Tag Archive: books


Amazon’s Kindle may be one of the most popular digital book readers out there, but the Sony Reader and applications made for the Ipod and Iphone are close behind. In fact Sony recently struck a deal with Google in hopes of increasing sales as well as popularity. According to an article by the NY Times by the end of the week, Sony hopes to include roughly “a half million copyright-free books available for its Reader device.” By doing this, Sony is attempting to divert attention from the Kindle as well as invite new digital readers to its Reading device as oppose to Kindle or similar devices/applications.

This will certainly be a difficult task for Sony. Amazon currently has 250,000 books that are available for the Kindle (and that number continues to grow). Furthermore, titles that are available for the Kindle are “books people are most interested in reading, like new releases and best sellers.” Whereas Sony’s Reader, with the help of Google, will allow individuals to download free non-copyrighted material. The reason that these titles are non-copyrighted are due mainly to the fact that the books are old- or have been in print long enough to lose the copyright once associated with them. The titles add up to roughly 7 million books that will be available for FREE!

“The books available to Reader owners were written before 1923 and include classics like “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” by Mark Twain, and “The Awakening,” by Kate Chopin, as well as harder-to-find titles like “The Letters of Jane Austen.””

If you happen to like reading classics, then this will be great. However you won’t find any titles by Editorial Campana or Campanita books.  Google is working to increase the copyright-free materials. In the meantime, through the Google Book Search Program, books that are copyrighted will be visible only with either selected pages/text or only the first few pages. 

Once Google and Sony team up, will readers turn their attention to the Reader for classics (and maybe one day new releases/bestsellers)? Or will Kindle’s emphasis to provide new books and hot releases over-power Google and Amazon. Maybe in the end- neither will progress- applications made for computers and mobile devices may turn out to be what’s on the next page!

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Editorial Campana is pleased to announce another event!!

Monday March 16th, 4:00-5:15 p.m. This event is bilingual English/Spanish B.M.C.C. (Borough of Manhattan Community College): Room: S-605. Reading and conversation with Sonia Rivera Valdés (Casa de las Américas Award winner) author of Stories of Little Women and Grown-Up Girls (Historias de mujeres grandes y Chiquitas)

For more information please visit Editorial Campana or the BMCC website. Also look for future events hosted by Editorial Campana!

“We had a room with some books but nobody ever went in there.” This is a quote from Alan Cohen, P.S. 69’s principal. Imagine being a student in NYC and not having access to a proper library? Many students in low income communities face this issue daily. Rooms that are dedicated to being libraries, are often  found bare and deserted due to low or no funding and lack of materials- mainly books. With the economy tumbling and still uncertain, many budgets for NYC public schools have put Libraries at the bottom of the list. It seems there just isn’t enough money to support a program that is so essential to students.

There may be hope! A foundation known as the Robin Hood Foundation is looking to change the direction and image of many poverty stricken NYC public schools. The foundation over the past nine years has been:

 “dedicated to fighting poverty in New York City, and the city’s schools administration have built, with the help of private donors, libraries in 62 schools in low-income neighborhoods.”

The Foundation has had such success that many of the libraries that have been built in these schools have been adorned by murals from famous artists. These libraries and pictures have transformed schools that once seemed headed in a one way direction with the students having no choice but to follow the same dooming direction.

Another example of this transformation is Public School 47, located in the Soundview section of the Bronx. The school is in need of space. So much so that the gym has been transformed into classrooms and administrative offices have been created from bathrooms. Yet with the help of the Robin Hood Foundation, the school now seems to have a promising future- thanks to the addition of the new library located on the second floor. The room is described as expanding in a somewhat magical way. Above all, the new library (home to roughly 7,000 books) is the first “proper” library that the school has had in many years. All thanks to the Robin Hood Foundation.

Please visit their site to learn more information about how their program works and how their efforts have helped to keep literature within the NYC public school system. Foundations such as this one and books such as A Very Smart Cat/ Una Gata Muy Inteligente, My Brain Won’t Float Away/ Mi Cerebro no Va a Salir Flotando, and A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) aim to improve and inspire reading among young students and children.

“Small Press Month is a nationwide celebration highlighting the valuable work produced by independent publishers. Held annually in March, Small Press Month raises awareness about the need for broader venues of literary expression. From March 1st-31st, independent, literary events will take place from coast-to-coast, showcasing some of the most diverse, exciting, and significant voices being published today.” [More info…]

For more information please click on the picture above and do your part to support small and independent publishers!

