Wednesday, 27 August 2008


I'm still not entirely convinced of the benefits of twitter, though it's quite fun to announce to the world that you're about to catch a bus or thinking about the weekend. Some twitterers (or is that tweeters?) provide streams of interesting links and info. One of the best on digital publishing is Jose Afonso Furtado in Lisboa Portugal,
teaching a post-graduate course on "Books and Publishing in Digital Era" at Universidade Católica de Lisboa - and churning out masses of links to interesting things.
You can find him at

recaptcha n rivvenj

Associate Mary Harrington found this fascinating link to a lovely scheme to tackle spammers, the shortfalls of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) AND help book digitisation.


I was just getting enraged with my misbehaving scanner/printer when I found this bbc clip on the blog of digital writer Chris Joseph:

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

random acts of generosity

We're delighted that Random House have offered us a meeting room and some food and drink for our next if:bookgroup on Monday 8th September at 6.30pm.
As eReaders, Kindles and an affordable iPhone finally arrive on the market, this is a perfect opportunity to regroup after the summer, discuss recent developments and take a broader view of the digital possibilities for readers, writers, producers, teachers and literature organisations.

Places are limited so book your free place now - email

Saturday, 16 August 2008

toni's book

if:book associate and designer of our website, Toni Lebusque will be working with us shortly on our Songs of Imagination & Digitisation project. Toni recently came across a book she had illuminated/defaced years ago with her powerful drawings and musings on life, sexuality and other stuff. Now she's made a digital version to flick through.
Take a look at the results HERE!

and here again is her Bookfutures film.

and here's the FLO White Paper, designed by Toni and written by 'Friendly Literature Organisations' a consortium of leaders of literature organisations, to promote the strengths of the sector and lay out some of the challenges we face.

Monday, 11 August 2008

holiday e-reading

Frappe coffee and wi-fi in the square at Argolasti, Pelion Peninsular

I'm just back from a holiday in Greece where, among other pleasurable activities, I read The Time Machine by H G Wells on my iTouch, plus several Sherlock Holmes short stories, consumed in the dark on nights I couldn't sleep. I've also downloaded Ulysses and Moby Dick and am well stuck into re-reading the Joyce. I'm finding it tempting to dip into these daunting, doorstop epics and easy to focus on a few 'pages' of text each time. I also installed a bookshelf application and through that can download all kinds of wonders for free from Project Gutenberg. It was annoying to find in the Conan Doyle stories (which cost me 59p via iTunes) that graphic elements such as maps and cyphers were missing, and only the Gutenberg texts could be tipped sideways on the screen. But all in all I'm impressed - and maybe a bit relieved that reading basic text on screen can be this good.