In Celebration of Books

By Balas, Janet | Computers in Libraries, May 1995 | Go to article overview

In Celebration of Books


Balas, Janet, Computers in Libraries


The doomsayers have been predicting for quite some time that the ever-increasing use of electronic resources will doom the book to obsolescence. Their pessimistic views of the future either had everyone sitting in front of flickering computer screens reading plain ASCII text or refusing to read at all, preferring instead to be entertained by multimedia extravaganzas. In their future, the art of typography would be lost forever, as would the simple pleasure of opening a new book and inhaling the "new book smell."

I would never presume to predict the future, but I do observe the present, and in the online circles through which I move, I observe that books are being advertised, promoted, discussed, and even celebrated with great fervor. As a long-time book lover I find this to be exhilarating, and as a librarian I find it to be quite valuable to my work. This month we'll take a look at some of the interesting and entertaining electronic resources dealing with books.

Book Talk in the Newsgroups

I began my quest for information in the Usenet newsgroups. I figured if I was looking for discussion, this was the place to start, and I was not disappointed. I searched the newsgroups available from my Internet service provider and came up with the list shown in Figure 1 (page 29). Your service provider may not carry all these newsgroups, or you may find some other newsgroups that aren't carried by my provider, but this list will get you started.

As you can see, the topics range from very broad to very specific. The content of newsgroups also varies widely; some wander off the topic, while others stay more tightly focused. In general, newsgroups that have a moderator who reviews messages before posting them tend to stay more on the topic. The wide-ranging, no-holds-barred discussion style of the unmoderated groups might be more to your liking, however, so drop in on several newsgroups to see what you prefer.

As a librarian, I found myself drawn to the groups that carried reviews. I often like to read reviews other than those found in the library literature. For example, computer book reviews that are written by "techies" are usually the best predictors of what my library's "techie" patrons will like, so I spent some time browsing biz.books.technical and misc.books.technical. I also browsed through rec.arts.books.reviews and found the group's latest FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) document. It explained the group's focus, which is to provide "reviews of books of interest to readers, school and public librarians ... and others who desire an 'educated opinion' of a book." There is a keyword-searchable archive of reviews from this newsgroup at gopher.colorado.edu for those with access to gopher client software. Discussion of the reviews takes place in a separate newsgroup, rec.arts.books. Librarians who are responsible for book selection should certainly benefit both from the reviews and the discussion, and could contribute their own reviews and comments.

Access to newsgroups can be obtained in a variety of ways. If you have an Internet account through an Internet service provider, it most likely will include access to newsgroups. Commercial services, such as CompuServe, America Online, and Prodigy, are expanding their Internet access, and most are providing newsgroups in their Internet services. Smaller online services, such as bulletin board systems or subscription systems on specialized topics, may also provide access to selected newsgroups. I found this to be the case when I visited BookWire, a new online service devoted to the book industry.

BookWire is a subscription-based service with a monthly fee for unlimited access. New users can take advantage of the 30-day trial period which allows 30 minutes of access each day. The system can be accessed through direct dial with vt100 terminal emulation, but users will enjoy the service much more if they download the client software which provides a graphical interface. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

In Celebration of Books
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.