An INF2331 blogosaurus

Final Post

And by final, I really do mean final since I am the last one to post.

If I could go back in time and inform myself about the future of books, I would probably go back to 2004. Ebooks began to surface in the public consciousness and working in a public library at the time it would have been beneficial to be aware of how ebooks worked and the impact that they have had in today’s society. As a front end staff member I was constantly bombarded by people joking about how soon my profession would be out of a job (These were the tactless patrons). Others were concerned that they would loose out on the library atmosphere, and that staff would disappear because of electronic books that could be accessed without boundaries such as the library’s hours of operations and location. It would have been beneficial for me to explain what the trajectory of ebooks in the library, and their incorporation with other library services would look like to patrons at that time. I would have also been privied to information about the rise of tablet computing, smart phones and ipads which I think could have benefited myself in a number of other ways but I digress. If I was able to bring a current ebook back in time to prove to myself what they would be like, I’d choose a sports almanac and pull a Marty Mcfly (minus the Biff).

At the beginning of the semester we discussed S. by J.J. Abrams. I had actually purchased it over the Christmas holidays to give to my Stepfather for his birthday, since he’s an avid reader and I thought it was a unique gift that would interest him. It appears I was a bit mistaken, as I got a call this afternoon from my parents where my Mom revealed that my Stepfather had finally got around to starting the book last week. He got part way into it and found the double story-line and extra elements too much and ‘finicky’ for his tastes. My Mom is overly excited since she is now able to start reading it sooner. I’ll be interested to see how she enjoys it, or doesn’t. This made me wonder if maybe because my parents are from the early end of the Baby Boomer generation if these new forms of the novel are missing the target with them, or if this was simply my Stepfather’s personal preference. On the bright side this also means that when my parents are done with the book I’ll be able to take it and not fear they miss it.

Hey all, I was doing some work on a different project… or procrastinating that work by browsing Destructoid, and came across this link. Apparently, some greedy minded capitalists decided to take advantage of the Humble Bundle model, now being used for things like e-books, to sell their own copies of video games at a profit to themselves (using humble bundle keys purchased for pennies). 

The fact they were caught means there is pretty active monitoring of this kind of pay what you want system, but still it does pose some issues for the organization. How much effort will they need to spend keeping an eye on people trying to take advantage of their charitable aims?

Pokemon on Google Maps!!!  (Sorry, just April Fools.  But still pretty great).

Digital Paper!


I know it’s probably overpriced and not particularly useful, but I want one.

I can’t believe it’s the last blog question and I’m late again (oh wait, yes I can!). This question was really tough for me because A) I got distracted thinking about how I would like to travel back in time, and B) I’m not really sure that I would tell anyone anything. Maybe I’ve read far too much into this but I think half the fun of looking at the future of the book is looking backwards and thinking “why did they do that?” and looking forwards to consider “why do we keep doing that?”. I think I would go back and just watch Gutenberg run a printing press, quietly sob for a bit, and then come home. Anything I tried to change would obsess me too much in the future.

That being said the one thing I might tell people would be to keep everything. Hoard your books, pamphlets, hoard anything written. As a former anthropology/archaeology student I give a lot of thought to what actually survives of our culture and how important it really is. In our rare books class with P.J. Carefoote we visited the music library, and talked about how because items like music and maps were meant to be used in day to day life, they often don’t survive as well as the expensive and highly regarded manuscripts we see today. I suppose I would tell people to keep the written materials they don’t think are important – because those are the things that really give us insight into how books may have been used in the past and how they may be used in the future.

Also I would tell them we have hover boards, because that might get the ball rolling sooner on production.

So I’m going to preface this with an apology, apparently I am not so great with understanding WordPress, I seemed to have posted two of my blog posts to my blog instead of the class blog. So I’ve complied them in to this post. Sorry for the lengthiness and my own stupidity.

Preservation and Loss – Learning Languages

First, thing I had my computer hacked in third year of my undergrad and they remotely crashed my computer, while I was writing a paper. I was more devastated about losing my Sims Games than my essays, until I realized I would have to restart 2 essays that were due. I was also crushed to have lost photos from my family trips that I had taken and did not have hard copies of. It’s odd how sometimes the information that is important for us to personally means more when we lose it than the work we do for school or a job. Memories are harder to recreate than work is. Since then I have kept a back up external hard-drive filled with my assignments as I go so that if I get hacked, or my laptop simply crashes I can make progress, as well as my photos and music.

I will admit that I took Latin for two years in high school, and while I can recognize certain phrases, I would definitely not be able to read Lombard’s Sententiarum, much to my own disappointment. In my undergraduate history seminar course, my professor told all of us that if we wanted to be historians of different cultures, since the course was on the Israeli Palestine Conflict, we would benefit greatly from learning to read other languages as a lot of historical texts are not translated. I have not take his advice as I’m not one who is good with languages, however this week’s trip to the Fisher Library made me remember that class, and illustrate that if you want to be a rare books librarian learning to read different languages might be extremely useful. That being said, I feel that knowing to read the language doesn’t mean we can understand what is being conveyed. I know a lot of people who can read what authors like Shakespeare or even Austen wrote, but they simply cannot connect to the meaning of what they are saying. Not everyone has the ability to look past the actual words to see the greater meaning, and having to translate something to understand it only complicates the issue.