Editorial Campana is pleased to announce the first event for MARCH 2009.  In Celebration of International Women’s Month with Margarita DragoJacqueline Herranz BrooksSonia Rivera Valdés(Casa de las Américas Award winner) and  Paquita Suárez Coalla.  The authors will read from their new works and chat with the audience. The event will take place Thursday March 5th, 8:00 p.m. at Librería Caliope, NY. PLease visit editorialcampana.com for more information and for directions.

 

 

Remember a long time a go when you spent the day at the library learning how to find books and getting aquatinted with the card catalog system? There was a time when the one computer in the library was used to find books and to locate useful resources for a book report or for that big science project you had to do. Then came the Internet and it made its way into the library system. First it was a great way to see what other libraries had and a way for librarians to keep tabs on new books and where to send people if they needed a specific book. So for a while the librarian needed to know basic computer skills and how to read the card system. Welcome to the new library age.

Librarians face a new job. On top of their traditional roles, many are required to help students use computers aside from finding books. Powerpoint presentations fill the classrooms as students are well versed in the computer world, therefore librarians spend a lot of their time showing students how to use the information they have gathered as part of their presentations. Other programs that are used on a normal basis include word ( a typing program) as well as the Internet itself.

For new students, the Internet is a house-hold name, but many many do not have access to a computer or have never ventured into the digital world. Here the librarian must be well versed in the language of Google and similar search engines so they can help that 3rd grader find resources outside of the library for their book report. Many books on the shelves have outdated material or not enough material, so going online helps expands on resources. Librarians around the nation and around the world are 

“part of a growing cadre of 21st-century multimedia specialists who help guide students through the digital ocean of information that confronts them on a daily basis. These new librarians believe that literacy includes, but also exceeds, books.”

The Internet is like an ocean- if you don’t know how to search properly, you can drown in the abundance of useful and not-so-useful material. Knowing how to navigate these waters is a critical skill that goes beyond the classroom and is used everyday- including at work. Knowing this, librarians, like teachers make up lesson plans to help students better understand how to use the Internet in a way that will get them the information that thy are looking for and how to pick out information that is false or irrelevant. Far gone are the days of “just re-shelving a book,” as stated by Ms. Rosalia, the school librarian at Public School 225, a combined elementary and middle school in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. The responsibilities of  the new digital librarian parallel that of many school teachers.

Yet with the economy the way that it is and with the tendency of schools to cut back, librarians are one of the first to be cut out of the school system.

“Mesa, the largest school district in Arizona, began phasing out certified librarians from most of its schools last year. In Spokane, Wash., the school district cut back the hours of its librarians in 2007, prompting an outcry among local parents. More than 90 percent of American public schools have libraries, according to federal statistics, but less than two-thirds employ full-time certified librarians.”

Parents, teachers, school administrators are all well aware that librarians are a crucial part to the educational system. However a non-certified librarian in the end cost less. More and more schools are cutting back. That means that a certified librarians are becoming rare at an alarming rate. 

The Internet is part of everyday life. If you step into a classroom, whether elementary or college level, many teachers use the Internet as an aid in the classroom. Not having these skills can impair a students chance of excelling or getting the job they want.

Librarians are faced with a new challenge in this digital age. Is it as important to be certified or knowing how to harness the powers of the computer? Schools are meant to educate. Teachers are certified in order to provide the best quality of that education. A school can not function properly without the right resources. Cutting back on these resources such as knowledgeable librarians can have serious implications to the students. How does a school rightfully decide to cut back on librarians, when now more than ever, they go beyond indexing books and keeping the shelves tidy?

Watch the NY Times video related to the article quoted in this blog!

Google and Amazon have just recently announced that they will be pushing many books to be released into cell phone format. As many of you may know from our last post, the iPhone has many applications that allow you to read books, and there are other devices such as Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader. Yet as many of these devices are still expensive, people don’t want to spend more money at a time when most are watching what they spend. Knowing this, Google and Amazon have decided to make books available on many cell phones. 

Keep in mind that this news comes at a time when Amazon has announced that they will be releasing a newer version of their popular Kindle- the Kindle 2. Maybe Amazon hopes that even though mobile phones will allow you to read books, the new Kindle will offer features that will make consumers want a Kindle to read “Stories of Grown-Up Girls and Little Women,” written by Sonia Rivera-Valdès  Kindle already offers over 200,000 titles and with the release of the new Kindle, many  more are sure to follow. So why then would Amazon decide to make mobile phones have access to this library- exposure and profits. Although the Kindle is costly, it does make reading an electronic book easy. It’s large screen makes the reader feel as though they are reading an actual book than a cell phone would or even the iPhone.

