As the tummy turns

I feel much better today, but am still hovering on the edge of the crud. (note – I originally misspelled that as “xrud.” I think it works better that way.) BH has had it worse than me. I think another 24 hours of solitude and we’ll be all set.

I am feeling just xruddy enough that I have even less focus than usual. So this will be a random and disjointed entry.

Angela wrote to me on my Facebook: What do you think of the new AmazonKindle and the virtual road down which books have now turned? Do you think this is really the end of the printed word, like so many techies do? … cannot imagine not having an actual “book” in my hand to read…. Troubling, I feel. Your insights would be much appreciated.”

I think that Amazon should give me a Kindle so I can really explore this. They gave one to Neil Gaiman, but then they took it back. That was rather ungrateful of them.

Will Kindle-like devices take the place of paper-based books? Yep, I believe they will. But do not rend your garments or gnash your teeth. The concept of Story isn’t going anywhere. It is encoded into our DNA. It’s just that when technology changes, the vehicle for Story changes and that makes some folks uncomfortable for a while. And then we adjust. I suspect that the need to preserve forests combined with a generation of computer-friendly kids will make paper-based books into historical artifacts. If it helps bring the planet back into balance, I’m all for it.

A note from a Hungarian reader living in Malaysia came in the other day. Yeah, that’s what I said. A Hungarian reader in Malaysia. How cool is that? She read SPEAK and was finishing up PROM for her English 10 class. She wrote ” I loved Prom, too, though for entirely different reasons. To me, it shed some light onto the lives of “ordinary, everyday” teen-life in Philadelphia. You wouldn’t believe the ‘bubble’ I’m coming from! :)”

Congratulations to the Fayetteville-Manlius girls cross country team for winning Nationals for the second year in a row!!!

Middle school teachers – you want to read this review of Teri Lesesne’s new book, ” Naked Reading: Uncovering What Tweens Need to Become Lifelong Readers”.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic SPEAK at Nottingham was fabulous.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic In large part, because the director, Ginny Fennessy, and the cast and crew put so much energy into it. Thank you!

NB: A number of teachers have written asking for information about putting on SPEAK at their schools. Steve Braddock, the playwright, and my publisher will be working out the details of this soon. I expect to post information about how to obtain the proper rights and scripts by the end of January.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Last, but not least, The Creature With Fangs (who now has an album on my Facebook and her own Dogbook account – sigh) completely killed the toy Meredith bought her at Thanksgiving.

The CWF hates to chew hard things, even though she has great teeth. Fangs. She loves to chew soft things. Problem – soft things are easily destroyed. Does anyone know about an indestructible soft chew toy for large beasts?

15 Replies to “As the tummy turns”

  1. I read the Gaiman post, too, and wondered what you’d say about Kindles. I never thought about the environmental impact, that’ll be productive. Contrariwise, there’s a very nice used bookstore not far from me, and i’ll be sad if eBooks put it out of business.

    Question. Kindles are making very large profits for someone (explanation); do you know if this mean authors are going to get more money on book sales?

    Hope you feel well soon!

    1. This is a larger problem. I foresee more strikes ahead as writers/artists try to get a big enough pie of the pie that they can make a living wage. It’s hard enough with the current system.

      But I suspect we’ll muddle through. We always do.

  2. Chew toys for dogs

    If I knew of any such toys that large beasts could chew on without destroying, then the dog Matt & I have would not have destroyed almost every toy we’ve given him so far. Some toys have lasted longer than others, but eventually we have seen stuffing everywhere no matter what.

    However, I would suggest getting him toy bones. We’ve gotten a few from Wegman’s that have a plastic-type band wrapped around the center of the bone that have lasted the longest. Our dog promptly rips off the band as soon as he can, ingesting part of it while doing so. However, the bones themselves seem to be dog-resistant. We’ve had one bone for over 6 months now and it’s still in one piece.

    If you can’t seem to find one up there, just let me know and I can send one to you. You could consider it my Christmas gift to your Creature With Fangs.

