chip Kidd and his like bring their passion to publishing.

 

The possiblility of building up the thumbnail cover across the pages/screens of the ebook or giving it a functional role in the narrative may mean we come to judge a cover by its book!

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The Left-over "i"

The Left-over "i" | Books On Books | Scoop.it

The colophon – that last page at the end of a manuscript or book – has served so many purposes such as giving the title of the work, identifying the scribe or printer, naming the place and date of completion or imprint, thanking and praising the patron, bragging, blaming, apologizing, entreating, praying and much more that its origin could be traced back to almost any last mark in the earliest human records.

 

This device so infrequently used in books today, why should we bother ourselves with it?  Fine enough for J. F. Kennard and A.W. Pollard, familiar to historians of the book, to have written small tomes about it in 1901 and 1905.  Fine enough that it has appeared at the end of “fine books” publishers like David Godine or the end of most of O’Reilly & Associates’ widely used IT books.

 

But that it shows up on websites, too? Just enter “colophons on websites” in your favorite search engine, and you will find for example:

 

http://www.minible.com/colophon.html

http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/organisatie/colofon?lang=en

http://www.illuminantpartners.com/2010/12/14/colophon-for-this-website/

http://econjwatch.org/about/colophon

http://tejasenclosures.com/website-colophon/

http://www.nowisthetimechicago.org/colophon

http://www.kloecknerevents.com/colophon/

http://www.themaneater.com/about/colophon/ http://www.etracksonline.co.uk/eTracks/colophon.html

http://wellcrafted.is/thankful-for-the-following

 

Each of the website colophons above has its functional doppelganger among the early printers’ colophons, but more on that in a future post.

 

No doubt the colophon found its way into websites before 2008, but perhaps its presence has something to do with the writings of a Scot named Bill Hill (aptly so, if you recall the July 29th entry below).  In 2008, he waxed enthusiastically about the colophon because of its historic association with type fonts:   

“Why not introduce the venerable concept of the Colophon to the Web? Could it be used to drive a new business model for fonts which would benefit the font industry, web developers and designers - and the people who visit their sites?”  He even suggested making the colophon a compulsory standard.

http://billhillsblog.blogspot.co.uk/2008/08/introducing-colophon-to-web-new.html

 

From today’s websites back to Dietrich, the first Abbot of Saint Evroul, who oversaw the scribes in the scriptorium there, the colophon courses like a meme or common protocol.  It tugs at the self-reflective and communal in us.  It looks backward over the work it culminates (a word etymologically related to it) and looks forward to the work’s future readers.  More so in Dietrich’s time, it often looked backward over the life's work of the scribe and forward to his future reward.

 

In case the image above (a page from Kennard’s book, "Some Early Printers and Their Colophons," describing Dietrich’s exhortation to his scribes) is not legible, here is the relevant bit:

 

"Once upon a time there was a wicked monk.  At his death the devil claimed his soul.  He thought he had a sure thing.  Now, it happened that just before his death the monk had completed the copying of a great fario volume.  This book the angels brought to judgment-seat of God, and for each letter written in the book one sin was forgiven.  When the recording angel had added up the two sides of the account, behold, there was one little " i" left over, and the monk's soul was saved."

 

That little “i” left over – the colophon – will be a useful point from which to explore the evolution of the book and how its predecessors and its successors were and will be read.

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A resource to bookmark: EPUB 3.0 Support Grid

A resource to bookmark:  EPUB 3.0 Support Grid | Books On Books | Scoop.it

Perhaps yesterday's news, but Books On Books has bookmarked this resource as a tool as basic to the evolution of the book as any bibliographic study of print.

 

"The Grid is designed to be a handy reference to what enhancements and features of the recently released EPUB 3.0 are usable on which device, app, and reading system. The Grid was created and filled in by industry experts representing leading publishers, service providers, and technology vendors."

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Bookmark this perspective on the future of the book

Travis Alber interviewed by Melville House's Claire Kelly on social reading. Alongside Bob Stein (Institute for the Future of the Book), the founders of ReadMill and a handful of other "future-designers," Alber and "ReadSocial" partner Aaron Miller have put a convincing case forward for how social reading touches a segment of the book's DNA and how the book and our reading may evolve.

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A bookmark for the end of the book? | Colophons & copyrights: Delight in the details « Felt & Wire

A bookmark for the end of the book? | Colophons & copyrights: Delight in the details « Felt & Wire | Books On Books | Scoop.it

On her blog "Felt & Wire," Alyson Kuhn shares her foray into the origins of the word "colophon" (http://www.feltandwire.com/2012/07/23/colophons-copyrights-delight-in-the-details/).  