But just as camera phones have not replaced digital cameras, smartphones are not likely to replace dedicated e-book readers like the Kindle or the Reader from Sony, analysts said. These specialized devices have screens about the size of a paperback book and use a technology that does not require backlighting, which makes them easier to read in most light conditions. They also have longer battery life.

The point however is that e-books are taking over. Although the future is still unknown, every day, e-books are proving that they will most likely become the new standard. With the growing popularity of Kindle, Sony’s Reader, applications, and now cell phones that can access books, it is just a matter of time when we will know libraries as digital vaults and monitors will become the new pages that we bookmark and instead, readers will say they can’t wait to find out what happens on the next screen. Books seem as though they will soon be found in museums (if they aren’t replaced by something digital) and maybe holding onto a couple may be a good investment as they might easily become collectors items.

We have written several blogs about the popular Kindle from Amazon and how it could potentially replace traditional books (as well as similar devices). We here at Editorial Campana, being a book publishing company and all, try to keep up with the latest literary technology and news. Recently we stumbled across a new program that may have Kindle beat. And it’s not the only one. This new program/device/technology is called eReader. It is part of the iPhone’s application store (it is also available for many other portable devices and computers). So how does it work?

Like Kindle, you go to the eReader website and search for a book that you would like to add to your iPhone. Once you do this, you can download the book (after buying it) and then add it to your “bookshelf.” You can do this all wirelessly or you can add the book to your computer to have a much larger screen. Kindle has a similar feature that allows you to upload a book wirelessly, but here’s the catch- you have to buy Kindle for $359! The iPhone and other cell phones are much cheaper. The application is free unless you buy the pro. Looks like eReader has you beat here Kindle.

picture-11This application for your iPhone comes with a lot of great features. You can go to any page very easily and save your progress in case you need to come back to your book later. The settings section allows you to change the font size and style, change the way the pages turn (to give it amore realistic feeling), and change the screen color (black/white or reverse). And just like with the iPhone you can change from portrait to landscape depending on what you like better.

Sounds like this free application does it all. It has a very easy user interface and if you go to the website, they say they are always working on updates to make the application even better. Probably the best feature is that since this is a wireless device, it works on the 3G network or any Wi-Fi network so that you can always access your bookshelf. The only downside may be getting the books. With the computer you just go to eReader.com and purchase the book that you want. After you have bought it you can use the iPhone to update your bookshelf with your new content. We haven’t figured out how to do this on the iPhone yet (aside from the quick link to the eReader site), so we are not so sure that you can do that. As long as you have access to a computer though, your bookshelf is your mobile library. The application also works with Fictionwise and manybooks.net. There is the ability to import books from other sites, but the featured ones are easy and convienent. 

Another downside that we found was that the books were pricey for digital content as oppose to Kindle editions. For example the new Dean Koontz book, “The Good Guy,” cost about $5 for the Kindle edition whereas the eReader edition cost about regular price (about $8). The eReader does provide a program that allows you to get a discount of 15%. This program is known as the eReader Rewards program. So although the books may cost more, if you are an avid book reader, earning points will be quick and you will se significant discounts shortly thereafter. 

As more people are turning towards digital books, it looks like there are many more options now than just Kindle and the Sony device. We think it’s great that the iPhone has this application because aside from having to shell out more money and carry another device, the features are great and you will always have it with. Did we mention that the iPhone is much smaller than the Kindle?

Here is the tv ad that showed the world that the iPhone was launching into the digital reading device realm:

If you live in Washington and read the Washington Post, you might notice something different with the Sunday edition. It’s Book World (a book review section of the newspaper) is moving and being integrated into the newspaper instead of having its own section. The Post launched Book World in the 1960s, folded it as a separate section in 1973 and was reviewed in the early 1980s.   Instead book reviews will be found in the outlook section of the newspaper on Sundays, and in the style and arts section during the week.  As well, Style will have a daily Book World review and touch upon literature and publishing topics. The section will also house interviews and profiles of authors more prominently than in the past. So ends another chapter in book review history.

The Washington Post has decided to shutter the print version of Book World, its Sunday stand-alone book review section, and shift reviews to space inside two other sections of the paper.

Book World, aside from the book review section in the NY Times was one of the last standing book review only sections found in a newspaper across the country. Why has the newspaper decided to make this change? In a nutshell, advertising decreased making the section no longer practical:

“The advertising in Book World didn’t justify the amount of space that we dedicated each week to books coverage,” [stated] Marcus Brauchli, executive editor of The Post, in a phone interview.

