Archive for the ‘Ideas to Steal’ Category

Oprah — Audios Better Than Books

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

If you’re searching for ideas for your library blogs, here’s one to steal from, a feature on seven “Audiobooks That Sound Better Than the Printed Versions.” Among the narrators spotlighted are Edoardo Ballerini (Beautiful Ruins, HarperAudio; listen to Ballerini here), Dean Robertson (The Poisonwood Bible, Brilliance; sample here), and, of course, Jim Dale (the Harry Potter series, Listening Library; samples here).

Not much needs to be said about narrator of Graham Greene’s The End of The Affair. The story simply states, “I’m only going to say this once: Colin Firth’s speaking softly, directly into your ear—and he’s talking about love.”

Unfortunately that one is not available to libraries; it’s only on, but we couldn’t resist showing this behind-the-scenes video of Firth in the recording studio:


Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Those clever young ‘uns, Bill Barnes and Gene Ambum, over at the library-based comic, Unshelved have started something that may catch on — @bookblrb, tweet-sized blurbs for some of their favorite books. They even have a Facebook page.

As Bill puts it,

Writing very concise copy like this is surprisingly hard, and we think we are the right people to do it. After all, cartooning is basically the art of trimming away every unnecessary word (and every possible drop of ink) to let the joke come through. We have been doing this for a while with our comic strip book reviews, all we’ve done here is crank up the volume to 11, and the number of characters down to 117.

RA Flow Chart

Friday, June 29th, 2012 has created a clever “Summer Reading Flow Chart” to encourage high school students to read this summer. The choices may be a bit didactic (that word “Should” in the headline is telling), but the presentation is fun (via USA Today).

Kansas City’s “Publitzer Prize”

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Kansas City librarians used the lack of a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction as an opportunity to create the “Publitzer Prize for Fiction” (the play on the name indicates that the public chooses this prize).

Library Director Crosby Kemper III explains:

The three nominees were announced yesterday. The winner will be announced tomorrow.

Take that, Pulitzer Board!

What has your library done to combat the mistaken impression that this was a lousy year for fiction? Let us know in the comments section.

Sampling the Hugo Nominees

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Here’s an idea to steal for your library Web site. GalleyCat has created a “mixtape” of the Hugo Award Nominees, such as the story Amaryllis, available in full on the Lightspeed site.

It’s a great way to give readers access to nominees in the novella, short story and novelette categories, many of which have not appeared in book form.


Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Director Baz Luhrmann has been studying up for his adaptation of The Great Gatsby and is inviting the public to be part of the process. Earlier this month, he told Entertainment Weekly,

Having spent at least two years full-time on [Gatsby], I probably have read [most every] book. But maybe not… I think engagement with an audience is great. I am fascinated about genuine audience participation because I grew up in the theater…I think to myself, well look, this [list] is what we’ve read. Go read that, and help me. If you want to have a point of view, get informed, then be helpful. Let’s try and make the best interpretation [for today].

Luhrmann’s research material is listed on the director’s Web site, with discussion on his Facebook page.

It was confirmed recently that Carey Mulligan will play Daisy, joining Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby. Release is planned for some time in 2012; plenty of time to organize “Reading with Baz” book groups.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

We wish we had gotten it together to create a fun holiday greeting. We didn’t, so we’ll just steal this one from those creative folks at Chronicle Books (love the use of the company logo and the dancing CEO).

Happy holidays to all our wonderful EarlyWord readers (try to imagine the EarlyWord bird swooping into the scene).

Starring the Chronicle staff, in order of appearance:

Laura Bagnato, Marketing Designer
Alex Sheehan, Special Sales Manager
Nion McEvoy, Chairman & CEO
Ben Laramie, Industrial Designer
Dean Burell, Managing Editorial Director
Anna Carollo, Marketing Design Coordinator
Jack Jensen, President
Emily Craig, Marketing Designer
Kelly Abeln, Marketing Design Fellow

If you want to find out more about the creation of this stop motion video, check Chronicle’s behind the scenes blog post.

No, But I Read the Book

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

The entertainment news site BuzzSugar just posted a Winter Reading List: 15 Books to Read Before They’re on the Big Screen slideshow, useful for real and virtual book displays.

One caution, however, many of the movies have no cast or directors yet, so it’s anyone’s guess whether they will actually see the light of the big screen and one is opening today (True Grit, which is getting fantastic reviews and bringing new attention to the book; see our coverage, as well as yesterday’s NYT review).

You might prefer to use two of our Movies Based on Books lists (in links, at the right and continuously updated), Upcoming — with Tie-ins and In Production. If you want to go way out on the edge, check our Film Rights Acquired listing.

The BuzzSugar list leads with Jennifer Egan’s The Keep (the author’s A Visit from the Goon Squad has emerged as the top fiction pick on the Best Books ’10 lists).

It was optioned back in October, with Niels Arden Oplev, director of the Swedish-language Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, signed to direct, but no news since.

Guilty Pleasures

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Here’s an idea for a book display — “Guilty Pleasures.” NPR beat us to it, with their “My Guilty Pleasure” series, in which writers talk about “the books they love but are embarrassed to be seen reading.”

