Wednesday, 11 January 2012

O! To Be In Wales, and Vachel Lindsay

Alfred R. Wallace, naturalist, wrote in 1858:

"This makes me hope I may soon realize enough to live upon and carry out my long cherished plans of a Country life in Old England."

I like his dream quite a lot. One of the first places I would is visit Hay-on-Wye in Wales, to spend a day in Bookbarn International. They have this new technology called a BOOK:

"The "BOOK" is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It's so easy to use even a child can operate it. Just lift its cover! Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere, even sitting in an armchair by the fire yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disc.

Each BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information.

These pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence.

Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs in half.

Experts are divided on the prospects for further increases in information density; for now BOOKs with more information simply use more pages. This makes them thicker and harder to carry, and has drawn some criticism from the mobile computing crowd.

Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain.

A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet.

The BOOK may be taken up at any time and used by merely opening it.

The BOOK never crashes and never needs rebooting, though like other display devices it can become unusable if dropped in water.

The "browse" feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet, and move forward or backward as you wish.

Many come with an "index" feature, which pinpoints the exact location of any selected information for instant retrieval."

Later on, they tell you how you can "make personal notes next to BOOK text entries with an optional programming tool, the Portable Erasable Nib Cryptic Intercommunication Language Stylus (Pencils)."

Thanks to Jayne for the sneak peek at this bookstore! Visit her post for a glimpse at the bounties of Bookbarn.

Speaking of books, don't forget to visit Susan Kaye Quinn's Indie Book Fair. "Did you find a new Kindle, Nook, or iPad under the Christmas tree? Browse the Indie Book Fair and find a new ebook to break in that reader!"

So far, off that list, I've read and enjoyed Build A Man by Talli Roland and String Bridge by Jessica Bell. Looking forward to exploring the others!

Meanwhile, though, I've inching forward on my ROW80 goals. I'm 1/3 of the way through editing Rome, Rhymes and Risk (do you like the new title?) and I've started drawing up a list of research items for which I need to head to the library:

Cem Sultan
What items do you need in your ship's cabin?
Jade, silver, brass and other items of trade in the Aegean
Summertime storms on the Tyrrhenian Sea
Horses and mules and carts - how much weight can they carry?
Travel by donkey when kidnapped

Ayak was asking the other day how other bloggers come up with ideas for posts. One of my new favourite ways to discover stuff is by reading Malcolm's Book Bits and Notions, a daily (!) wrap up of interesting writing- and book-related links.

The other day, for instance, he linked to a Slate article on Vachel Lindsay: "The Mystery of Vachel Lindsay - How did the most visible poet in America—and a father of the Beats—become nearly forgotten?"

I read my first Vachel Lindsay poem in fifth grade, and I've never forgotten it. Here it is:

The Little Turtle
by Vachel Lindsay

A Recitation for Martha Wakefield, Three Years Old

There was a little turtle.
He lived in a box.
He swam in a puddle.
He climbed on the rocks.

He snapped at a mosquito.
He snapped at a flea.
He snapped at a minnow.
And he snapped at me.

He caught the mosquito.
He caught the flea.
He caught the minnow.
But he didn't catch me.

[caretta caretta, an endangered species; images taken from Google]


Anne Gallagher said...

I love the idea of the BOOK. It's recyclable so that makes it worth the effort of buying one to me. Those P.E.N.C.I.L.S. things sound really cool too. Handy for marginalia.

Oh, to live in England!

Carolyn Abiad said...

Caretta caretta! Oh, I <3 those! (And books too, of course.)

Al said...

That Book thing sounds like a brilliant idea.

A word of warning you are likely to get strung up by your thumbs in Wales if you even imply it is part of England. :-)

They will accept they are part of the UK, but saying they are English would go down about as well as telling a Canadian they are American, or a Kiwi they are an Aussie

Neurotic Workaholic said...

Those pictures of the turtles are cute. I wish I could own one but then my parents' dogs might get jealous. I like the description of the "BOOK". I think that if I owned one of those e-readers, I'd probably break it within the first couple weeks of owning it. It's much more difficult to break an actual book.

Deniz Bevan said...

Love it, Anne. You and I should sell lots of BOOKs and move to England :-)

I had to use the latin name, Carolyn, that's how they're always referred to in Turkey!

Did I imply Wales was in England? I hope not Al. I should have specified that on the way to England, I'd also like to visit Wales. And soon-to-be-independent-Scotland!

I only know one person who owns a turtle, Neurotic - the family owns a tortoise and he's already 40 years old!

Lynda R Young said...

The BOOK will never catch on... ;)

Glynis said...

Book? Sounds a good buy, I will have to look out for one!

Love the new title. Good luck with the writing, Deniz.

Deniz Bevan said...

I'm still holding out, Lynda!

Thanks, Glynis :-)

