price-compare results for meta vendor sites


20 January 2007

What Do the Book Digitizers Propose for Some Fine Covers Readers Love?


Obviously, nobody around Cheap Priceless Editions was invited nor did we attend the conclave to hear about Unbound Books and Google's pitch for digitizing the backlist.

With a recent comment to a post below, we want to open up discussion about the artwork that covered some of the titles - specifically the books now being marketed in used bookstores and through the meta vendor websites. The very same priceless titles you can search with the box shown on every page of Cheap Priceless Editions (the AddAll search engine)..

I keep thinking of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, but we all know that the mind boggles at all the associations we have made collectively and individually between a book and its cover. We also know that everyone (even Bogaulaire 'Oh my!') is scrounging after eye candy to work as a magnet on the Internet to increase the number of hits and click throughs to advertisers and online vendors

So we invite readers to browse over to a post that was formerly archived in draft format HERE entitled:

Campaign for the American Reader:
Books and Their Covers

The Dragon's Almanac 2007 - 20 January


laying shingles

from Justin Wintle

"There is no pleasure like watching an old and valued friend fall from his roof."

. . (79) Japanese

Google opens dialogue with book publishers


By Caroline McCarthy, CNET
Published on ZDNet News
January 18, 2007, 6:00 PM PT

What?! Nobody Bothered to Invite Used Book Dealers Like Cory Anderseed? New York, Wake Up! Even Weegee Knew You Have to Bring the Real Action on the Streets Down to the Popular Masses.

Who is being Royally Ignored Here? You and Me, That's Who.

To anyone who thinks digital content is a threat to the book-publishing market, Google wants to tell you two things: first, you're wrong; second, its Google Book Search product is the solution, not the problem.

But in the 21st century's new-media culture, print publishing is going to have to evolve, according to those speaking at the Google-hosted 'Unbound' event held Thursday at the New York Public Library. A crowd of more than 300 people, primarily involved in the publishing industry, came to the event to hear speakers ranging from Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing co-editor and science fiction author, to representatives from major publishing outlets like Harper Collins and Cambridge University Press.

What Could be "Cheaper" than "Free"? My Local Library Card Allows Internet Access for $10 Membership -- Good for 3 Years !


Quit Marketing By the Book
From ClickZ's R. Lieb

"While they didn't break their necks rushing to get with the program, media companies have nevertheless made major concessions and changes to their business models over the past couple of years.

Meanwhile, most of their counterparts in book publishing are still stubbornly digging in their heels. Google is determined to smooth their path to digital enlightenment.

Come on, Rebecca Lieb, isn't the notion of ENLIGHTENMENT a little TOO RICH ??? After all, paper-based publishers have a longer track record at this than Google, Rebecca. You have to admit that!

Why would a search engine care about all that printed and bound paper? Google Book Search is why. If Google can persuade publishers to digitize their backlists and let Google crawl them (for starters -- the best-case scenario is all new releases), Google can offer more content to searchers, and more inventory to advertisers. Perhaps it can even collect more fees from its nascent Checkout service.

So in typical Google style (big!), the search engine invited publishers in for a day of talk at The New York City Public Library. The event was dubbed Un-Bound: Advancing Book Publishing in a Digital Era.

The Web evangelist speaker line-up was nothing short of stellar (although their names may be more familiar to you than they were to most of the publishers in the audience): Wired magazine's Chris Anderson (author of 'The Long Tail'); author and marketing guru Seth Godin ; Cory Doctorow, author, BoingBoing co-editor and USC Fulbright Chair; and Tim O'Reilly ."

Blogaulaire - a minor SIC to the quote: professor Cory Doctorow 'holds' the University of California chair; he is not the 'chairman' of the Fulbright anything.

Who is eponymous versus who is a blood relative? It alway confuses us.

I always think of author E. L. Doctorow ('Daniel', 'March') and my own dear colleague Cory Anderseed every time I see Cory Doctorow's name. (Every single time I go on the Internet it seems!)

Speaking of 'Doctorow's and Cory's

I have not searched it, but still wonder whether E. L. and C. Doctorow are related.

Anybody out there know the answer?

