Tag Archives: book lovers

Kristen Wiig Reads the Poetry of Suzanne Somers: Random News for Book Lovers

Welcome to this week’s edition of Random News for Book Lovers:

  • J.R.R. Tolkien fans will love this endearing story from Letters of Note about a series of letters and cards he wrote to his young children, posing as Father Christmas.  How cool would it be to get personalized Christmas cards from J.R.R. Tolkien?
  • The Daily Beast gets to the heart of the matter on our enduring fascination with Jane Austen.  Thanks to EneryVibes for bringing it to our attention.
  • From what has to be the greatest-named blog ever, The Good Greatsby provides an amusing list of the shortcomings of Amazon’s Kindle.  My favorite reason to dislike the Kindle…

“The Kindle, unlike a book, cannot be used to swat a mosquito.  To be perfectly honest, a Kindle can be used to swat a mosquito, but only once.”    (from The Good Greatsby)

  • Room to Read reports on Cambodia’s development of nationwide library standards for its schools, a radical improvement in the educational system for this developing nation.
  • Remember Beverly Cleary?  At 95 she’s alive and kickin’.  Enjoy this recent interview with the author and creator of Ramona Quimby in The Atlantic.
  • And lastly I offer to you this video of comedienne Kristen Wiig reading the poetry of Suzanne Somers (yes, that Suzanne Somers), simply because I can.  You’re welcome.  Many thanks to Leesa’s Stories for bringing it to our attention.
Happy reading all!
 
Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/
P.S.  Please flatter us by subscribing to this blog via email or RSS Feed.  Doing so plays a big role in supporting our philanthropic mission to fund new libraries and other literacy programs in the developing world!

A Letter to GoneReading’s Facebook Fans

A signature design from GoneReading, now available for purchase at http://www.GoneReading.com.

Dear GoneReading Fans:

An amazing thing happened this past weekend: After less than four months since it’s launch, GoneReading welcomed its 1,000th Facebook Fan.  What started as an experiment is blossoming into a genuine online community of book lovers, bibliophiles and readers.  I offer you a heartfelt thank you for your support of GoneReading!

You are the heart and soul of GoneReading.  You’re our biggest supporters, contributors, promoters and customers.  You inspire us, give us great ideas and support, and are an invaluable part of our early success.

For Our Newest Fans – A Quick Primer on GoneReading

  • GoneReading is the only lifestyle brand designed exclusively for book lovers like yourself.  GoneReading generates all income through the sale of our unique line of gifts for readers.  Buy some amazing gifts for book lovers by shopping online here!
  • GoneReading is a philanthropic enterprise that was founded to bring the magic of reading to places where it doesn’t exist.  We will donate 100% of our profits to fund reading libraries and other literacy programs in the developing world.  You can read more about our cause here.
  • Our Facebook Fanpage provides book lovers with tips, news and discussion of unique interest to readers, while also sharing the GoneReading story.

Our Facebook Fanpage is an interactive community, and we encourage your input, feedback and involvement.  Please reach out to us, and your fellow community members, with questions, ideas, tips and suggestions as it relates to your love of reading, books and the literary-lifestyle.

How to Support our Philanthropic Mission Without Spending a Dime
Of course I would love nothing more than for you to buy lots of GoneReading merchandise, but there are two important ways in which you can support our cause without spending a dime:
  1. Invite your fellow book loving friends to join our Facebook Fanpage.  Can we get to 2,000 Fans in record time?  I’m sure you know at least a handful of readers that would love to “Like” GoneReading, and I would be honored for you to make the recommendation.
  2. As you follow our Facebook posts, please “Like”, Comment and/or Share the pieces that inspire you.  Not only does this give us tremendous feedback on your likes (and dislikes), but Google and the other search engines actually track fan interaction on Facebook.  The more Likes, Comments and Shares we “earn” on Facebook, the more searchers will find our online store and buy our products.
I can’t thank you enough for your support of GoneReading in its embryonic stage.  With your continued help, what started as an idea only six months ago will ultimately transform countless lives by enabling readers around the world.
Please share your thoughts by commenting below, or reach out to me with an email to brad.wirz@gonereading.com!
Sincerely,
 
Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/
 
P.S. Two more sample product designs below.  Visit GoneReading’s Online Store, where dozens of our product designs are available on hundreds of different products!
 

