Category Archives: Books

eBook Sales Declining

Books

Reading – Back in April of this year a report by the Publishers Association was published that indicated that eBook sales had declined 17% while the sales of physical books increased by 7%. The declined is mirrored in the US where eBooks declined by 18.7% while paperback and hardback sales rose by 7.5% and 4.1% respectively.  These results were taken from the sales data  of Jan-Sept 2016.

For myself, I still prefer eBooks. I am currently reading the first paper book in several months. I find hardly the book far more cumbersome than my iPad. I can also read in a dim or dark room easily with my iPad where that is impossible with a print book.

Each has to choose their own preferred way of reading, but for me it will be eBooks when possible.

Preview of “The Alienist”

Trailers – The TNT channel has announced a new series called ‘The Alienist’ based upon the book of the same name written by Caleb Carr. This is a period mystery set at the end of the 19th century. The official synopsis is:

The psychological thriller drama is set in 1896, when a series of gruesome murders of boy prostitutes has gripped the city. Newly appointed top cop Teddy Roosevelt calls upon Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Brühl), a criminal psychologist — aka alienist — and newspaper illustrator John Moore (Evans) to conduct the investigation in secret. Joining them in the probe is Sara Howard (Fanning), a headstrong secretary at Police Headquarters.

Based upon this preview, this may be a very good series. Unfortunately, there is no date set yet as to when we will be able to begin watching.

Trailer for “Game of Thrones Season 7”

Trailers – Game of Thrones will be coming back to HBO on July 16. I am really looking forward to seeing it, yet it just brings me that much closer to the end. Seven episodes for this season and probably only six for season 8. That does not seem like enough time to wrap up this saga. Nor do I want it to end so soon.

Not much is really revealed in this trailer other than there will be battle scenes. It is impressive how this Fantasy story has become such a huge hit. Perhaps when the TV series is finally over, George R. R. Martin will finally finish the book series. I have read and thoroughly enjoyed the first five novels in the series. He has a sixth underway and a planned seventh.

He has proven to be such an incredibly slow writer that I have no plans to read any further books in the series until he has finished it. Book five was published in 2011 and there are no publication dates yet for the next two volumes.

Make-A-Book Day: If an 11-year-old Can Do It, So Can You #DIYBOOK

Books – Whether your are young or old, taking the time today to make your own book is a great idea.

K.L. Kranes, Author

Today is a little known holiday called Make-A-Book Day. Apparently it’s always the Thursday of National Family Reading Week, which is always the first week in May. Shocked you didn’t know this? Don’t be. Neither of these book holidays is exactly celebrated far and wide. You have to scroll through several pages about “World Book Day” before you find anything on Make-a-Book Day.

But, isn’t it kind of fun being the person who knows about an obscure book holiday? It’s like knowing a secret.

It also just so happens that my daughter finished a book-making badge for girl scouts recently. I wrote a little about it in a previous blog that focused more on her event and how we destroyed books in front of a library (I know! Sacrilege!) than actual book making.

Therefore, my daughter, who is 11-years-old, kindly agreed to write a blog on DIY book-making based on all she learned. If she can do it, so…

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Food for Thought: Where to find Bookish Restaurants

Books – I really liked some of the suggestions in this post. In particular I plan to look up the “Hobbit Cafe” when I travel to Houston this summer. I can’t think of a better combination than good food and a good book.

K.L. Kranes, Author

I love to sit alone at a restaurant or a cafe and read a book. When I was a kid, I’d see someone doing this and feel so sorry for them I’d want to go sit with them. As an adult, if some kid did that I’d think it’s cute, but prefer to be left alone. I love a good lit lunch.

For me food and restaurants are linked to books. On our a recent trip to Williamsburg, VA, I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of literary references and motifs in the local restaurants.

Here are just a few.