Other than Cory Anderseed and Cory Doctorow, the only other "famous" Cory I know is is our local boy wonder from wealthy Westmount (the hometown, BTW, of poet-song-writersinger Leonard Cohen who was discovered by Columbia Records of New York, through family conn . . .
. . . But I digress . . .)

Well, the only other Cory I ever knew was Cory Hart**.

** Cory Hart is/was a pop singer -- once-upon-a-time Idol of nearly every Québecoise teeny bopper in the 1980s.

19 January 2007

Trial Photos of a Well Illustrated Vacation Guide for Cuba : A Trial Run


The style and format range in popular travel guides in the bookstores is great. This evening I shot table top shots of the Odyssey Illustrated Guide to Cuba (Hong Kong, The Guidebook Co, 1995) 314 p.

Since approximately 300 trade-sized glossy pages weigh more than a Fodor and because this guide sells in North America for double the 12 Euros of the cover price on the back, I believe it is best to illustrate at least a few of the images on the inside of the book. Guides with high quality, illustrated content are worth the average price tag of $30 (but I would settle for a secondhand pittance-priced 1995 edition and spend the $28 saved while on vacation!).

I want to experiment with setting up shots of the inside content without breaking the book's spine.

My 'table top' was merely a narrow, high back and seat on a folding IKEA bar stool, high enough so that I didn't break my own spine leaning over to make camera adjustments. Below I am sharing only two book cover shots and one inside panel from a recto-verso panoramic image.

Above - as if it fits comfortably in the side-pocket of a small backpack purse. (It won't; your guidebook practically "fills" a third of your whole bag! (The cover photo is of 'A street in Trinidad.' I know, but they ARE referring to the town in Cuba, not the island nation -- Color shift shows I need to use Photoshop or even Paint Shop Pro because my editor lacks automatically repeatable color balance settings!

Tightening up the perspective to see how this looks.

The right panel of the centrefold panoramic that shows Valle de los Ingenos.

The Dragon's Almanac 2007 - 19 January


from Justin Wintle

"Many men who love the wild pheasant scorn the home-range chicken."

. . (75) Chinese

18 January 2007

Rumble, young man


Muhammad Ali turns 65 today
. . . with his voice muted, but his mind still clear.


Rumble, young man

(A poem from Rumble in the Jungle)

Last night I had a dream, When I got to Africa,
I had one hell of a rumble.
I had to beat Tarzan’s behind first,
For claiming to be King of the Jungle.
For this fight, I’ve wrestled with alligators,
I’ve tustled with a whale.
I done handcuffed lightning
And put thunder in jail.
You know I’m bad.
I have murdered a rock,
I’ve injured a stone, and hospitalized a brick.
I’m so bad, I make medicine sick.
I’m so fast, man,
I can run through a hurricane and not get wet.
When George Foreman meets me,
He’ll pay his debt.
I can drown the drink of water, and kill a dead tree.
Wait till you see Muhammad Ali.

The NEXT Ali quote (below), versus the famous image of Elvis that appeared in Life Magazine showing Presley getting a haircut before starting his military enlistment - the difference in the messages conveyed by two male super-stars - explains why The Rumbler is more Blogaulaire's idol than The Rocker.

Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over.

This is the day when such evils must come to an end.

I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here.

I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.

As quoted in Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the
Spirit of the Sixties
(1999) by Mike Marqusee. The quote also appeared in the International Socialist Review Issue 33 (January–February 2004)

See also "Muhammed Ali" in Wikipidia

The Dragon's Almanac 2007 - 18 January


from Justin Wintle
"It is difficult to strike the stars with a piece of bamboo."

. . (72) Japanese

17 January 2007

The Dragon's Almanac 2007 - 17 January


from Justin Wintle
"Do not pass comment on the frost on your neighbour's tiles while there is still snow on your own doorway."

. . (67) Chinese

Library legacy - Reading Changed This Guy's Life


Thanks to the lit-zine of the U.K., 'Spike', for the link.

Thanks 'Spike' for pointing CPE to this convincing post on the importance of reading (by Stephen Mitchelmore) - VIZ the importance of getting a new start as a motivated reader and patron of local libraries. That can be an education in and of itself but can also motivate a guy (or woman) to go on to university, get an interesting job and meet like-minded friends. Thanks . .
Before I started to read, I was unemployed, qualification-less, going nowhere, not likely to go anywhere, except Fratton Park. Then, I started using Gosport library, the one now under a pseudonym.

