Currently only advertised on the US website although its international spread is inevitable, Amazon’s Matchbook scheme will offer customers of physical books the chance to receive a digital copy for free or a discounted price. An innovative idea, Matchbook has the potential to put an end to the recent raging debate of e-books versus traditional print in the same way that the company now allows you to immediately download the MP3 version of a physical album that you buy.
So why is the scheme so great? For starters, those who revere physical books but can’t deny the practicalities of e-readers will be happy; they can have the best of both worlds. You can still hold and read a real book in all its traditional glory, but you can keep those to read at home and then take your Kindle out and about. Kindles hold a ridiculous amount of books, so can easily match all the books on your bookshelves.
Hot on the heels of the 4th of July and the one day a year Americans everywhere actually admit to loving their country, the British didn’t want to be outdone and so we pulled out all the stops this weekend (6th-7th) to make it the one everyone will remember as this year’s summer (unless we’re lucky and this year’s nice weather does last a bit longer, of course!) Obviously, Wimbledon helped, with many even sacrificing enjoyment of the hottest day(s) of the year so far to watch the various finals and Andy Murray in particular winning- the first British man in 77 years to do so! I don’t even mention the British and Irish Lions for the rest of this blog, but I’m sure their win helped make Saturday special for many too.
So it’s hardly surprising that the heat/tennis combination led many to lounge around with Pimms and strawberries and cream (I can admit to fitting this stereotype). However, the difference between the days from whence this tradition came is that before we just did it. Everyone was perfectly content to just get on with it in little groups, and when they found out later round the water cooler that “oh, you had Pimms too! Wasn’t it a lovely day!” it was just part of the process. Now, Twitter and Facebook have changed everything, and it’s more than just updates on our days.
To what extent is your blog a place for your own self-expression and creativity vs. a site designed to attract readers?
How do you balance that?
If sticking to certain topics and types of posts meant your readership would triple, would you do it?
I only write about things on here that interest me or that I can naturally find a way into myself. Whether it’s film, music, books or TV that I’ve devoured and enjoyed (or indeed been disappointed with), I love to sum up my thoughts about them in one post, sometimes including Frazer as another perspective who can help me see things in a different light or simply add a contrasting point of view. On other subjects, such as stuff going on at university or in the wider world, I just try to articulate my own personal perspective on events in a way that I hope will interest others too.
Since 2009, Kickstarter has been innovatively allowing creative projects to gain funding where they would otherwise struggle to find a professional backing. As well as the financial aspect of raising the money in the first place, the creative minds behind the ideas can maintain full control and responsibility throughout with no interference, and fans can sign up for a plethora of perks for their money. For some, this is irresistible, and Kickstarter has now had over $587 million pledged by more than 3.9 million people for over 400,000 creative projects, showing that an outstanding number of people are inspired by and committed to this innovative approach to original ideas, from publishing books to creating a new type of bicycle light.
Goodreads is a six year old “social cataloguing” website aimed around the reviewing, sharing and personal recording of books read. It is a brilliant premise that is underused, underrated and missing from any other book-based website that I know of. Ultimately, it is such an easy to use and logical design that I don’t understand why more people don’t use it. Or, rather, why more people don’t openly use it- perhaps almost everyone I know is on it but, like me, haven’t connected any of their other accounts to it and don’t talk about it in the real world!
Consequently, I must admit that I don’t use many of Goodreads’ fantastic features. As well as not connecting my account to any friends or my Facebook account (I think it might be too much if I’m constantly telling every one of my friends and acquaintances what book I just finished reading), I have never ventured into the world of online book clubs that are so easily within my reach on this website. I appreciate that everyone has a different approach to enjoying their reading experience, but mine is more explicitly personal than a book club would allow. Even in English Literature lessons at school, I would often rather listen to others’ readings of the text and consider mine around this, unless something particular occurred to me that no one else seemed to notice. One day, perhaps during what could be my last free summer this year, I may participate in such a book club to see what Goodreads has to offer me that I’ve been missing out on!