Posts Tagged ‘ news ’

The Smell of Old Books

April 14, 2012

When you walk into a bookstore (especially a used book store), what is one of the first things you notice? The smell of old books. Why is that?

Well chemists have found the answer to this question. According to and their video Why Do Old Books Smell?, “Chemists at University College, London have investigated the old book odor and concluded that old books release hundreds of volatile organic compounds into the air from the paper. The lead scientist described the smell as ‘A combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness.’”

Do we really need to know this information? Will ereaders someday emit a slit odor to stimulate our senses? Remember Smell-o-vision for TV’s?

Follow this link to watch Why Do Old books Smell? on Youtube.

Here is another video you may find useful from AbeBooks:

AbeBooks Explains how to Identify a First Edition Book

Why are writers attracted to cats?

April 11, 2012

The Sun ZebraAuthor Rolando Garcia of The Sun Zebra (4.9 stars on 26 reviews) provides us with a post today about authors and their cats. Follow the link at the end of this post to see all photos. FREE: The Zebra Sun is free on April 11-13th. FREE

Why are writers attracted to cats? Barbara Holland once wrote: “A catless writer is almost inconceivable. It’s a perverse taste, really, since it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one cat; they make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the typewriter keys.” So is it because writers like someone to make life difficult for them? Are writers masochists? Or maybe like Andre Norton wrote: “Perhaps it is because cats do not live by human patterns, do not fit themselves into prescribed behavior, that they are so united to creative people.” There certainly seems to be something otherworldly about cats.

In his Bartimaeus Trilogy Jonathan Stroud states that there are several planes of reality through which all sorts of entities from the spirit world move. He writes that most living things (including humans) can only see the first plane, with the exception of cats. Cats can also see the second plane. Have you seen how sometimes, for no apparent reason, a cat will jerk its head and stare wide eyed towards an area where there is obviously nothing worth staring at? It sort of makes you wonder what they can see that you can’t.

These and other characteristics have created some problems for these felines. For example, in the Middle Ages Pope Gregory IX in the papal bull Vox in Rama linked Read more »

The Final Sentence: A Book Blog of the Last Sentences Of Books

April 9, 2012

The Last SentenceDigital Book Today readers are passionate about their books. There is a lot of emphasis put on the first sentence, paragraph, and pages of a book by authors. They want you to be drawn into the book. A good strategy and greatly appreciated by readers.

Have you ever been reading a book that you were absolutely loving and you turn the final page. You keep reading until you get to The Final Sentence. You read that sentence and think to yourself. Wow, that was a great book!

Here is a link to a very simple blog called The Final Sentence. All it contains is the final sentence to books submitted by readers.

I will have to go and grab 4 or 5 of my most favorite books and see what the last sentence is in them.  Below are some samples from the blog.

[Never. Never. Never. Never. Never.] I say those things aloud. Anne Sexton, from “After Auschwitz”

[He would need to kiss her for years and years, and that wouldn’t be enough, either. Behind him the conductor said, “Son, we gotta go.] You’ve got to get on this train,” and the engine chuffed, and chuffed again, and the drive wheels screeched against the rails and the couplings clanked and the car lurched behind him and he said, “I love you, I love you,” and let go and turned away and stepped off the platform onto the moving train. Tony Earley, from The Blue Star

The dead are still here holding our hands.   Jackie Kay, from “Darling

John Grisham and His $6 Million Mistake

April 6, 2012

Interesting article below on an author John Grisham. Most of us have read at least one of his books or at least seen a film adaptation of one of his early books. Of course a $6 million loss is really not an issue with him. We hope you enjoy the article.

By Maryann Yin,

Did you know that legal thriller writer John Grisham lost millions of dollars when he first became a published author? Even though he earned $18 million in 2011, he once held a fortune in first-edition books.

In a guest post on The Daily Beast, Grisham (pictured, via) recounts the events surrounding his first novel, A Time to Kill. His publisher printed 5,000 first edition copies of that book and Grisham bought 1,000 copies to use fir giveaways, $5 sales to friends and even as a doorstop. Considering that a first edition of A Time to Kill is now worth $4,000, Grisham once owned $6 million of his own books.