 

 

In ancient Greece, Ionia to be precise, the city Colophon stood on a summit.   The colophon,  the final page stating the title of the work, who made it, when it was made, how it was made, for whom it was made, etc., stands at the summit of the book, justifying its being named for that city.  It is the maker's signing off from the summit of the foregoing text.  That "signing off" can be construed as the "finishing touch," which might refer to the reputation of the Colophonian warriors for being the deciding factor in many a battle, hence the phrase of Erasmus ‘Colophonem adidi’ – ‘I have put a finishing touch to it.’ 

 

The name of Kuhn's site -- "Felt & Wire" -- reflects her passion for paper.  She tag-lines it as "Impressions from the Paper-Obsessed," which explains why her entry does not go back as far as the first appearance of colophons on clay tablets (http://genesis1.blog.com/2010/01/07/colophons-in-genesis/) -- nor ahead as far as their regular appearance in websites (an example of which can be found here (http://helderluis.net/about/colophon).  

 

But there is a functional logic for going back as far as those biblical "colophons." They are recurring phrases related to the "toledoth"passages that appear in the Genesis tablets (http://www.specialtyinterests.net/Toledoth.html#nature).  Toledoth is Hebrew for "generations" as in "These are the origins [or histories] of Noah," which a convincing group of Hebraic scholars translate in the possessive.  As in "The foregoing book relating these stories belongs to Noah" or "This is Noah signing off."  So the toledoth perform some of the same finishing functions as colophons.

 

There is also, according to the Edenics site (http://www.edenics.net/english-word-origins.aspx?word=COLOPHON), an etymological reason for going back to the Hebrew.   The word "colophon" itself has its roots in the Hebrew word "Gimel-Lamed," meaning "wave" and "a prominent man-made heap."

 

Certainly many books fit that etymological definition (a prominent man-made heap) and deserve a colophon whether they have one or not!

 

Looking forward, though, it is endearing that so many websites bear the colophon device and, in doing so, raise the questions, "Should we think of these websites as books?"  "How might the use of traditional parts of the book in websites or ebooks tell us what the book will be beyond the Age of e-Incunabula?"   

 

As if to prove the relevance to the Web of the "six degrees of separation" hypothesis, the search for "colophon" leads to an article in About.com  (http://desktoppub.about.com/od/webdesign/a/Colophon-Web-Pages.htm) referring the reader to guidelines for publishing on the web that come from the National Genealogical Society: (http://genealogy.about.com/od/writing_family_history/a/standards_web.htm).   And that brings us back to toledoth (the "begats") passages in Genesis!

 

Like the Ebook Timeline entry below, this Books On Books entry for the colophon will be regularly updated. From what better vantage than the colophon to look back for the origins of the book and forward for its future?   More to come on colophons.

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Center for Book Arts: Friday Insights: Support our Artists in Residence!

Center for Book Arts: Friday Insights: Support our Artists in Residence! | Books On Books | Scoop.it

Even the "book arts" are having to go back to the future, sort of, to survive.  

 

In the Renaissance, the arts and manuscripts were supported by the patronage of the rich and powerful, intent on securing fame, honor or redemption by association with lasting works.  

 

Along comes the democratizing printing press, and eventually (a very long eventually), patronage is replaced by secured copyright and a working market.   Now the democratizing Web has arrived, and content, including art, should be free, we are told or simply shown by the taking.

 

Crowdsourced funding won't provide contributors with lasting fame by association, but here's hoping "we happy few" who value the arts and books (digital and print) for their own sake will dig into our pockets.  Watch, listen and think about it.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt1VPPrvB_8

 

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Ebook Timeline - Updated 20120725

Ebook Timeline - Updated 20120725 | Books On Books | Scoop.it

As we are still in the Age of e-Incunabula, what better than a trip half way around the world to Japan to see one of the world's largest collections of Western incunabula -- and an excellent site to bookmark?

 

The National Diet Library's site refers to itself as an exhibition based on the book "Inkyunabura no Sekai" (The World of Incunabula) / written by Hiroharu Orita, compiled by the Library Research Institute of the National Diet Library. Tokyo: Japan Library Association, July 2000 (in Japanese).

 

The exhibition provides a timeline of incunabula from the second half of the 4th century when the shift to the codex occurred to 1980 when the British Library began entering data on its collection of incunabula into the ISTC.  The site provides much more than this chronology.  Images from the collection, statistics on the type fonts used, coverage of design and how the quires (sheets of paper folded, forerunner of book signatures and files in EPUB!) were arranged, and the binding process -- all are covered straightforwardly and often in entertaining detail.

 

Look on this site and consider how far we have to go with our ebooks and apps!
http://www.ndl.go.jp/incunabula/e/chronology/index.html
Added 20120725.