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • Be Careful, It's My Heart by Kait Nolan
  • The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (annual reread)
  • The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne (reread)
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • Moranology by Caitlin Moran
  • Sauron Defeated - Book 9 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Lonely Planet guide to Switzerland
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • A Woman in Arabia: The Writings of the Queen of the Desert by Gertrude Bell
  • 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
  • Journal of Inklings Studies
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Mr. Garden by Eleanor Farjeon
  • Untitled by Claire G (poem)
  • Possum Magic by... (read by Claire)
  • The Listeners by Walter de la Mare (poem)
  • Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
  • Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne (reread)
  • Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
  • Dark Sonnet by Neil Gaiman
  • "Birds of Passage" by Peter McArthur (poem)
  • Marilynne Robinson and Barack Obama in the New York Review of Books (conversation)
  • "Fear"by Marilynne Robinson (essay)
  • A Simple Act of Kindness by Carol Drinkwater (short story)
  • An Imperial Affliction by Peter van Houten (short piece) (already added this?)
  • Sparkling Cyanide (Remembered Death) by Agatha Christie (reread)
  • Les dernieres jours de nos peres by Joel Dicker
  • Spun by Catherine McKenzie
  • Jamadu: Pippa et le crocodile (a Coop storybook)
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (reread)
  • Hide and Seek Pig: A Lift-the-flap Book by Julia Donaldson
  • Postman Bear: A Lift-the-flap Book by Julia Donaldson
  • Fox's Socks: A Lift-the-flap Book by Julia Donaldson
  • Christmas at Cranberry Cottage by Talli Roland (short story)
  • Tolkien's Gedling by __ and Andrew Morton
  • A Winter Wedding by Brenda Novak
  • Le livre des Baltimore by Joel Dicker
  • Paddington Bear All Day by Michael Bond
  • Beowulf and Sellic Spell by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Mrs Whippy by Cecelia Ahern
  • The Story of Kullervo by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Going Back by T. L. Watson
  • The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper (abridged, darn it)
  • Emily's House
  • The Hockey Song
  • The End of All Things by John Scalzi
  • A Christmas Story by Richard Burton
  • Histoire de Founex by Josiane Ferrari-Clément (skimmed)
  • Rabbit's Nap: A Lift-the-flap Book by Julia Donaldson
  • Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg
  • La Verite sur l'affair Harry Quebert by Joel Dicker (loving this!)
  • How To Be A Man (and other illusions) by Duff McKagan
  • The War of the Ring - Book 8 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Pop-up Peekaboo: Farm (DK publishing) (board book) (duh)
  • Paddington Bear Goes to Market by Michael Bond (board book)
  • Emily's Balloon by Komako Sakai
  • Bible stories and puzzles (in French) (board book)
  • The Last Chance Ball (a Word Wenches christmas anthology featuring Jo Bourne, Jo Beverley, etc.)
  • Farmer Giles of Ham by J. R. R. Tolkien (reread but new edition)
  • CassaFire by Alex Cavanaugh
  • First and Second Things by C. S. Lewis
  • Smith of Wootton Major by J. R. R. Tolkien (reread but new edition)
  • So Anyway... by John Cleese
  • The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl
  • Slowly, silently now the moon by Walter de la Mare (poem)
  • I can't work like this by Neil Gaiman (poem)
  • CassaStar by Alex Cavanaugh
  • Death of A Century: A Novel of the Lost Generation by Daniel Robinson
  • The Fly by William Blake (poem, reread)
  • Tyger, Tyger by William Blake (poem, reread)
  • The Christie Notebooks by John Curran
  • The Perfect Son by Barbara Claypole White
  • What to Expect in Baby's First Year
  • Baby's First Year for Dummies
  • secret beta 2!
  • The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak
  • Chu's Day at the Beach by Neil Gaiman (reread, many times)
  • Sacred Inwardness by Marilynne Robinson (essay)
  • New Statesman issue guest edited by Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman (I don't usually include magazines in this list but I read this one cover to cover)
  • The North Star is Nearer by Evelyn Eaton
  • Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King (loved My Pretty Pony)
  • Every Month Was May by Evelyn Eaton
  • Occasional Soulmates by Kevin Brennan
  • secret beta!
  • Smoke by Catherine McKenzie
  • In Two Aeroplanes Over the Sea by Amanda Palmer (poem)
  • Jim at the Corner by Eleanor Farjeon
  • Finding Fraser by kc dyer
  • Mother Tongue -- The Story of the English Language by Bill Bryson
  • The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan
  • The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  • Absent in the Spring by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie)
  • Come, Tell Me How You Live by Agatha Christie
  • The Lord Fish by Walter de la Mare
  • The Going To Bed Book by S Boynton
  • The Nursery Rhyme Book by Andrew Lang
  • In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck
  • Subterranean Scalzi Super featuring To Sue the World (an original, very short Redshirts story available nowhere else) Muse of Fire Mallet of Loving Correction Lock In, Lost Chapters (available nowhere else) How I Proposed To My Wife: An Alien Sex Story An Election Judge Sn Goes Golfing Questions for a Soldier The Sagan Diary The Tale of the Wicked The God Engines You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop by John Scalzi
  • Emily Goes to Market by William Mayne
  • Many Moons by James Thurber, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (reread)
  • Colours Are Nice (Little Golden Book)
  • Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo by Judy Blume
  • The Wars by Timothy Findley (reread)
  • The Captive Diary of Catherine Logan by Mary Pope Osborne (Dear America)
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (reread)
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson (reread)
  • The Poky Puppy (Little Golden Book) (abridged)
  • The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (reread)
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  • secret beta read 2
  • Pre-Fix: A Ciel Halligan Short Story by Linda Grimes
  • Hidden by Catherine Mackenzie
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton
  • But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton
  • Oh, Whistle, And I'll Come To You, My Lad by M. R. James (short story) (1904)
  • Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman (reread)
  • My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl
  • Usborne board books
  • Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson (so lovely)
  • Flowers for Mrs Harris by Paul Gallico
  • secret beta read!
  • The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend
  • HELP! Food Allergies Coming To Dinner by Kait Nolan
  • This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak
  • The Owl Service by Alan Garner
  • Two Caravans by Monica Lewycka
  • Aunt Sass by P. L. Travers
  • An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten (actually a few pages of the story, written by John Green for the film of his novel The Fault In Our Stars)
  • January Brings the Snow by Sara Coleridge (poem)
  • Kissing song by Neil Gaiman (poem)
  • The Mother by Nettie Palmer (poem)
  • William Tell Told Again by P. G. Wodehouse
  • Her Ladyship's Companion by Joanna Bourne
  • The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
  • How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
  • Mes P'tits Contes, legends of Swiss cantons
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