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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

So where's the link???

Digital library exceeds 1 million books - Yahoo! News

Well you can praise the library if you want, but without a URL to take you there the story is pretty mute, im my opinion. What is the point of putting in all these books without giving out the way of accessing them?

One million books--that's impressive...even if they are scanned in....I've made scans of my kids' workbooks for school so I could eliminate the "I forgot it" excuse for not getting thier work done...and let me tell you, I got bored really quick by doing just 15 pages I couldn't imagine doing an entire book!

I wonder too how they deal with the "dead" areas of the spine....if you have ever tried to copy a page in a thick or hard covered book you will find that you can't get the book to lay flat enough without applying pressure to the top of the scanner and putting extra pressure on the scanner's glass--NOT GOOD!--so I wonder what they did to eliminate that?

I can't imagine that they would have taken the books apart and then had them all rebound...especially not with the older books.

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Now if you want a really nice e-library I suggest Project Gutenberg. It is maintaintained by volunteers, and the majority of the works are hand-typed into the system.

ALL texts are in the public-domain and copyright free ....you will find all sorts of classics here--Austen, Orczy, Shakespeare, Sabatini, Dumas, you name it--from Aaron to Zwemer! Books are generally the first ed.s although there are some that are 4th eds...it all depends on what copies are being used---Pride & Prejudice, Scaramouche, Illiad, Scarlet Pimpernel---everything from "Aan de kust van Malabar De Aarde en haar Voken" (in Dutch, btw) to "Zweierfei Denken Ein Beirtrag zar Physilogic des Deskens" (in German).... and that's not even mentioning the texts that use characters that don't fit into the anglo-saxon alphabet!

Need links?? Try these for Project Gutenberg:

General info/intro to the project

the dircet eCard Catalog (search by author or title)

The advance Search feature (when you want to find by Subject matter, collections, language, or even if you are looking for, say, free audio versions of the book)

Oh that reminds me:

Free audio books! I love hearing someone else read while I'm checking out a book that I find a tad difficult to get started on, or one which has a lot of foriegn words that I don't know how to pronounce--like "The Three Musketeers" or "Scarlet Pimpernel" for instance....I have very little knowledge of French--for these times I love the site:

Librivox!

This site is also maintained by volunteers...you can search for completed works or look for one's that currently being recorded or getting ready to be recorded! Some works are recorded by one/solo reader some will have several readers...and some, like "The Importance of Being Ernest" are recorded as a production_see note at end of this post_

Each catalog entry will give you the link to the online version of the book used for the reading...usually a Proj. Gut. text but not always....this means that not only can you take the audio with you but a copy of the book itself on your iPod or PDA. I love this! It was this feature that made it possible for my 4th grader to read and understand Jack London & Sabitini! I'll post more on that later.

The searchable catalog

The Advanced Search {where you can pull-down the Status menu to find which works are In Progress, or those that are waiting for Proof Listening...this is a fun feature. You can also search by language, genre, the month the work was put into the catalog, etc.}

They even have several podcasts. There is one made for the people who do the recordings, there is one that interviews authors....my favorite is the one that gives you the books automatically!

Librivox Book Podcast

I really recommend their podcast--every day you get a new chapter of the current book, every week you get a poetry selection--I love it!

_The Importance of Being Ernest_

Okay here is that note I promised. When it came time to do this work the coordinator had to deal with the issue of the book having been written/published as a play. What to do?

They came up with the ingenious idea...at least I think so...of instead of assigning chapters as is the norm, of assigning characters-just like in a regular play...this also meant that a narrator needed to be assigned to read the stage cues.

Now you might think this is a rather easy thing to do...until you learn that the readers had to do each of their parts on their own without having the benefit of hearing the other readers parts/inflections/voices, etc. The readers were in seperate states, even countries--they had no real idea.

Then the coordinator took the seperate works and peiced them together! They didn't make any money from their hard work. You know this had to take several hours of work too....that is what I call dedication!

Bravo!

Please patronize these sites.

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