library in the new age

The never ending discourse about physical library v the internet generally bores me. However I found this article in the NY review of books to be quite informative, citing through the ages examples of distrust in the print medium such as this bit:

Le Courrier de l’Europe, a French newspaper produced in London, printed a translated digest of the English reports with a note warning that they probably were false. This version of the event passed through a dozen French papers produced in the Low Countries, the Rhineland, Switzerland, and France itself. By the time it arrived in Versailles, the news of Washington’s defeat had been completely discounted.

The writer also mentions that the smell of books is a reason why, according to research in France, people prefer print over electronic mediums. So some company over there has produced stickers that are stuck on computers and give off a “fusty/bookish” smell. 

Not sure if a scratch n sniff sticker that smells like a book would do it for me, though I have always been a fan of the orange/lemon/chocolate/blackcurrant flavours.


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may 31 movement

and finally for today

if you are in melbourne on may 31 go to melbourne museum and join the movement movement for a 5km (!) jog through the exhibition space. sounds like FUN!

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do a google search for penguin deckchairs and check these out they rock. pefect for summer reading in the park.

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the librarians ultimate guide to search engines

you dont have to be a librarian to find that  the librarians ultimate guide to search engines might be quite useful to you.  particularly if you use the net for research. the ultimate guide contains some easy to understand descriptions of internet and search terminology which, if used correctly, could possibly make you sound like you know more than you actually do about this stuff.  stop words and boolean operators will be rolling off your tongue in no time.

I thought that the ‘site operators’ section was quite good. ie:

Site Operators
These are powerful operators that most engines have but which are not always well-known. While there is a common set of operators, a few engines have their own variations. Here is an amalgamated list. A few references are included after this section, if you are interested in finding out more. All of them consist of a predefined keyword and a semicolon, “:”, character, which are then followed by a word or URL or domain name, etc. There should be no spaces on either side of the semicolon.

allintitle: , intitle: – Use allintitle: to specify one or more words that must all be in the title of a web page. Use intitle: to check for a single word in the title, and one or more words in the document body.
Example: allintitle: librarians

domain:, site: – Use with a domain name to limit searches to pages on that site.

filetype: – Use with a media file type (e.g., PDF) to limit SERPs to that type of document.
Example: library filetype:xls

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good books can be judged by their covers


listen to this 5 min vodcast by some guy from Vintage who has done covers for the likes of  mcsweeneys and haruki murakami.

john gall’s 5 rules of book design

  1. read the book
  2. inspiration is everywhere
  3. be thrifty with fonts
  4. practice sound time management
  5. rules are meant to be broken

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sushi kitty

mobile phone dangly things featuring hello kitty masquerading as a piece of sushi…



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audience questions to authors that make you roll your eyes at the person sitting next to you

as observed at a tim winton reading/book signing/QA last week.

  • do you sometimes feel that you don’t want to write?
  • do you have a set writing routine that you follow every day?
  • what do you use to write with (ie a pencil or a computer)?
  • how much of  [insert name of character in novel] is based on your own experience?

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