E-Readers Creating Book Lovers in Kenya

Students in Kenya proudly display their new E-readers provided by Worldreader.org.

Worldreader is cracking the code for E-reader usage in Kenya.

If you’ve traveled in the developing world, or even in the most rural parts in the West, you know that cellphone technology is often more widely available than land-line communications.  It’s simply more affordable to build a cellphone tower than to hard-wire every building in town, resulting in cellphone usage that “leapfrogs” ahead of regular phones.

We’re starting to see the same thing happen with library construction in some parts of the developing world.  Although libraries and librarians are desperately needed throughout the developing world, in some cases E-readers can “leapfrog” the proliferation of the printed book.

It’s not that simple, of course, as language, technology, power-grid and many other issues pose significant barriers to the widespread usage of E-readers in the developing world.

Turning Kids into Book Lovers

But as you can read in this blogpost, non-profit Worldreader is starting to really tackle those challenges.

“Yesterday was the first day that I witnessed the kids getting to explore the e-readers on their own.  It was magical.”

As we say at GoneReading, more reading is always better, and Worldreader is absolutely getting it done by pushing the envelope and figuring out new ways to bring the magic of reading into the most underdeveloped corners of the world.

Just as in the developed world, the proliferation of E-readers only increases the need for libraries and librarians, it doesn’t replace them.  But E-readers can play an incredible complementary role, resulting in a sum that is greater than the parts.  Libraries + librarians + E-readers might just be the next killer app, so to speak.

Keep an eye on Worldreader.  I can assure you that GoneReading will be doing the same!

You can read more about Worldreader in eBookAnoid.

Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/

P.S.  Hey book lovers, flatter us by subscribing to this blog.  Doing so plays a big role in supporting our philanthropic mission to fund libraries and other literacy programs in the developing world.

Updating the Definition of a “Book”

Does anyone out there write dictionary definitions for a living?

Given the rapid changes in the publishing industry and the ever-evolving English language, I think it’s time for a couple of updates to the definition of the word book.  First, a few of the current definitions:

  • Cambridge Dictionaries Online – “A set of pages that have been fastened together inside a cover to be read or written in.”
  • Wikipedia – “A book is a set or collection of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of paper, parchment, or other various material, usually fastened together to hinge at one side.
  • Merriam-Webster – “A set of written sheets of skin or paper or tablets of wood or ivory.”

Tablets of wood or ivory?  Really?

I wouldn’t pretend to have the credentials to write updated definitions, but as a serious book lover myself I will offer two specific areas for updating:

One: A Book Is Not A Printed Work

A book is a literary work, regardless of the format in which it is consumed.  A book read on a Kindle or listened to on an iPod is every bit as much of a book read from a fine, leather-bound volume.  Likewise, it shouldn’t require qualification as an “E-book” or an “audiobook.”   They’re all books, the quality of which rests solely on the quality of the writing.

A couple of weeks ago I streamed the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind on Netflix as I exercised on the treadmill.  The movie was still a movie, right?  It wasn’t an S-movie (for streaming) or a T-movie (for treadmill).  It was a movie.

When you listen to Bono sing Sunday Bloody Sunday at a live concert, you’re not listening to a C-song (for concert), are you?

I think you get the idea.

Two: A Book Is A Long-Form Composition

I don’t believe this is new, but I think it’s an important clarification to emphasize in the digital era.  Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, a book requires a well thought out thesis that cannot be written or read in short-order.  Books involve big ideas and big plots which take time.

This gets to the heart of why we will always need books.  If you want to process big thoughts, learn big ideas, effect big changes in the world, there’s simply no better place to turn than books.

So does anyone out there disagree?  Please comment below and let us know what you think!

