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Building Your Writer’s Library

So, you’ve decided you want to be a writer. Now you need to develop
your writer’s library. After all, books are a writer’s tools of the trade.

First, you need a good selection of reference books. Whether you’re
writing fiction or non-fiction, you want your writing to look polished and
professional when you submit it to an editor. If you don’t have a current
edition of the THE CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE, get one.

Strunk And White’s, THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE; ROGET’S
THESAURUS; WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY; plus PUNCTUATE IT RIGHT
by Harry Shaw, and THE ONLY GRAMMAR BOOK YOU’LL EVER NEED
by Susan Thurmare are all excellent resources for grammar,
punctuation, and vocabulary.

Next, you’ll want to have at least a few books dealing with the kinds of
subjects you wish to write about. That is, if you’re writing about
gardening, you need gardening books. If you’re writing about birds, you
need books on birds, and so on. These will be handy references as
you’re writing and need to know a specific term or tidbit about the
subject at hand.

Finally, if you’re going to write fiction (for either adults or children)
several good references for this are: CREATING CHARACTER
EMOTIONS by Ann Hood, WRITING DIALOGUE by Tom Chiarella,
CHARACTERS AND VIEWPOINT by Orson Scott Card, and THE ART
OF WRITING FOR CHILDREN by Connie Epstein, plus THE ABCs OF
WRITING FOR CHILDREN, compiled by Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff.

As your writing career progresses, you’ll purchase additional books for
your reference library. These books will inspire you to keep writing, help
you write better, and provide you with information on topics you wish to
write about.

So, don’t wait. Get your writer’s library started.

Digital Library Initiative and The Future

Currently we are very busy digitizing humankind’s written knowledge from books to the digital so it can be made available to the world. This is a very wise move as books can decay over years and out of print books are not available to all. By digitizing the known human written knowledge to the world we can conquer the opportunity barriers of those hard chargers who may not have the resources to achieve the upward mobility they seek.

As we conquer the digital divide we will be well on our way to giving back the knowledge of the world from the entire Library of Commerce to the human race in an easy to read, search and retrieve format available to all. That will be an excellent day for the human race indeed. Recently the Discovery Channel and CSPAN have had shows that specifically address the massive undertaking; taking print in books and putting it into a digital format.

One research project of interest was funded by the NSA; the Petaplex Project was to develop a digital library scalable system of up to 20 petabytes in size. The project’s goal to have the data through-put at a level of many millions of accesses per second with response times in sub-seconds. Imagine a digital library of the Library of Commerce able to use SuperComputer speeds to retrieve all the world’s written books online at a speed of Google. That is to say any book written in any language, anywhere in the world, at anytime, think on that for a second. One company which is working on this is Knowledge Systems which is run by a gentleman who has spent the last 22-years and whose primary work has been in hypertext and digital libraries.

As this is completed it is quite certain that it will grow into many other things, which will be digitized and searchable immediately to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Already we see Yahoo with video search and Google with picture search and this will grow. Although I personally am especially intrigued with Knowledge Systems work and the others who have joined in their vision to complete the digital library work, which will open the world of knowledge in a systematic approach that will surely change the world forever; I also feel in the future that the next generation of digital works will be awesome. For instance, I can see in the future such things as 3D, 4D, 5D digitized works, which will all be interactive and instantaneous. Then we will have brain interfaces so you can see your own thought and record dreams. We will soon have robotic manual cooperation and Virtual Reality 3D help desks all record able, replay-able and enjoyable at any time. We will literally be able to record the entire human endeavor or an entire human life, including every vision, thought, motion, feeling, dream and action. ImagineFuture might be a good name for it, as the future of images is unlimited. One might say this is way out in the future? Well, with quantum computing and mankind’s ability to dream for the future, we will eventually have Walt Disney’s vision on Steroids in our next period. A world available without a real world; a recorded, replay-able and reprogram-able world; would you like to go back and change something, an event? Well soon you maybe able to, just like Direct TV’s new feature to go back and see it again, but in the interactive digital world you can do it again, change events and make your own Virtual Reality world, think on it. Too futuristic for you; Not me!

Free Audio Books and eBooks at Your Library

In these tough economic times, we’re all looking for ways to cut back on expenses. Well, there’s a money saving card in your wallet – way at the back because you haven’t used it in a while. That’s right, it’s time to dig out the old library card. We all know that libraries loan out books for free, but it still seems like there are a lot more people shopping at the local bookstore or online at Amazon than at the library. Maybe it’s because they don’t always have enough copies of the latest books. Or maybe it’s that we forget to return books and then get charged a late fee. It’s time to take another look, because libraries are quickly becoming as friendly as the internet.

My local county library has contracted with a company call OverDrive, which offers AudioBooks and eBooks for download. Here’s how it works. The library has a certain number of copies of each book available. For example, my library has 21 copies of Eragon on AudioBooks. Anyone with a library card can go online and check out one of these copies. You download it to your computer, where it will stay for 14 days, at which time it expires. You don’t have to find the book and drive back to the library or risk a late fee. While it’s on your computer, you can listen to it, or if the license allows, you can burn it to CD or to your iPod! All of this is free to you!

If all 21 copies are checked out, you can put your name on the waiting list and you’ll be notified when the book becomes available. You can see the number of people in line ahead of you and how many copies the library has available, so it’s pretty easy to figure out when it will be your turn.

OverDrive also offers eBooks. This is a lot like the Kindle Books available from Amazon. You would have to purchase a reader, like the Sony Reader, which costs about $300. Then you could download books, magazines and newspapers to read on your mobile device. Most libraries don’t offer eBooks yet. They seem to be starting with AudioBooks to see how popular it is. If you’re interested in this option, let your library know. The more requests they get, the more likely it is that they’ll make it available.

Go to OverDrive.com to find out whether your library offers AudioBooks or eBooks, or go straight to your library’s website. If your library doesn’t offer this service, let them know that you’d like them to. Then make sure you have a library card!