The Reader's Journal

This was inspired by the great Miners' Strike of 1984-85, during which deep disillusionment was bred in me (the ridiculous Falklands War two years earlier, something much closer to home, had had a preparatory effect I think). I read Michael Crick's book Scargill and the Miners. Then I read a few more, including some novels (notably Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being, the discovery of which I've written about before). But then in March 1987 I crossed the Rubicon (or Portsmouth Harbour as it's known) to discover the three floors of Portsmouth Central Library. Before long I had a job and was taking a couple of courses. These led to university and, eventually, an MA, a better job, a slightly brighter outlook, Spike Magazine, this blog and the great friends it and a new life has brought me.

16 January 2007

CPE's 'Reading Nietzsche' Online while Blogaulaire Reads Aloud from the Paperback Book


I have the paperback edition in my lap, as I read a completely variant translation in English of the same text: Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

The online version on my monitor is from . SEE this LINK.

My trade paperback version is:

Thus Spoke Zarathustra, translation by. R. J. Hollingdale (Baltimore, Md.: Penguin Books, 1961/69).

My memory of other translations, of other works by Nietzsche, is being thoroughly jogged as I recall debates in college over mis-translation of Nietzsche, particularly other works that seemed so important to budding 'thinkers' or whatever. I am thinking of what was published using the title "The Will to Power", translated by Walter Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale (New York: Vintage, 1968).

It irritates me that what I see on my screen at Bibliomania, which is the entire Zarathustra (like the book in my hands), offers NO bibliographic citations, not even the name of a translator. If there are links, the only ones I can find are ads for yogic and esoteric sites offering their own esoteric 'spins' about Nietzsche the 'madman' philosopher. Yech!

At the same moment (thanks to googling) I can hop over to and find an ample number of bibliographic citations, but none that clarify which (if of any) translation refers to the online text at Bibliomania. (See the very end of the quoted section below - see how Bibliomania vaguely takes credit for an entirely original (their own copyrighted) version of Nietzsche's classical philosophic fable!)
Another odd thing is that the online text has a style that is very Biblic, almost Old Testament. I can guess that the on-line text must be a version that antedates Hollingdale and certainly the 'modern'Kaufmann in the period when the two collaborated.

In my softcover "Hollingdale Translation" in the Penguin edition (1961/69), I read, as an example of one way his translation differs from what we'll call "the Bibliomania Translation", in HT I read the terms 'Ultimate Man' while in BT I read 'the Last Man'.

But search me, scanning all the online material displayed at Bibliomania leaves the reader completely up in the air; the links do not tempt one to consult ANYTHING, especially not the original German text. Every translator's introduction of Nietzsche under the sun and between bound covers raises such issues. But that's not the style for on-line text versions. Here it's 'Hail the accessibility of e-books'. 'Hail reading in total ignorance.' Ignorance of all issues of interpretation, translation or inter-textual disagreements between editors.

The following 'fair use' citation can be followed in HT on p 45 to p 47. You can surf over to Bibliomania's BT version at Phill Webb (dot) net


Alas! there cometh the time when man will no longer launch the arrow of his longing beyond man — and the string of his bow will have unlearned to whizz!

I tell you: one must still have chaos in one, to give birth to a dancing star. I tell you: ye have still chaos in you.

Alas! There cometh the time when man will no longer give birth to any star. Alas! There cometh the time of the most despicable man, who can no longer despise himself.
Lo! I show you the last man.

‘What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?’ So asketh the last man and blinketh.

The earth hath then become small, and on it there hoppeth the last man who maketh everything small. His species is ineradicable like that of the ground-flea; the last man liveth longest.

‘We have discovered happiness,’ say the last men, and blink thereby.

They have left the regions where it is hard to live; for they need warmth. One still loveth one’s neighbour and rubbeth against him; for one needeth warmth.

Turning ill and being distrustful they consider sinful: they walk warily. He is a fool who still stumbleth over stones or men!

A little poison now and then: that maketh pleasant dreams. And much poison at last for a pleasant death.

One still worketh, for work is a pastime. But one is careful lest the pastime should hurt one.

