Round up #209: bookstores, Hollowland
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
PowPow is shipping!
has started its journey. 🙂
Since it’s a 2nd generation Paperwhite (PW), and I’ve been writing that as PW2 (which I read as “PW squared”), I have named it “PowPow”. 😉
I am looking forward to exploring it. I hope to have a menu map out by the end of Wednesday.
My Kindle Fire HDX 7″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB – Includes Special Offers (which I have named “HDXter”, pronounced “Aitch-Dexter”) is still scheduled for October 18th.
I’m excited to see them both!
Hollowland (The Hollows, #1)
by Amanda Hocking
Free at time of writing
X-ray, lending, text-to-speech, all enabled…and unlimited simultaneous device licenses
I’ve written about Amanda Hocking before. In particular, there was this piece, more than two and a half years ago, about Hocking being one of the iconic Amazon indie authors making it in the writing world. I’ve also said I think Amanda Hocking may be the best tweeter on the planet. 😉
However, honestly, I’d never read a novel by Amanda Hocking.
Now I have. 🙂
It was free, and I knew from the tweets this was a talented author.
The product page describes it as a “young adult” novel, although it wasn’t categorized that way.
Certainly, the protagonist would generally appeal to that demographic, and there are elements of the story structure (the way that the world can revolve around person still figuring out who they are and where they fit in it) that I’m sure help to contribute to an excellent 4.3 out of 5 star rating with 684 reviews.
However, I have to say…there are things where I would caution you. The appearance the “S word” early on…well, that’s becoming almost acceptable on broadcast TV. We did, though, get to the “F word” eventually. There is clinically described violence (quite a bit of it, even though it is commonly against “zombies”), and…um…an unambiguous sex scene.
If those aren’t concerns for you, then let me say that I liked the characterizations, and the world. I could feel for the people involved, be amused in the right places, and recognize the realness of several of the characters.
As an animal lover (and Hocking tweets quite a few animal pictures), I also appreciated one particular element.
Overall, the story was enjoyable, and I was looking forward to seeing what happened next as I went through it.
In terms of production quality, well, there were a number of minor typos, but they weren’t as common as zombie kills in the book. 😉 The cover was haunting.
I wouldn’t say this is classic literature, but if you are comfortable with the elements I mentioned and are looking for a good popcorn book, this could be it.
Library of Congress websites will go offline if the government shuts down
As I write this (but maybe not when you read it), we don’t know yet if the U.S. government will shut down, and if does, for how long.
We do know, though, that the Library of Congress websites (with the exceptions of Thomas.gov and Congress.gov) will go offline if it happens.
That would include a site I’ve mentioned before:
While many people would be affected in much more serious ways, I thought some of you might be wondering…
You know, I read a lot of stories about bookstores…both about ones opening and ones closing. I know I’m probably more interested in that than some of you, since I managed a brick-and-mortar bookstore. I do think it relates to e-books, though, since the different delivery media for books (e-books, audiobooks, p-books ((paperbooks))) have an interdependency. Feel free to let me know if you’d rather not see these types of stories.
SCPR.org: LA’s Last Bookstore looks to keep the page in the digital age by Colin Berry
This sounds like a bookstore I’d like to visit! It’s funky and apparently has a huge selection of used books, many for $1. It’s exactly the kind of store I’ve suggested could thrive in the current and projected environment. They’ve made it an experience to go there:
“The result could be out of a neo-Victorian sci-fi novel. As Spencer has imagined it, the Last Bookstore is more quirky than stuffy, with bicycle-wheel chandeliers, a huge mural made of paperbacks, and sculptures made of books that literally fly off the shelves.”
New York Daily News: True South, financially strapped black bookstore, closes in Bedford-Stuyvesant by Reuven Blau
On the other hand, not every specialty bookstore is going to survive, even with community support. I love that there was this bookstore in Bed-Stuy: that’s not what you always hear about with that neighborhood…
Idaho Stateman: Ada Community Library Bookstore grand opening Oct. 5 by Cynthia Sewell
That’s right: it’s a used bookstore as part of a community library…and it’s adding a bookstore to the world.
How is it going overall for bookstores?
Fortune: The indie bookstore resurgence by Verne Kopytoff
The article (which I recommend) has several positive indicators…more sales, more membership in the American Booksellers Association.
However, it does talk about Amazon’s “aversion” to collecting State sales tax. Amazon has sent a top executive to argue in favor of a national internet sales tax policy (not a new tax, but what I refer to as “equal collection legislation”. What they don’t want is different rules in different places. Of course, I think it’s also reasonable to ask: if brick-and-mortar stores were not collecting sales tax now, would they be “averse” to having that added to their duties? I’m thinking yes…which suggests that there isn’t a moral superiority in that element, but simply a matter of circumstance. I’m not saying that local institutions aren’t more inclined towards paying local taxes (since they see the benefits more directly), but I don’t think it’s fair to say that because you are doing something you are legally required to do, you are better than someone who hasn’t been legally required to do the same thing.
What do you think? Amazon has fought a sales tax thing…are they taking advantage of the tax structure to get an unfair marketplace edge? Do stories about brick-and-mortar bookstores belong in ILMK? Are you excited because you ordered a new Kindle? Have you been to any of the bookstores I mentioned? If so, how was it? Did you buy anything? Is it okay for young adult books to use profanity and have violence and sex scenes? If so, what makes them young adult? Is that not a label for guidance, but just one for marketing? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.