    Lisa Q.

  3. I am not one to endorse a particular store but, have you tried PETSMART to find a durable toy for your CWF? The have such an extensive inventory. If she’s a really good girl and plays well with others she can even go with you. I love to go there on a Saturday and walk around and look at all the dogs that decided to take their humans shopping for the day. Good luck!

    With respects to the Kindle issue, if this will help the environment I am all for it but there is nothing like a new book or going in to a bookstore and breathing in that great paper smell, pure heaven………….. Also, what about the illustrations in children’s books? I have books from my childhood that I saved simply because of the illustrations.

    1. I suspect that kids born today will feel exactly as you do about illustrations in their books. It’s just that they might have enjoyed these illustrations on a screen, not paper.

      Thanks for reminding me about Petsmart. Next time we are close to one, we’ll take a peek.

  4. In response to the Kindle (something I never heard about until today) I don’t see this replacing books because it would mean the loss of actual bookstores all over the nation (slippery slope idea I know, but it’s possible with this). With so many jobs being taken away due to advances in technology and overseas crap, I don’t see (and don’t want to see) people shooting themselves in the foot by making something like a bookstore obsolete.

    I DO see something like this replacing Newspapers though. In that respect jobs aren’t going to suffer as much I would think. Getting wireless daily downloads of the Newspapers would be pretty nice, more so if you can hook this thing up to a bigger screen.

    I suppose the question is, what matters more right now: jobs or the environment? Trees can be replanted, there’s better and more important ways to go green, I think at least.

  5. I doubt Kindles will ever really catch on. There’s so much collateral impact of books– the typeface, the binding, the tangible experience, the history, the look of them in a bookcase, hell, the smell— that I think nothing that addresses only the content– or anything so breakable and expensive as an electronic device– will ever replace them entirely. For reference works, maybe.

  6. On the upside of Kindles in addition to being more tree-friendly they don’t have

    pages that will fall out due to poor binding
    pages that will get nasty and yellow with age
    pages that will get brittle
    book dust – Kindles are allergy free!

  7. Kindles only interest me in the fact that it is an easy way to carry around multitudes of books. However, if I were to use it while writing a research paper, I believe it would be useless. I like to have several books in front of me when writing a paper, and I doubt Kindle has tht option.

  8. I know that newspapers and books are going electronic but it still makes me sad. I just love being able to actually hold a book or newspaper and read the printed words. Also, I really hate reading on computer screens, any large readings I have print out and read. And I’m 19 and feel like my computer is another limb or something.

  9. E-Books

    My dad (an avid reader) just bought a Palm Pilot with a large screen (4.5 inches or so) and is reading books on that, now. He really enjoys being able to search for a book, buy it, download it and read it on his new toy. He still gets the satisfaction of holding something while lounging on the couch.

    He said that he wouldn’t read books at his computer if he had the choice, even though the screen was larger. Interesting, no?

  10. chew toys

    My Lucy-fur, a fluffy Golden/Chow mix, finds it very difficult to destroy the fire hose toys we buy her, though if there’s a squeak in it she will kill the annoying sound with a quick, spot-on chomp. Hard Core Fire Hose toys are a popular brand.

  11. As a 14 year old…

    In my opinion, kindles will definitely not put books out of print or anything close to that. What they will do, however, is encourage more teens and kids who don’t already love to read to pick up a book and start to read. Most kids that don’t read probably just haven’t been encouraged enough to read, and therefore hasn’t found that one book that starts their love of books (Mine was Roald Dahl by the Witches, what a great book!). Kindles, however helpful they may be, like when needing to carry many books at once, will never be able to replace the calm and relaxation I get from sitting down and reading a great book.
    A completely unrelated comment, I have always wanted to write a novel before I was out of high school, and have come up with a few okay ideas, but whenever I started writing, I had no idea where to start and ended up quitting a few chapters in. Do you have any tips on how to start a book?
    Thanks!
    Hannah

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