Also colloquial phrases change with every new generation. In a hundred years from now someone may read the phrase YOLO and think it means something completely different. If we can read something from the 16th century it does not guarantee that we will understand every choice of phrase that has been included since they would reflect the author’s unique way of thinking at that time. This being said I don’t think that we should give up on trying to learn and decipher the meaning of texts written in ancient Latin or Hebrew.

Paper Topic – Fanworlds

So for my paper I have been thinking of looking at how the popularity of a book series like Harry Potter, Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey and other, have lead to the creation of different fan platform outlets for re-experiencing, sharing, and impacting the original text. As I mentioned in a previous blog a while back I am a Harry Potter fan, and I am a member of the Pottermore world This was actually the main reasoning for my choice behind this idea. Pottermore allows members to experience a unique connection to the series, and it doesn’t hurt that J.K. Rowling was a part of the creation of the world. I like the fact that not only do you become a student and join a house, based on a test, but you get to go through the stories again in a digitally interactive graphic novel clue hunt, which unlocks things for you to do later on within the site. Pottermore also allows you to ‘do magic’ by dueling and creating potions.

There is currently a rumor/joke about there being a similar site for Twilight fans, called Twimore, though I believe this is merely a joke Nonetheless there are countless fan sites that have been created around the series. The fact that the popularity and strength of the fans can impact the reformatting of the series and the expansion of the franchise interests me. I was also thinking of discussing fanfiction and movies in relation to these series; also the whole creation of the Harry Potter theme park too.

So, it’s been a while since we examined that illustration of a book wheel in class…but I came across this image of a book wheel during my research and so…Here you go!


This one doesn’t seem to have any gears in it to allow the shelves to level themselves, but it sure is pretty. Finally, a polished piece of wood that allows me to read different texts at the same time without books being thrown everywhere. 

Image from:

van Peursen, W. & Thoutenhoofd, E.D. & van der Weel, A. (Ed.). (2010). Text Comparison and Digital Creativity: The Production of Presence and Meaning in Digital Text Scholarship. Boston: Brill.

I found this weeks question really interesting, and admittedly I had to keep telling myself not to focus on the issue of messing up the time-space continuum. I think the one thing I would like to tell people is similar to what others have said, that is to keep going, push the boundaries and think outside of the box. I think it would be important to encourage people to keep coming up with new ideas for not only the content of books but the structure and style. I feel that without individuals who are willing to take the risk of the normal way of thought, our current society would not exist. Galileo pushed the rules of thought about the universe and without that we wouldn’t have made the discoveries that we have. We need individuals with unique ways of thinking to push others to exceed the expectations of society.

I would also feel it necessary to try to encourage more people to learn how to read. It would be interesting to see how if literacy became worldwide back in the 16th century how other countries would benefit in this era and also what other ideas about the book would have emerged. Though that definitely plays to the messing with time and space. Nonetheless I still feel it is vital to encourage people to read, read more, and read differently so as to make sure we get advances in the world of the book.

My idea for what I would most want to go back in time to inform people about is somewhat similar to Lauren’s post “Get Creative,” however, I would travel to the less distant past. If I could go back in time to when ebooks began to be a thing, I would tell them (and hopefully show them) that imitating the codex isn’t the only way, nor is it necessarily the best way. Hopefully, my message would help them to see that a digital text doesn’t have to fit into the narrow parameters that are dictated by the more modern conceptions of what a book is, what it should look like, and how it should be structured.

We have certainly seen some good examples of digital items that have pushed beyond the boundaries imposed by this idea of what a book is, but wouldn’t it have been great if from day one all digital texts tried to do something innovative, imaginative and different? Of course, that’s not to say that there is no place in the digital world for items that do adhere to our modern thoughts about books, it’s just that it seems likely to me that people would be more likely to experiment with different types and structures of digital texts if they were not so hung up on imitating print texts in the early days.

Now, perhaps this would have caused users to be more hesitant to adopt ebooks and other digital texts and could have caused them to take a long time to catch on, but maybe people would have taken it in stride. Perhaps it would become the new norm that most digital texts are expected to do things that print books can’t.

I would highlight for those people of the not so distant past how the digital format allows for so much more innovation in how texts are structured, created and presented to the reader. Maybe showing them how much and in how many different ways texts have changed in the past would give them some ideas and help them feel more comfortable with the idea of going beyond the print codex.

My hope is that going back to deliver this message would result in a much more diverse world of digital texts, where some are similar to print books and others break away from that model. After all, there is a place in the world for both types of digital texts. Not everything has to be radically, or even a little different from print books. It just might have been nice if digital texts had started in an experimental frame of mind, were making mistakes and getting messy was encouraged since it would all be in the quest of creating some digital texts that do something interesting and maybe serve purposes that print books can’t.

Mind you, I’m not at all sure that going back in time to tell digital text creators any of that would actually have changed anything. But hey, anything’s possible in a world of infinite possibilities.