The last “issue” of Book World is scheduled to be between February 15-22. It will continue to be published online as an independent section. When rumors arose that the section would be turning it’s last page, many signed a petition in hopes of bringing back the section. The Book World section, as many suggested, honored books and highlighted their significance simply by having a section to itself. Although the attempts to keep Book World alive failed, many were happy that section would at the very least be available on the internet.

Yet there are some who are saying that like other media that gets support, so should book review sections in newspapers:

Douglas Brinkley, the historian, suggested that the book industry and book reviews deserved some kind of public bailout. “I think that just like public television — I think book review sections almost need to get subsidized to keep the intellectual life in America alive,” Mr. Brinkley said. “So if we can do that for radio, and we could do it for television, why can’t we do it for the book industry, which is terribly suffering right now?”

Despite the state of the economy, should newspapers be subsidized in order to make sure sections are kept in print? As he states, the book industry is suffering dramatically right now, and this change could have even more negative implications. If there is no book review section to inform the public about must-reads and new books, how are they to know about them (especially if they do not have access to the internet)?

Luckily, the NY Times still has it’s own section for book reviews. This change by the Washington Post makes the NY Times Sunday section the largest:

publishing at least 24 and as many as 30 or more pages a week with a staff of 15 and contributions from dozens of freelance reviewers. In addition to being included in the Sunday paper, the Book Review is sold as a separate section to 23,500 subscribers. An additional 4,200 copies of the section are sold in bookstores across the country.

Unless you live in NY, it may be harder to find book reviews in your favorite newspaper (or any newspaper).

caribbeancovermariopicayo1

Will talk to the public and present three copies of his book to the National Library, including a Special Edition courtesy of the First Lady of the US Virgin Islands.

 

New York resident, Caribbean author Mario Picayo will present his children’s book A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) and talk to the audience this Friday at 12:30 PM as part of the events celebrating the re-opening of the National Library. At 10 AM, during the opening ceremonies, Mr. Picayo will present three signed copies of the popular book to the library, including one copy of a Special Edition made exclusively for the United States Virgin Islands. The copy arrives courtesy of the First Lady of the US Virgin Islands, Cecile de Jongh as a gift to the children of Barbados. Mrs. De Jongh is a well-known literacy advocate. Several copies of A Caribbean Journey have also been purchased by the Library and will be available to its patrons and its many branches.

A Caribbean Journey from A to Y has been a commercial and critical success.  Dominican writer Silvio Torres-Saillant (An intellectual history of the Caribbean) wrote, “The images and the words combine to disrupt many of the visual and discursive stereotypes that often recur in representations of the Caribbean. I can think of no better book for children to begin the lifelong adventure of knowing the Caribbean”.  Glen “Kwabena” Davis, Director of the US Virgin IslandsEducation Department’s Culture Division, said “Mario Picayo’s A Caribbean Journey from A to Y is a book sure to motivate kids to read it over and over. The illustrations and the artistic appeal of the book make it really stand out among other children’s books.”          

Published at the end of 2007, The 64 page, hardcover, fully illustrated book has gather steam with each passing month, selling over 10,000 copies in December 2008 and becoming an Americas Award Commended Title. 

The back cover describes it as a “fun and educational journey through the Caribbean Islands, one letter at a time! From Aruba to Trinidad and from avocado to yam, the reader learns the names of many of the islands, plus fascinating facts about them.  A Caribbean astronaut? From which island? An island with over 300 rivers? Seals in our tropical waters?  And wait until you see what happened to the Z”.

Mr. Picayo is making his visit to Barbados onboard the Norwegian Gem as part of a multi-island presentation tour.  “He wants to introduce the book personally, to each Caribbean island where it is sold, or will be sold”, according to McKinley Matteson, Assistant Manager at Campanita Books, publisher of A Caribbean Journey.

On Wednesday Picayo will be visiting his old home, St Thomas, Virgin Islands to receive the Special Edition of the book destined for the National Library from the hands of First Lady de Jongh.  On Thursday he will visit Antigua,and make the book officially available on the island. Mario will also speak at the Island Academy, a private school, and by invitation of the Ministry of Education at a primary public school.  Later in the afternoon he will visit the Antigua Public Library to present copies of his book, and of other titles published by Editorial Campana to Ms. Dorothea Nelson, Chief Librarian.  

Meet the author, and take a first look at the Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) at 12:30 at the National Library Service’s new Independence Square Headquarters.

For further information please call the National Library Services at 246-435-3371 or visit www.Editorialcampana.com to read the full press release.