Finding a good book

BooksI’m an unashamed bibliophile, unable to resist the lure of a new book on pretty much any subject. My bookshelves groan under the weight and, somewhat surprisingly seeing my digital heritage, i rarely buy eBooks or read longform online.

The way i read books has barely changed, but the way i find them is unrecognisable: formerly i would have browsed the shelves of the local Waterstones or Borders, but today, i turn to the community.

I checked the list of recommendations that i’ve picked up this year so far: fifteen titles. That’s fifteen titles that have been suggested, unsolicited, by people who know my interests and are recommending a fit.

When meaning in the Social Age is created alongside and within our communities, it’s reassuring to know that they know me so well.

So now, after a long week, i can settle down for the weekend with a good book, suggested by good company.

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About Julian Stodd

A learning and development professional specialising in e-learning and learning technology.
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4 Responses to Finding a good book

  1. mymindbursts says:

    You’re missing a trick by ignoring eBooks. My experience studying at postgraduate level ove the last four years, first with the Open University and now with the University of Birmingham is that we need to consider and experience the affordances of both. I will own the book and the eBook in some circumstances as they offer a different experience and options. If you are studying a subject in a social context online it helps to be able to share what you find and think as you read. I did this with Martin Weller’s book ‘The Digital Scholar’ and found he was reading along through Twitter and my blog. I find where I have the printed book that I take photos of pages, mash these up and then share online – or resort to pen, paper and note taking in the traditional, lonely way. Then there are the huge tomes, some of the hsitory books I am getting through rightnow that run to 900 pages – it is so much easier to carry around on the iPad. I highlight by themes. of my choosing, add notes, Tweat short passages, seak out threads on single characters, link directly to references and post mashups from screengrabs rather than photos straight into a e-portfolio so that the idea or issues are tagged and ready for later use. Non-fiction books will become like some LPs of the past – do you want all the tracks or just your choice? If I can buy 12 chapters of a book for 8.99 on Kindle, when will I be able to buy for .99p that one chapter I need? Speaking to a senior engineer from Amazon over the summer (old friends who moved to Silcon Valley twenty years ago) he wondered if the ‘transformative’ period for books was about to occur, just as it has occured with music. There will be a better, personalised hybrid form in due course, several of which i have tried. So far they have been marred by only one thing – poor content. Nothing replaces scholarship, it’s just going to take a while to make the transition.

    • julianstodd says:

      Thanks for sharing your eBook experiences (I’m not a total Luddite, but I do find that I’ve retreated from eBooks to a large extent…). Like you, I have experimented with odd photo/social bookmarking/ pencil and paper mashup approaches, although I’ve not yet found a happy position to land. I still tend towards enjoying reading cover to cover more than chapter at a time, recognising that it limits me. Be good to catch up soon Jonathan, best wishes

      Julian

      • mymindbursts says:

        Horses for courses. I just got a 1932 edition of a hardback book through the post – book as artefact. Also a modern, printed on demand print version of a treatise from 1914 by H G Wells called ‘The War that will end all war’. Both feel ‘properly clothed in print’. I think we have to think of the expression ‘new media’ – an eBook doesn’t replace, it is something else, just as TV was once seen ad ‘radio with pictures’. It takes time for new forms to bed in.

  2. Pingback: On the process of writing | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

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