 

Feel free to suggest other timeline entries!

 

Previous:

 

Not as interactive as the Counterspace timeline for typography below, but certainly as densely informative, and it extends to typography online. http://static.colourlovers.com/uploads/images/typographic_infographic.html
Added 20120719.

 

Another timeline, this one focused on bookbinding. Is .zip the binding for an ebook?
http://blog.bookstellyouwhy.com/news/2012071017/collecting-a-quick-history-of-book-binding/
Added 20120717.

 

On the heels of the question above comes an outstanding interactive infographic on a critical element of the book: http://www.counterspace.us/typography/timeline/. Added 20120710.

 

Yet another ebook timeline, and this one is broken down into interpretive categories, "The Age of Writing" and "The Network Era," which is thought-provoking. Are we in "The Age of the Tablet"? (http://robotwisdom.com/web/timeline.html). Added 20120706.

 

INCIPIT (i.e., where the scoop started):

 

In 1936, "Chronology of Books & Printing" appeared in its revised edition, published by Macmillan in New York.  In 1996, Cor Knops picked up the torch and started a Book History Timeline from Sumerian clay tablets (he could have started with the caves at Lascaux!) through to 1997 with the first issue of "Biblio Magazine" but with little acknowledgment of ebooks (http://knops.home.xs4all.nl/timetab.html).

 

Now in 2012, looking back to 2002, we find this journalistic stab at a timeline for ebooks (http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2002/jan/03/ebooks.technology).

 

Forged together, the chronologies would have to include "As we may think" by Vannevar Bush in 1945, Ted Nelson's coining of "hypertext" in 1963-65, the Apple Newton in 1993 (how many publishers and authors have kept track of the free downloads of their Newton ebooks at http://www.4shared.com/dir/sbh5D8Eh/Newton_eBooks.html?) and much more.

 

Another extension of the ebook timeline appears in this book by Marie Lebert (http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/29801"), which fills in important gaps, misses others and offers more than a few overemphasized continental developments. Her timeline takes us through 2008, which means that the signal events in 2011/12 of ebooks sales' outstripping those of print in some markets are still to be added.

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Conference Tracks, Speakers, and Exhibitors - Going Digital Conference

Conference Tracks, Speakers, and Exhibitors - Going Digital Conference | Books On Books | Scoop.it

Seybold is following up its May 2012 "Digital Publishing Report" with a "Going Digital Conference," mounted by the Joss Group.  They are thinking of two tracks -- one on long-form and one on short-form publishing, both multi-form and 100% digital.   Between O'Reilly Conferences, LBF, ABA, Frankfurt and Seybold, the ratio of annual conferences on digital publishing to industry participants -- even with the recession -- must be rising.  

 

Anyone have accurate statistics on this?   Second prize:  a Heidelberg Platen Letter Press! 

 

 

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Bookmarking a forthcoming title

Tom Abba and Baldur Bjarnason are writing a book -- about "books, electronic textuality and materiality and is a manifesto of sorts."

 

Some of it slips out intentionally in Abba's blog.  He comments on Touchpress's app of Eliot's "The Wasteland," Flipboard's setting of design trends and Visual Editions' app version of Marc Saporta's "Composition No. 1."   Here's hoping that they also address "Agrippa (a book of the dead)," the work of art created by novelist William Gibson, artist Dennis Ashbaugh and publisher Kevin Begos Jr. in 1992.   That's right, futurists, 20 years ago.  

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41kZovcyHrU

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Expanded Artists’ Books: Envisioning the Future of the Book

Here's a twist, or is it?  

 

The Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago issued a call for proposals yesterday (19 July) for projects that "provide concept(s) of how the digital work may be transformed into a physical book object – ...."

 

The premise behind the "award of two $10,000 commissions for new artworks for the iPad [which] will have physical counterparts that intersect, modulate, or inform the digital components of the artwork" is:

 

"Artists’ books claim all aspects of the book (format, typography, structure, etc.) as potentially expressive. As immersive hybrid experiences for the reader/viewer, these works expand the limits of what we traditionally think of as a book. Simultaneously, we consider that tablet-based mobile platforms are emerging as a dynamic arena for investigation of the notion of the book. Expanded Artists’ Books utilize the rich capabilities of the tablet platform to imagine new forms that a book might take, such as exploring how interactivity challenges the traditional closure of text or the performance of time."

 

William Gibson's novels leap to mind as examples of predictive fiction (fairly uncannily when you compare Google's VR glasses to the Ono-Sendai Cyberspace Deck that allows characters in the Sprawl trilogy to enter and navigate "Cyberspace [that] consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts. … A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding." (Gibson 69)  

 

So why not predictive book art to envision the future of the book?

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