Why Preserve Books?

Books in shipping containers“Digital technologies are changing both how library materials are accessed and increasingly how library materials are preserved. After the Internet Archive digitizes a book from a library in order to provide free public access to people world-wide, these books go back on the shelves of the library. We noticed an increasing number of books from these libraries moving to “off site repositories” to make space in central buildings for more meeting spaces and work spaces. These repositories have filled quickly and sometimes prompt the de-accessioning of books. A library that would prefer to not be named was found to be thinning their collections and throwing out books based on what had been digitized by Google. While we understand the need to manage physical holdings, we believe this should be done thoughtfully and well.” Read more: Why preserve books? The Physical Archive of the Internet Archive.

Hardcore Book Scanning

Needed: Chainsaw + scanner. Read the first comment before you try this at home. Via Mijns Insziens.

Pay-per-swing Hammers

pay perswing  hammersA reader at Metafilter reacts to the news that Harper Collins is putting a cap on the number of times their ebooks can be loaned out from libraries:

“I’ve argued that the ultimate endpoint for Digital Rights Management (DRM) is the pay-per-swing hammer. This isn’t as unlikely as it seems. Ball bearings in the hammer could be arranged, via electromagnetism, to configurations which either take away much of the force of the blow or leave it somehow off-center, or a dead-on impact. Ubiquitous wireless access will finally mean that microtransactions are more feasible. Press your fob against the hammer and, once your account has been verified, we will rearrange the bearings in the hammerhead to give you a better swing. A penny per swing. At this point, the only hard part would be getting the existing hammers out of circulation.”

Via Things Magazine. Somewhat related: Know your bolts.

DIY Book Scanning

Diy book scanner “Do-It-Yourself Book Scanning is using cheap, compact cameras and free software to scan books quickly and efficiently. DIY Book Scanners can be as simple as a camera and a piece of glass [PDF] or as involved as the Instructable that brought our community together [PDF / Vimeo]. We’ve come a long way since then. We have GPL-licensed laser cut designs, aluminum designs, and detailed instructions for beginners. We have built hundreds of scanners and freely shared thousands of design improvements.”

More at the DIY Book Scanning Community, a group of over 300 DIY’ers who believe that the future of digital books is too important to be decided solely by corporate interests. Related: DIY Book Binding & Kite Aerial Photography.

Dutch Book Bindings (12th – 21st Century)

Books 2

Books bibliodyssey

Book bindings of the Royal National Library of The Netherlands. Via BibliOdyssey, where you can find a selection.

Digital Books and Your Rights

A checklist for readers by the EFF. Previously: Second hand bits and bytes.