Austen Variations is have a grand opening giveaway.

Austen Variations is have a grand opening giveaway.

Austen Variations is a new site created by authors who write Jane Austen inspired sequels and historical fiction. Their grand opening giveaway features a large amount of books and other items. Visit the link and enter the giveaway!


Physical Bookstores Versus Digital

I like physical books and bookstores. I also liked used bookstores which took a downhill turn and many went out of business.

Barnes and Noble is in trouble and with good reason. They focused their Nook brand on books where people want entertainment. This includes books but also movies and music. Something Amazon and Apple understand but B&N doesn’t. The same can be said for many people who champion Kobo or phyiscal books stores.

Taking myself as an example: I have a Kindle e-reading device. I have a tablet, phone, and laptop. I can read the same book on any of those devices and pick up right where I left off. I can take notes, highlight, and have bookmarks. These are saved on the Amazon cloud and I can access them on any of my devices.

Any device that I read digital books on can also sink underwater, burn in a fire, or be thrown out of a 20 story window. My books will still be waiting for me on any other device. Try that with paper.

Logistics will also play a role. New markets are opening for books and who wants to build new publishing houses, chop down more trees, and transport books hundreds or thousands of miles? Digital can go anywhere there is an internet connection in a matter of seconds – including space.

Today, most individuals have access to one or several electronic devices. Reading and knowledge gathering are more accessible to the masses in more places than at any time in history. Digital is the only way that is possible. The paper way is old and on the way out. Paper books will be available for some time to come. However, digital will continue into the future and the increase in use can only go one way.

I don’t own a printer and the only DVD’s I have contain videos I took years ago. The digital world is much simpler. My books, music, and movies are in the cloud.

Written in response to:
There Will Always Be a Place for Great Bookstores


Does The Library Of The Future Have Books?

Libraries are about access go information in many forms: physical or digital. 

DRM is still a major issue. I can easily listen to audio books from my local library electronically. Ebooks, on the other hand, have to be viewed in a browser or downloaded to a computer and side-loaded to a reading device through Adobe Digital Editions. No thanks.

Jane Austen Bookmark and Birthday Card

I ordered a bookmark and birthday card from Patty Marq and they arrived today! Thanks Patty, they are perfect.

The images were taken from my iPhone. One side of the bookmark appears to not be even. This is caused by the lighting angle. Parts of the bookmark rise slightly above the table, producing a shadow.

2010 Reading List

The first half of 2010 was spent reading mostly technical material. At the beginning of June I started reading “normal” books again starting with The Sun Also Rises. I then devoured books one after another. Below is a list of the books I’ve read the last half of this year along with a list of the ones that were my favorites.


1. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
2. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
3. Lost Christianities by Bart Ehrman


4. God’s Problem by Bart Ehrman
5. Where the Sabots Clatter Again by Katherine Shortall
6. The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim
7. Flatland by Edwin Abbott
8. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

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Why I Recommend the Nook Ebook Reader

If you are like most people, when looking for a new product you read reviews on web sites or blogs. I have read quite a few comparing ebook readers. Some are good and some contain wrong information or withhold information.

I did comparisons by viewing both written and video reviews. I chose the Nook for several reasons and after using it for six months I can look back and say I made the right choice.

EPUB Format

This is one of the strongest reason to use a Nook, Sony, Kobo or other readers that can display books in the EPUB format. Kindle is an exception. With EPUB, you can purchase an ebook from anyone who sells them and display them on any device that reads them.

For instance, if you have a Nook and buy an ebook from Borders, the Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software can be used to transfer the ebook to the Nook or vice-versa.

An important point about EPUB ebook readers. If you buy an ebook in EPUB format, you are not tied down to one reader. You switch from one to another and take your entire library with you.

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Backup Twitter Account and Tweets

I have found two tools to backup Twitter information.


With Tweetake, you enter your Twitter username and password on the web site, choose what you want backup up and click the “Get ’em” button.


Tweetake site


TwitterBackup is java based tool you download and run. Requires java to be installed on your computer (most people will have this).


Enter username, password and filename and hit the Enter key.

TwitterBackup site

Found these tools and screenshots from this blog.

First thoughts on WordPress

I have been using WordPress for about a week now and am impressed. I like the themes and customization. Anyone who is a novice can easily set up a blog in a very short amount of time. Experienced web programmers will enjoy the ability to edit the entire look and feel.

I have programmed in HTML and CSS for many years and dabbled in PHP. Soon after installation I wanted to update the header and sidebar code. WordPress lists each file for editing from within the application. All I had to do was add/update the code I wanted and click update.

Content sections for the sidebar and footer can be changed through a drag and drop interface using widgets.

I still have a lot to explore in the WordPress interface but I already have what I need for now.

Finally. Smartphones!

I had a Motorola V265 since 2004. Since wireless plans have become much better the last year or so, I decided to look at switching to a carrier with a better plan and get a smart phone.

I looked at all the major carriers and Sprint had the best family plan. My family had been thinking about the iPhone, but after discussing the plans, we decided to look at the phones Sprint offers.

My son decided on the Palm Pre. My daughter and I both on the BlackBerry Tour.

The Pre is a touchscreen phone with a slide out keyboard. It also has multitasking features. After reading about the touchscreen phones, I had decided I would prefer the keyboard and trackball that the BlackBerry phones employ.

After using my Tour for a month, I can say I am very satisfied with it. It has a 3.2 megapixel camera with flash and video recording. The keys are close together and it took a little time to get accustomed to. The upside is the phone’s size. It’s not bulky like the older BlackBerry models are known for.

The screen is high solution. This resulted in hard to read text on the web browser. At first, this was very annoying but changing the font settings helped. The Bolt browser can be download and it renders font better than the BlackBerry browser.

Overall I can say that the Tour was the best choice for me. There are two phones that have since come out that look interesting: the BlackBerry Storm 2 and the Motorola Droid. I’ll post on those another time.