Here’s more from the post: “My idea was, I’d buy a thousand books, have a big book party at the local library, and all my friends would come. I’d sell all these books and it’d be easy. I could buy the books at wholesale, sell them at retail, and make a few bucks … Then I took all the books down to the local library and we had a big book party. When the party was over, I still owned 882 copies of A Time to Kill. I had this invoice that was due to pay for them wholesale, so I started giving books away.”

Grisham written more than 25 novels. Random House will release Grisham’s latest adult book, Calico Joe, on April 10th. Penguin Young Readers Group will release Grisham’s latest children’s book, Theodore Boone: The Accused, on May 24th.


Is making books social a good thing or a bad thing?

April 5, 2012

by Mathew Ingram,

As virtually every form of media from newspapers to television shows becomes more socially aware, the book remains stubbornly anti-social. Despite the rapid growth in e-books and the launch of a number of services designed to add social features to books, the act of reading is still a fairly solitary thing. Author and tech blogger Clive Thompson says he sees a future in which books become just as social as other forms of writing, with comments and conversations integrated into them or revolving around them — but is that what readers want?

Thompson, who contributes to both Wired and the New York Times magazine, is one of the most thoughtful writers around when it comes to how technology affects us as a society, so it’s worth paying attention to what he has to say about the future of books (Disclosure: Thompson is also a friend). Although as a technophile he may be more of an outlier than a mainstream user, the Wiredwriter says that he full expects books to become more social, just as every other form of media has thanks to the web:

Every form of media has migrated online and benefited from conversation. The newspaper is broken into articles that get blogged and get turned into conversations. We’re at the point where the most interesting thing you can find on the Internet is the conversation in the comments on a blog after someone excerpts an article. I will read an article in the Times in paper, because I’m old-fashioned, and then I will go online to see what people blogged about it. Click here to read the rest of the article on

Guest Post: Shipping and Shippers — It’s Not About Transportation

April 1, 2012

Frail BloodOur guest blog post today is from Jo Robertson author of Frail Blood.

Shipping and Shippers — It’s Not About Transportation

I’m probably behind the times, but I recently learned a new term used primarily among fans of  television series.

It’s called “shipping.” I now realize I’ve been shipping since I was a girl, at least in my head.  When a movie or television show didn’t connect the right characters, when Perry Mason didn’t fall for his trusted Della Street or Scully and Mulder didn’t hook up, I fantasized about a new world in which they belonged together, got married, had children.

Turns out this is called “shipping.”

Who knew?

It’s all the rage now among middle-agers and young folks alike.  It’s part of the whole fanflic generation made more immediate, intense, and exciting by social media.  Fans create entire blogs to voice their very definite opinions about who belongs with whom.

And here you thought shipping was about moving merchandise from one place to another via air, ship, train, or truck.

Shipping becomes particularly intriguing when characters have two choices of someone to hook up with, like Elena (in “The Vampire Diaries”) getting with good boy turned bad Stefan or brother Damon, bad boy who may or may not be good.  It’s all part of the Team Peetra or Team Gale in Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy too.

The term is fairly new and the fervor surrounding it intense, but heck, shipping Read more »

It’s A Great Time To Be A Reader!

March 31, 2012

Amador LockdownOur guest blog post today is from Coral Russell author of Amador Lockdown (4.5 stars on 39 reviews).

It’s A Great Time To Be A Reader!

I have to confess, a couple of years ago I was a die-hard paperback reader. Loved the smell and feel of a new paperback. Breaking in the spine as I plotted how I was going to read the book. PDFs interested me and I used them as often as I could for work, but found them impossible to read on a computer for any length of time.

The revolutionary iPhone appeared with their free Kindle and Nook apps. I remember using it during a read-in at the elementary school where I taught and the ohhs and ahhs. The kids wanted to read by me.

Kindle became a household name. I wanted but couldn’t get one yet. And the eBook prices! Crap, even if I could afford one I would be spending a fortune on eBooks and during my life I’d already spent a small fortune on my addiction to reading.

I don’t know exactly how it happened but I was invited to go on a blog tour. The site said I would win free eBooks for commenting on the author’s blog. Sure why not? Daily emails detailed what blog to visit and what to do. Always skeptical I picked up the first book and started reading because if the books weren’t any good, why bother getting them even if they were free.