Last night, Lionel Shriver (author of National Book Award finalist, So Much for That) said her guilty pleasure is an erotic historical novel, As Meat Loves Salt, by Maria McCann, sending the book to #62 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

As Meat Loves Salt (Harvest Original)
Maria McCann
Retail Price: $30.95
Paperback: 565 pages
Publisher: Harvest Books – (2003-01-07)
ISBN / EAN: 015601226X / 9780156012263

What’s Being Bought Where

Friday, July 30th, 2010

This is a little scary — the UK-based online bookstore, features a live map on their site of orders being placed (thanks, to today’s Shelf Awareness for pointing out the story in The Guardian). It’s curiously fascinating; ooh, look, someone in Belgium bought The Librarian’s Book of Quotes, published by ALA.

It was created using Google Maps. Are there interesting library applications that wouldn’t violate privacy? “What’s Being Placed on Hold” or “What’s Just Been Returned To Which Branch “?

No More Lame Library Videos

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

You may have seen the Old Spice Guy video. Now, he has competition, from a library promo video.

Earlier, the Old Spice Guy tried his hand at promoting libraries. Nice try, but we’d rather look at the New Guy.

The New Spice Guy video appears on Brigham Young University’s Harold B. Lee Library web site, as well as on YouTube, where it’s received over 1.3 million hits since it was posted last week. It was made by the library’s multimedia production crew (here’s hoping they don’t get hired away). You can see more HBLL Productions on their YouTube channel,  A BYU’s news release says that the New Spice Guy is Stephen Jones, a senior studying psychology and president of BYU’s stand-up comedy club.

Here’s hoping The New Spice Guy signals the end of lame library videos

Now, let’s work on ending lame book trailers.

‘Little Bee’ Bookseller Video

Monday, March 9th, 2009

We did a “Heavy Reserve Alert” for Little Bee last week. Since then, it has appeared on the San Francisco Chronicle and Northern California Independent bestseller lists, perhaps because of this video by local indie bookseller Green Apple Books & Music:

Green Apple proves that enthusiasm and energy can trump money and sophisticated technology. The following is an odd, yet endearing and somehow effective promotion for Roberto Bolaño’s 2666:

Little Bee
Chris Cleave
Price: $24.00
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster – (2009-02-10)
ISBN-10: 1416589635
ISBN-13: 9781416589631

Also available in Audio:
Publisher: Tantor
8 Audio CDs; EAN: 9781400141715
List Price: $69.99

Bookseller Uses Twitter for Buying

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

What can a bookseller do if he’s not prepared for a visit from a sales rep? He can go to Twitter and tweat his bookseller buddies to find out what they’re buying!

Arsen Kashkashian, is the head book buyer for the Boulder Bookstore in Colorado. He admits on his blog to “tweeting my life away,” but it sounds like he’s figuring out how to use Twitter to do his job better. Facing an imminent visit from the Grove/Atlantic sales rep, he tweated other booksellers to find out what they thought he needed. When the rep suggested some titles that the booksellers had not, he typed them in to Twitter Search, and found no tweating. The bookseller picks, on the other hand, had lots of tweats.

The book from Grove/Atlantic that is getting the most tweats? Wetlands, by Charlotte Roche. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the tweats about it very helpful; most of them are in German!

More helpful was a Google search with links to some old-media sources:

Even more helpful is checking library reserve ratios, which are pretty low on very light ordering.



by Charlotte Roche (Author), Tim Mohr (Translator)

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (April 8, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 0802118925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802118929

Twitter must have reached the tipping point; I feel like I’m reading about it everywhere.

It’s gotten to us, too —  you can now follow EarlyWord on Twitter.

Everyone’s a ‘Knucklehead’

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Our EarlyWord Kids contributor, Lisa Von Drasek, has been writing here about her enthusiasm for Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka. This Sunday, she shared that enthusiasm with the broader world, in the NYT Book Review

She wants to mention to the EarlyWord audience that, since the book is Jon’s (hilarious) reminiscences about growing up, “it’s a great jumping-off point for a memoir-writing workshop with teens and late elementary kids. It would also be great for an intergenerational oral history program.”

For an example of how well the book gets people talking, check out the responses on the NY Times Paper Cuts blog, “Are You a Knucklehead?”. They challenged people  to post their own “entirely true stories of the most knuckleheaded thing — defined here as risky, dangerous, absurdly pointless or all three — they ever did when they were growing up.” A great idea to steal for your library blog.

Come to think about it, let’s do it here, but let’s change it. What’s the most knuckleheaded thing you did as a librarian?

I’ll start. Happily, I never did anything dangerous on the job, but maybe this qualifies as a bit absurd:

When I was working in Baltimore County P.L., we had the mandate to offer help, rather than wait for people to come to the desk to ask. We discovered that if we wandered the stacks well before closing time and approached people who looked like they needed help, it had the extra benefit of speeding along closing time.

I saw a young couple in the 300’s. Being a bit shy, I was never good at beginning conversations, so I blurted, “You look frustrated, can I help?’

You guess it, they were looking for books on sex.

True story; but as I tell it, I doubt it would happen today.

Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing up Scieszka

Jon Scieszka 

  • Paperback: $12; 106 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile (October 2, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 067001138X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670011384

Steal This for Your Next Speech

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

A good laugh to begin a VERY hectic week (thanks to Collection Developments @ Sno-Isle for spotting this!)

Please excuse the intro from Ad Age. Why do people think they have to explain a joke?

ChatClick here to chat!+