For more reading on the topic:

 
Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/

P.S.  Hey book lovers, please flatter us by subscribing to this blog!  Doing so plays a big role in supporting our philanthropic mission to fund libraries and other literacy programs in the developing world.

Bernie Madoff’s Reading List: Random News for Book Lovers

Featured product design from GoneReading. Support literacy by shopping online at http://www.GoneReading.com.

This week’s edition of Random News for Book Lovers:

  • Apple has reportedly filed a patent for a new technology that would allow easier iPhone/iPad reading in bright sunlight, at least while wearing polarized sunglasses.  No word on when the technology could be available in Apple products.
  • As if being the future Queen of England wasn’t enough, it turns out that Kate Middleton is related to literary great Jane Austen.  Read about it on Beattie’s Book Blog.
  • Want to know what Bernie Madoff is reading in jail?  Check it out here, along with some suggestions on what he should be reading instead.  This story also reaffirms my secret desire to serve time, although I would like to do so by committing something lesser of a crime.
  • It might be a little early to call the death of bookstores.  Read the story here, along with some pithy suggestions on how they can evolve to keep up with the times.  Thanks to A Writer’s Desk for bringing the story our way.
  • Lastly, if you love the sight of big, beautiful bookshelves, then you’re going to love Bookshelf Porn.  Thanks to The Book Garden for bringing it to our attention.
 
Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/

P.S.  Please flatter us by subscribing to this blog via email or RSS Feed.  Doing so plays a big role in supporting our philanthropic mission to fund new libraries and other literacy programs in the developing world!

How Can Reading Help a New Country?

How can reading help a new nation? Photo courtesy of UNESCO/E.Abramson

A very rare thing will happen today: A new nation will be born as Southern Sudan secedes from war-torn Sudan.  The poverty and living conditions of the region are difficult for those in the developed world to comprehend.  A recent study by the United Nations indicates that South Sudan has the lowest primary school enrollment in the world.  Only 8% of the new nation’s women are literate, and teenage girls are more likely to die giving birth than to finish school.

Unbelievable.

According to the World Education Blog, UNESCO and the UK Department for International Development are targeting education as the keystone to building a new future for South Sudan.  The story indicates that schools and school children were the deliberate target of attacks throughout the war in Sudan; officials hope that a focus on education is the best route to undoing the damage.

I agree.  An educated, reading populace is the best route to building a flourishing, stable state for the long-term.  An informed public, one that reads history and learns from the struggles of its predecessors, is best situated to avoid the pitfalls of new-nation status.

I will leave the particulars of exactly how to build an education system within South Sudan to the development experts.  However, GoneReading is committed to its mission of funding library construction and literacy programs in the developing world.  We’re a start-up organization ourselves, but in the long-run we hope to play a prominent role in the rebuilding of South Sudan.  Non-profits seeking funding for such work should email us at libraryfunding@gonereading.com.

I would like to know your thoughts.  How can reading help a new country?  Join the conversation by commenting below.

Feel free to read more on the situation in South Sudan.

Sincerely,

Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/

P.S.  Please flatter us by subscribing to this blog via email or RSS Feed.  Doing so plays a big role in supporting our philanthropic mission!

Baby Products: Coming Soon (With Your Help!)

As you may or may not know, GoneReading’s philanthropic mission is to enable readers worldwide by funding the construction of libraries and other literacy programs in the developing world.  In fact, we donate 100% of our profits to such programs.

Rather than asking for donations, we generate these profits through the sale of our reading lifestyle merchandise, designed exclusively for book lovers and readers like yourself.  We encourage you to check out GoneReading’s Online Store.


And now we’re thrilled to announce that GoneReading will soon extend its gift and merchandise offering to include a line of baby products.  Yes, we want to turn your babies into book lovers!

Included in the lineup will be baby hats, onesies, bibs and blankets, each available in a wide variety of colors and sizes (samples displayed above).