It was good. It was really good! I even went back and commented that if the all the books on the tour were this good then this was the best event ever. Surely they wouldn’t have another. But they did! And more blogs/authors became involved. Even Kindles were being given away. I won one for my daughter Read more »

What I Love About Books

March 29, 2012

From Barbar Vey, 3/29/2012, Publishers Weekly

The other day I wrote what bugs me about books, so today I thought I’d write about what I love about books.

1.  I love how they make me feel.  (Thanks romance)

2.  I love how most of the characters become like someone I’d want to hang around with.

3.  I love imagining myself living in different times and places.

4.  I love figuring out puzzles and who done it.

5.  I love picturing myself in the clothing of the time.

6.  I love knowing the secrets that the characters know.

7.  I love the adventures I’d never get to experience in my real life.

8.  I love being so engrossed that I don’t hear anything else around me.

9.  I love knowing that others enjoy the same thing I do so we can discuss it.

10.  I love to laugh, cry and yes, sometimes sing along with the characters.

This is my love letter to all the authors out there who have shared their imaginations and stories with me so I can escape, for a little while, into wondrous worlds.

Bottom Line: The heck with Calgon.  Books…take me away…

Why Finish Books?

March 19, 2012

An blog post from The New York Review of Books by Tim Parks.

“Sir—” remarked Samuel Johnson with droll incredulity to someone too eager to know whether he had finished a certain book—“Sir, do you read books through?”  Well, do we? Right through to the end? And if we do, are we the suckers Johnson supposed one must be to make a habit of finishing books?

Schopenhauer, who thought and wrote a great deal about reading, is on Johnson’s side. Life is “too short for bad books” and “a few pages” should be quite enough, he claims, for “a provisional estimate of an author’s productions.” After which it is perfectly okay to bail out if you’re not convinced.

But I’m not really interested in how we deal with bad books. It seems obvious that any serious reader will have learned long ago how much time to give a book before choosing to shut it. It’s only the young, still attached to that sense of achievement inculcated by anxious parents, who hang on doggedly when there is no enjoyment. “I’m a teenager,” remarks one sad contributor to a book review website. “I read this whole book [it would be unfair to say which] from first page to last hoping it would be as good as the reviews said. It wasn’t. I enjoy reading and finish nearly all the novels I start and it was my determination never to give up that made me finish this one, but I really wish I hadn’t.” One can only encourage a reader like this to learn not to attach self esteem to

Read the rest of the story on The New York Review of Books.

Why Would An Author Give Their Book Away Free?

March 18, 2012

My Temporary LifeOne of the reasons our readers visit Digital Book Today and our complimentary site The Top 100 Best Free Kindle Books List is to take advantage of books by Indie authors that are free for a day or two. Why would an author give the fruits of their craft away for free? Why are samples given away at the grocery store? Why does a little box of cereal or soap sometimes come in the plastic bag that your Sunday paper is delivered in?

They are all a form of advertising. The free book (on Amazon) is currently the best form of advertising and marketing that is available to the Indie author. This is why an author would give their book away for free.

Below is a copy of a blog post from Martin Crosbie author of My Temporary Life which was featured on The Top 100 Best Free Kindle Books List (Feb 10-12) while it was free. The post below describes what happened during and after when he gave away My Temporary Life (4.7 stars on 69 reviews). Remember, if you read and like a free book, to give it a book review as payback to the author.


I had to stop. I couldn’t go any farther. I was 10 kilometres into a 26 kilometre run, in training for a full-marathon in May, and I stopped. My body was fine, I had no aches and pains, and I’d run a half-marathon the week before with no problems, but I stopped. It didn’t feel good. I was nauseous and had a headache and felt overwhelmed, really overwhelmed. There aren’t many things I’ve stopped, but I did, I stopped running and headed home.

In the last three weeks there have been more changes and personal accomplishments than I ever could have imagined happening. First of all, “My Temporary Life,” became available as a free download on Feb 10-12, in an Amazon promotion. Read more »

A Billionaire Meets His Match

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Impressive Western Historical Romance

Weekly Featured “Great Reads”

A FREE listing service
provided for authors
featuring highly reviewed books with a great price.
(4 stars or greater).

4.8 stars – 96 reviews
At the End of the Line
$2.99 on Amazon

4.7 stars – 32 reviews
Breaking Ties
$3.99 on Amazon.

4.6 stars – 134 reviews
Dying for a Living
$0.99 on Amazon

4.2 stars – 42 reviews
The Losing Role
$4.99 on Amazon