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Drench the Thirst of Knowledge: The Never Ending Search for Books

What is the difference between a boy and a man? Is it only a difference in age? At the surface, it might seem that with time a male child always grows up to be a man but frankly when we look deeper we can see that a child can only become a man in the society with knowledge. Empirical knowledge, though important, is not sacrosanct as without theoretical knowledge only so much information can be gathered in the average life time.

Civilization has continued to evolve over time and this has been as a result of the transference of practical knowledge through theoretical means using the book as a medium. Before the discovery of the computer and internet it was a lot more difficult to acquire knowledge. Paperbacks sometimes had limited editions: especially those that had exclusivity. With the advent of online libraries the “book search” and “knowledge sharing” has become easier. Today, reading text from exclusive book collections has become relatively easy. Some of the books that are already out of print but very much searched for by people are only available in these online libraries. Getting hold of a paperback from exclusive book collections can be costly, but now these paperbacks are available at a much cheaper price in online libraries.

In addition to knowledge transference, there are other benefits of using an online library. For established writers around the world online social libraries are one of the better places to create fan groups through which they can popularize their writings. Even William Shakespeare could never have dreamed of the opportunities that are available through the social library today. Today’s writers, experienced or new, have been blessed with this great boon: online library. For those writers who are trying to make their mark in the harsh world of writing, the online social library is the place where they can make a mark in an otherwise unsympathetic market. For the nascent writer, there exists a catch 22: the traditional publishers generally prefer a writer with some amount of following, but the new writer generally doesn’t have this. So how does the newly minted writer get a chance? The social library is the equalizing platform. Any fervent reader of a genre, can search for books and find a new writer’s book organically using the online library.

For new writers, getting followers is paramount. Regardless of the objective of the budding writer: increasing followership or making money, the online library is the equalizing platform between the new and established writer.

How Do You Start a Book Club?

Book clubs have been proven to improve your mental health, social skills and finances in a variety of ways. These groups have been shown to consistently benefit members both mentally and physically over time. Members benefit from a total of five ways from book club environments: physically, reduce stress levels, protect member’s hearts and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease; mentally, book clubs increase serotonin and connections in the brain.

According to recent research, joining a group that meets once a month can produce the same happiness gain as doubling your income.There are also social benefits–what can be greater than talking about a book that captivated you with a group of friends? Nothing beats that!

If you want to find a club, go local to your library or nearby bookstore. If you don’t live near those places, then it’s time to start a group of your own. Here’s how you can start a book club in six easy steps:

1. Find 2-3 people for your core group of your club. If you know two or three people who like to read the same books as you, tell them that you are starting an official book club. If the people that you know are not interested in joining the club, ask if they have friends that may be interested instead.

2. There are book clubs everywhere, of all different sizes and types, making it important for groups to differentiate their club from others. What kinds of books do you want to read with your group? Bestsellers? Classic science fiction? Independent erotic novellas? You get the point. Narrow down the theme before you start the club so that you attract the readers who may be interested in your book club. Find a hook that separates your book clubs from others and drives the right people to your club. When you’re done defining the group’s theme, work with other members to create a starting list of ten books that you want covered by the club.

3. This step involves finding a location that is both convenient to members of the group, and is also safe and clean. Many small clubs across the country meet in more intimate settings, such as the home of one of the group members. Hosting a club in the home of a member depends how comfortable members and leaders are with home settings. However, home settings will not work for those who want to host large book clubs. Instead, it might be easier to go to safe public places, like local libraries, high schools and colleges (for meetings after school hours) and bookstores.

4. Decide who will lead the book club discussion, and how the club will be structured for every meeting. Many groups host their meetings in the following order: icebreaker games (optional for small groups), book discussion and club “member updates.” Members can share good news items or announce upcoming personal and professional projects during the “member updates” portion of the discussion.

5. Advertise the first meeting in places where your future book club members may frequent. Advertising your group can be done in three ways: online, print and via word of mouth. Tell everyone you know about the group! When you’re done, list your group online by using social websites, such as Wrightspeak and Meetup. If you are hosting the club at a library or bookstore, have an establishment representative list your group on their website. You can also ask to advertise your group by posting flyers about the club at libraries and bookstores.

6. One of the main benefits of reading in groups is that they help strangers make new friends. Once your club has started, make plans for your group to host social events after the book discussion ends. Lead your group to an author talk, go to a wine tasting event or go out for pizza. Work with your group to find fun ways to hang out as a group.

To learn more about clubs, or to find clubs across the country, go to http://wrightspeak.com/2012/09/six-steps-to-starting-your-very-first-book-club/

Espresso Book Machine Dispenses Books On Demand

Prior to Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press in 1440, books had to be printed by hand (usually by members of religious orders) severely limiting the number of editions that were printed. Today, all a reader needs to do to print a copy of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” is press a button. This new technology is the result of an invention called the Espresso Book Machine, which is slowly beginning to sneak into libraries and bookstores around the world.

Operating in a manner similar to an ATM, a person can walk up to the Espresso machine, find the book they are looking for and have it printed and vended in minutes. The Espresso produces (literally prints, aligns, mills, glues and binds) fifteen to twenty library-quality paperback books per hour. It can print in any language, accommodate right-to-left texts, and features a page limit of 550 (though type size can be adjusted to fit more words per page). The printed books have full-color laminated covers, and the machine can even print two books simultaneously.

The company behind the Espresso is On Demand Books, LLC, founded by legendary book editor Jason Epstein and Dane Neller, and they plan on increasing the number of these low-cost, automatic book machines you’ll see in the coming year. Currently available to libraries and retailers, there seems to be a growing interest in the machines. An Espresso machine made waves this past summer when it was placed temporarily in the New York Public Library’s Science, Industry and Business Library, and machines also have been purchased by the University of Alberta and the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont (though no exact costs for the machines are available). According to On Demand, they are currently in talks with national book retailers and hotel chains about ordering mass quantities of the machines.

On Demand is also continuing to develop the network of books that can be accessed and printed through The Espresso Book Machine. For the time being, most of the books offered are ones in the public domain – i.e., “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, “Moby Dick”, “A Christmas Carol”. But On Demand hopes to eventually include every book ever printed – a task they believe is feasible and even appealing to most publishers. As On Demand sees it, the greater difficulty (as is usually the case with a new invention) is getting people to warm to the idea of purchasing a book from a new source.

Certainly, the technology seems to be in line with current trends. The internet has become a growing source for downloadable, printable books, with some authors (including Steven King) initially offering publications exclusively on line. And redbox DVD machines, somewhat similar in function to the Espresso, have begun popping up across the country. These machines offer people the convenience of renting movies quickly and easily at locations such as grocery and convenience stores for the price of only a dollar. But unlike redbox, The Espresso Book Machine offers people a quality product (maybe even a literary classic) that is theirs to keep forever. If the machine has a downside, it’s that – despite its name association – you can’t get a coffee from it.