Food For Thought

20170410_184846I stole the name of this blog from this restaurant, which doesn’t just center it’s theme on books but books that make you think. It had my favorite book – Atlas Shrugged front and center over the waiting room seating inside. Large letters hang from the walls…

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Reading Fiction Improves Your Job Performance

Reading – I came across the article “Five Ways Reading Fiction Makes You Better At Your Job” this morning and thought that it made good arguments for include some time for reading fiction in your daily schedule. I have been reading fiction, mostly science fiction, for most of my life. What this article points out is that readers of fiction benefit in five ways:

  1. Improved reasoning skills
  2. Understanding of complex problems
  3. Emapthy
  4. Stress relief
  5. Strong role models

I have found over the years that reading has been a means of relaxing and forgetting for a few minutes the stress of life. If you can find an author you like and get immersed in his story, this may help you unwind.

Many, but certainly not all, novels have strong characters that can serve as role models. I think that this is particularly true of Young Adult readers, but it does apply to everyone in one degree or another. Again there is the challenge of funded the right book with the right role model for you.

I do think that reasoning skills can be improved if you read a novel that has some mystery or complex problem to be solved. You begin, whether consciously or not, to try to come up with a solution before the author does.

You can get very invested with a character in a story. While I have read hundreds of novels, only in a very few cases have I felt that a close friend is gone once I’ve finished the story. I have also found that stories often take a different approach to a problem that I would have taken. It makes me think a little more about the problem.

The net of all this is that you should find a few minutes each day to read some fiction. There is so much available now to read that finding something should not be hard. If you are on a tight budget, there are several daily email publications you can subscribe to that will alert you to free or low cost eBooks. Most are from new and upcoming authors, but I have found that many are pretty good. There are also some “all-you-can-read” services.

iOS “Sleepy Hollow” Interactive Edition

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I saw the announcement of this interactive book yesterday and took a moment to download it and began to read it. It is a very well done visual extension of the book with music. I recommended it to a friend and her young son thinks that is is awesome.

This edition of the book by Washington Irving has been produced by iClassics Productions and is available for a short time for free in celebration of the authors birthday. As they say “Using the unabridged and original Washington Irving text, the classic story is elevated to a whole new level, complete with artistic illustration, animation, interactivity, FX, and an original soundtrack recorded specifically for the story.

The book is normally $4.99, but is available for a limited time for free download. If you are interested in it I would download it immediately. And if you like this book, they have several other classics they have similarly updated.

Once I have finished reading the book, I will publish a review.

Spain, Barcelona – Gigamesh Bookstore

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2016 Cruise – Day 3 – As I have mentioned before, we like to visit bookstores on our travels. The last stop we made in Barcelona before heading to our cruise ship was the Gigamesh Bookstore (Bailén, 808010 Barcelona  932 46 63 59). We had returned to our hotel to drop off our purchases, then we headed across town on the subway.

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The Gigamon was an excellent bookstore. It had a wide selection of Science Fiction and Fantasy titles (always something I look for) and a sizable collection of English language titles. There was also an area in the back of the store that seemed to be dedicated to gaming. There were displays with several of the figures used in gaming for sale.

Were I to return to Barcelona and be looking for a book, this is definitely the store I would go to.

With our time in Barcelona nearing an end, we headed back to the hotel. We were picked up by the same driver that had dropped us off on the first day. We arrived at the cruise ship dock mid afternoon and quickly completed the boarding process. We spent the rest of the day familiarizing ourselves with our ship.

According to my Apple Watch, I completed 13,279 steps. A substantial number, but nothing like we would experience later.


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Spain, Barcelona – Laie Pau Claris Bookstore

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2016 Cruise – Day 3 – While on our travels, my wife and I like to visit local bookstores. On our third day in Barcelona we had breakfast in our hotel then headed to the bookstore Laie Pau Claris (Carrer de Pau Claris, 85, 08010 Barcelona, Spain).

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Not only was it a nice bookstore, it also had a very nice cafe where we had a cup of hot chocolate.

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