Weekly Finds: 10/04/2014

I’m going to try to make this a (mostly) weekly post, where I post links to things I’ve really enjoyed, or to things that have inspired me in my writing.

Firstly, Three Habits of Highly Effective Blogging over on The Daily Post. Just some basic advice on how to do a better job at your blog. One idea that I want to implement into my disorganized life: an editorial calendar, where I’d figure out not just what days I want to blog on, but what I want to blog about on those days. Maybe I can keep up with it…?

A recent SciShow episode about the science of wildfires was not only fascinating, it reminded me of a story idea that I had set aside a few months back, and which I think I might be able to get back into now. Never mind that this story involves volcanoes, not wildfires…


What’s sparked your imagination this week?

Weekend Links: Analogue Writing and Picking Up Books

  • writingMental Floss reposted an article about writing by hand, which points out the actual benefits of writing your words out on a pad of paper versus typing them on the computer. I’ve pointed out before that I prefer doing most of my writing longhand, at least at first, and it’s nice to see that it’s not just my own perception that I’m better and more clearly than if I were to type everything first.
  • There’s apparently about 28% of Americans who don’t read books at all, including ebooks, which I find mightily disturbing. I know plenty of people who don’t read a lot, but they read a few books in a year. And I know I’m a wee bit of a bibliophile, plus I work in a library, but I just find it strange, and kind of empty, to have a life where you don’t read anything. One thing I didn’t like about the study, though, is that it does not count audiobooks. That’s a bit of a gip if you ask me, since I’ve recently discovered how awesome they are, and there are some people I know who would probably read far less if audiobooks weren’t available to them. I wonder how the numbers would change if audiobooks were included?
  • I also found a new Tumblr to follow. (Someday I’ll use Tumblr as Tumblr, instead of a bunch of sites I check at random through the search engine.) Eat Sleep Read is basically a bunch of pictures and comics about books and reading, so obviously I kind of like it. Other Tumblrs I enjoy: Title 2 Come about writing and Pancake Pancake Pancake because Fionna and Cake and Bee and Puppycat.

Link: An Insider’s Take on Borders

I read an interesting article this morning. Paul Constant of The Portland Mercury, a former Borders employee, gives his own, insider view of working for Borders, how it was awesome, and the plethora of mistakes it made that led to the book chain’s current state. It’s sad reading how Borders was, apparently, once a store all about the books that the workers and customers wanted, before it morphed into something entirely commercially driven. He even talks about Borders’s HORRIBLE web presence, which I could never understand, and sees the day Borders gave that responsibility to Amazon as “the exact second that Borders died.” It reminds me that, while I miss Borders, they were a very dumb company that really had it coming.

I also immensely enjoy his description of the latter-day customers that replaced book lovers as the “pre-offended armies of bargain hunters”. It reminds me of something…

Also, just to give my page on Suite 101 a little push, one of the Graphic Novel/Comics writers posted her review of Justice League #1, the first of the DC new universe. I’m glad for this, since American comics aren’t my forte. It also gives me the chance to remind you all that if you have any bit of a desire to write an article or review about comics, please, please do – my poor section is so underrepresented.

Weekend Links – Piles of Books

The Write 4 Kids blog links to Publishers Weekly’s list of top-selling children’s books. The names are mostly the same for both print and eBooks, which leads them to the question: are digital books really hurting print sales, or are they just extending them?

And speaking of kid’s books… As you may know, I wrote my own review for the hilarious picture book, Beauty and the Squat Bears. I enjoyed it, but I’m not a kid. So how do kids feel about this book? Manga Bookshelf found out when Melinda Beasi’s 7-year-old niece, Jia Li, posted her own thoughts.

Going back to what seems to be my regular topic of Japan, Shelf Awareness gives a Japanese reading list. The books on the list are meant to help readers better understand the nation that is currently having such a hard time of it. Also, it has unfortunately and inevitably added more books to my “To Read” list. Sigh.

Also on Japan, Tony Yao of Manga Therapy looks at how manga magazine publishers, like Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump and several Kodansha magazines, are publishing there magazines online for the Japanese readers who are incapable of getting themselves the current issue. This of course begs the question, will this be a model Japanese publishers will follow in the future? It also causes me to wonder if this will be a way for the Japanese publishers to legally give digital manga to American fans by offering their own translations.

Finally, A Game of Thrones will be on HBO soon. It’s based of a fantastic fantasy series, that somehow not everyone in the universe reads. On a Topless Robot Daily List, Sean T. Collins gives the 10 Reasons Why You Should Read George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. I’d give my own recommendations for the book at its sequels, but my feelings for them are so intense all I can usually say is “It’s good. Read it. READ IT.” Sean T. Collins is much more eloquent.

Weekend Links: Zombies in Technicolor

Full-color zombies in manga magazine Yen Plus.Gosh, I’m doing a poor job at this. I’ve been meaning to collect links throughout the week, but here I am with mere pittance. Am I not reading enough? Or do I just keep forgetting to write stuff down?

HarperCollins is limiting what libraries can do with their eBooks, and librarians are spitting mad.

Manga publisher Yen Press is now publishing High  School of the Dead in full color through their digital magazine, Yen Plus. I reviewed the first volume of High School of the Dead for Suit 101 and wasn’t terribly impress; I’m not sure some color images will improve upon the story. But, it’s still fun that they’re doing it.

And while I’m on the subject of nerdy things, my favorite nerdy blog Topless Robot gave me a shock with the list of 9 Manga Artists Who Totally Drew Porn. (NSFW!!!) Some of them I knew, some were minor-ly shocking, but Kiyohiko Azuma broke my brain – he draws Yotsuba&!, damnit!

Also, I’m sure everyone’s heard about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Anime News Network has put up a handy link to the Red Cross, and has an ever-updating list of anime, manga, and gaming industry members who have checked in since the earthquake to let fans know they’re OK.

What have you found on the Internet this week?