Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Need money help?

It’s funny how life works sometimes. Six months ago I never would have imagined I’d be reading “Rich dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki, but several unrelated paths have converged over the past few weeks to bring this book to my attention. I’m very glad they did. Although I haven’t had the time to implement many of these ideas (nor have I completed the book just yet), I’m very thankful for the new perspective Mr. Kiyosaki has given me on money. Now I can begin focusing my attention on building assets and wasting less of it on liabilities. It’s interesting how obvious some of these ideas can be once they’re explained. Unfortunately, most of us are never taught, especially in the US, how to pay ourselves first and use our money wisely.

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I read a lot of books. I usually have a couple going at once which my wife doesn’t quite understand. I just find it easier to have books in location where I read the most (one by my bed, another to read at lunch, etc.) without having to remember to carry one around…hence my desire for ebooks and an ebook reading device that I can tote with me at all times. Anyway, with all these books, most of which are from the local library, it can be difficult to remember what I have and haven’t read.

A few weeks ago I was looking into a software solution that would solve this problem. I tried Bookpedia and researched Delicious Library but decided that having this information stored on one computer wasn’t the way I wanted to go. I spend half my life on the internet and you never know when you may need this information.

Yesterday, I started using both Shelfari and LibraryThing and I think I found the answer to my question. I liked the Web 2.0 feel and interface of Shelfari but I think LibraryThing may keep me for the long haul. LibraryThing is great for archiving all my books but the feature I really love is their book suggestions based on my library and similar libraries of other users. This is perfect. I usually use Amazon but this requires that I look for a book that I’ve already read and then use the “what have other bought” feature to branch off to find another book I might like. Instead, I have all my books tracked in one place and fiction and non-fiction books are recommend in an instant. If Shelfari does this, I haven’t figured it out yet. LibraryThing’s interface isn’t as clean and it can be difficult to navigation but overall once you get use to the site this shouldn’t be a problem.

If anyone is looking to archive their books I’d recommend either site but my nod goes to LibraryThing. Hopefully over time the interface will evolve but as long is it keeps recommending relevant and interesting books, I’m hooked.

If you’re interested in seeing my partial catalog on LibraryThing, check this out…hopefully I’ll get some time to get all of my books cataloged.

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Since ebooks are out of the question until their price comes down, is there any other way to easily archive text from a book in a digital format? I’m not looking to copy a whole book but I’d like to archive and tag interesting passages that could go back to at a later date. I’m thinking of something about the size of a highlighter which instead of marking up a book, has the ability to scan the bar code, page number, and then the text so that I can dump to my Mac and search it when needed. This device needs to be portable. Is there anything like this out there? Is there a market for this besides me?

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What is it with the crazy costs of eBooks? A couple of days ago I wrote about a device I would love to own. The key feature of this device is an eBook reader. I want to be able to carry around all of my books (the iPod of books), with the ability to bookmark, tag, and search them all from one small device. Well, looking at the costs of these eBooks, I won’t be buying such a device any time soon. Here’s a comparison of the top-ten best selling books on Amazon on December 8, 2006 to the eBooks.com.

  Amazon’s Price eBooks.com’s Price
You: On A Diet: The Owner’s Manual for Waist Management $13.75 $15.29
The Iraq Study Group Report: The Way Forward – A New Approach
$6.57 Not Listed
The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream $13.75 $16.15
Next $15.37 $19.95
I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence $15.39 Not Listed
The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town $13.03 Not Listed
Cross $15.39 $17.09
Jim Cramer’s Mad Money: Watch TV, Get Rich $15.00 $16.99
For One More Day $12.07 Not Listed
Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring
for Everything in Your Home
$27.00 Not Listed

Now this is by no means a thorough comparison but you would expect that since you’re only receiving a file, one that cost zero dollars for eBooks.com to duplicate, that there would be a price savings over purchasing the book which cost much more to make. You might be able to make a case for it costing more because it’s more convenient to purchase but this doesn’t hold up. Buying an eBook is instant gratification. You can read it right away and access it on your computer or portable device. This is great but it doesn’t change the basic economics of book pricing. With all else being equal between books and eBooks, the only difference is the medium, and since I’m not receiving the paper and hard cover and there are no printing costs, then why should I pay more? Plus we haven’t even discussed the different eBook formats and their potential limitations.

Here’s one more example:

Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel

Amazon: $16.47

eBook.com: $24.95

There should never be an $8+ difference in favor of the actual book. It just should not happen. One day I will purchase all of my books in an electronic format but not until these prices are more in-line with reality.

UPDATE: Changed “not available” to “not listed” to remove any confusion. Not listed means that when I searched for the book on eBook.com it returned no results.

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Small Is the New Big: and 183 Other Riffs, Rants, and
Remarkable Business

Rating: 5 out of 5

Author: Seth

ISBN: 159

Parts of
this book I’ve read in Seth Godin’s blog but it’s great to have all of these stories
available in one place. When I need some inspiration, I just need to pick this book
up and turn to any page and the ideas start flowing.

Tags: business marketing inspiration

5Parts of
this book I’ve read in Seth Godin’s blog but it’s great to have all of these stories
available in one place. When I need some inspiration, I just need to pick this book
up and turn to any page and the ideas start flowing.business
marketing inspiration

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The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of

Rating: 5 out of 5

Author: Chris Anderson

Tags: business marketing “long tail” economics innovation inspiration

5business marketing "long tail"
economics innovation inspiration

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The Virtues of War: A Novel of Alexander the Great

Rating: 3 out of 5

Author: Steven

Tags: “Alexander the Great” history leadership Macedonia

3"Alexander the Great" history leadership

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Rating: 4 out of 5

Author: Clayton M.

Tags: business innovation “disk drive industry” change management

4business innovation
"disk drive industry" change management

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Rating: 4 out of 5

Author: Thomas L.


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Bulletproof Web Design

Bulletproof Web Design: Improving flexibility and protecting
against worst-case scenarios with XHTML and CSS

Rating: 5 out of 5

Author: Dan Cederholm

ISBN: 032

Read: January 2006

Notes: Excellent book on CSS

Tags: CSS,
“style sheet”, book, recommended, January, 2006, web, design

January 2006

Notes: Excellent book on CSSCSS, “style sheet”, book,
recommended, January, 2006, web, design

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