Your Creativity Needed

BUT, we need your help in developing new “headlines” and “slogans” for our new baby product lineup.  Have a cute idea?  Post them as a comment below, on our Facebook page, or send them via email to babyideas@gonereading.com.  If we decide to use your idea we will gladly send you any free item of your choosing from our online store!

So put your thinking caps on and send us those ideas.  As always, we appreciate your time!

Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/

P.S.  Please flatter us by subscribing to this blog via email or RSS Feed.  Doing so plays a big role in supporting our philanthropic mission!


Reader Survey: When Do You Bail On A Bad Book?

Book lovers appear to have a wide range of opinions on the subject of bad books, and whether or not we should finish reading them once started.  Personally, I’ve always been of the I-will-forge-ahead-no-matter-what mindset, which can be really painful because I tend to read long books.  Many disagree with this approach.

Because everyone seems to disagree, the minds at GoneReading decided to conduct a poll to see if we can get this thing settled once and for all.  Please take a moment to respond to our poll, share your comments below, and forward along to your reading friends!

For more online discussion on the topic check-out these sites:

Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/

P.S.  If you enjoyed this little post and want to see the final survey results, please flatter us by subscribing to this blog via email or RSS Feed.  Doing so plays a big role in supporting our philanthropic mission!


Sharing Books with American Troops Overseas

A vintage WWI poster promoting book donations for our soldiers. Photo courtesy of E-Books for Troops.

One of the most common questions I’m asked when talking to book lovers about GoneReading is “How can I donate my books for charity?”  I have a variety of typical responses depending on each person’s situation, but just this week I stumbled across some terrific new options.

With Independence Day upon us here in the United States, these programs seem particularly fitting:  How To Share Books With Our Troops Overseas, courtesy of the folks at GalleyCat, highlights several programs for you to consider.   As you will see, you can help our troops read more by sending your used books, buying new books for yourself through charitable partners, donating your used Kindle, donating cash and more.

So enjoy your Fourth of July weekend, and try to help bring the joy of reading to these dedicated men and women while they serve apart from their families.

Other related stories you might find of interest:

Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/
 
P.S.  If you enjoyed this little post, please flatter us by subscribing to The GoneReading Blog via email or RSS Feed.  Doing so plays a big role in supporting our philanthropic mission!

Did Shakespeare Smoke Weed? Random News for Book Lovers

I find so many little tidbits of news for book lovers each day that I simply can’t keep them all to myself.  Admittedly, some of these are more important than others, but they each caught my attention for one reason or another.

I hope you enjoy.

  • Did Shakespeare smoke weed?  Fox News reports that scientists in England are hoping to exhume the bard for DNA testing to help answer just that question.  We hope that you need some sort of permit to do such a thing.  Thanks to Mother Jones for bringing it to our attention.
  • To help celebrate Independence Day in the U.S., Barnes & Noble gives us five patriotic book recommendations.
  • Wired gives us 5 Reasons Why E-Books Aren’t There Yet, an account of some kinks in the system with digital eReaders.  This includes the very real difficulty of organizing books acquired from different sources, also chronicled by The Shatzkin Files.  Thanks to Literature Blog for bringing this to our attention.
  • The San Francisco Chronicle gives us 13 Things You Pay For That Your Library Has For Free, a terrific reminder on the importance of our library system.  Thanks to Room To Read for the heads up.
  • Author Ann Patchett opens her own bookstore.  Pretty courageous at a time like this.  We find it interesting that she concurs with the notion that people read more once they buy an eReader.  You can read the story here.  Thanks to A Writer’s Desk for bringing it to our attention.
  • Lastly, and I’m hoping that my wife is paying attention to this one, researchers in the U.K. have proven that people essentially go deaf while reading.  “Inattentional deafness is a common everyday experience” according to the lead researcher.  The story appears in the Daily Mail.  Thanks to Beattie’s Book Blog for bringing it to our attention.
Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/
 
P.S.  If you enjoyed this little collection of news items, please flatter us by subscribing to this blog via email or RSS Feed.  Doing so plays a big role in supporting our philanthropic mission!
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