One no longer becometh poor or rich; both are too burdensome. Who still wanteth to rule? Who still wanteth to obey? Both are too burdensome.

No shepherd, and one herd! Every one wanteth the same; every one is equal: he who hath other sentiments goeth voluntarily into the madhouse.

‘Formerly all the world was insane,’ say the subtlest of them, and blink thereby.
They are clever and know all that hath happened: so there is no end to their raillery. People still fall out, but are soon reconciled — otherwise it spoileth their stomachs.

They have their little pleasures for the day, and their little pleasures for the night: but they have a regard for health.

‘We have discovered happiness,’ say the last men, and blink thereby.

And here ended the first discourse of Zarathustra, which is also called ‘The Prologue’: for at this point the shouting and mirth of the multitude interrupted him. Give us this last man, O Zarathustra, they called out. Make us into these last men! Then will we make thee a present of the Superman! And all the people exulted and smacked their lips. Zarathustra, however, turned sad, and said to his heart:
They understand me not: I am not the mouth for these ears.

Too long, perhaps, have I lived in the mountains; too much have I hearkened unto the brooks and trees: now do I speak unto them as unto the goat-herds.

Calm is my soul, and clear, like the mountains in the morning. But they think me cold, and a mocker with terrible jests.

And now do they look at me and laugh: and while they laugh they hate me too. There is ice in their laughter.

The the closest Bibliomania comes to offering a credit/citation is:
How do I cite a Bibliomania work?
We do not have full bibliographic data for the texts on Bibliomania, and they were typed from scratch, repaginated and reformatted hence these works are an original edition and should be cited as copyright Ltd 2000.

What one finds for 'Zarathustra' as bibliographic references at
Also Sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen. 1883-1885.
Thus Spoke Zarathrustra: a Book for All and None.
Trans. Graham Parkes. Oxford: OUP, 2005.
Trans. R. J. Hollingdale and Walter Kauffmann. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1978.
Trans. Walter Kaufmann. New York: Viking, 1954.

Note - from Blogaulaire:
Do not blindly follow the links on Phillweb - you will end up with a videogame entitled 'Beyond Good and Evil' (Ubisoft).

The Dragon's Almanac 2007 - 16 January


newborn baby knit cap

from Justin Wintle

"Whatever is in a baby's mind will last a hundred years."

. . (63) Japanese

15 January 2007

"Skinfolks" and "Kinfolks" - Racial Passing in American Films 1930 - 1960



This site, with plenty of photo images and a nice layout and page-linked design,was created by LMRT for the American Studies
Program at the University of Virginia in the summer of 2002.

I have nothing better to write, just to let you link and read . . . CLICK ON TITLE.


Characters with a desire to become something that they are not in order to escape their realities have been present from the earliest American films to the present. The popular encyclopedia of American cinema, Videohound, categorizes films with these characters under 'Not-So-Mistaken-Identity'. Of these 'not-so-mistaken identity' films, more than half of the characters in question are black passing as white. This reflects the American obsession with race, authenticity, and reinvention.

Oscar Micheaux used film to portray his own complex judgement regarding passing and miscegenation.

Many contemporary independent black filmmakers credit Oscar Micheaux with inspiring them to create films. Micheaux was a coal miner, pullman porter, homesteader, writer, businessman, and finally, a filmmaker. Grandson of a former slave, born in Illinois in 1884, and follower of Booker T. Washington, Micheaux believed in blacks creating their own resources. He was a self-made man who was determined to expose other blacks to middle class values.

There is also an interesting section to be viewed and read about Micheaux's early 30s films VEILED ARISTOCRATS and GOD'S STEPCHILDREN . You have to browse around to find it all.

"We Discover Writers" -- The Meltdown of Big Media


'Just being writers, poor, cheap . . and unwilling to shell out $85 to compete.'


Dear Sobol Writers:
We regret to inform you that we did not receive a sufficient number of entries for the Sobol Award, and we decided to cancel the contest. No further manuscript submissions will be accepted. All writers who have submitted manuscripts will receive full refund of their entry fee ($85) and our copies of the manuscripts will be destroyed and deleted from our system.
We wish you success in your writing career and thank you for sharing your work with us.

The Sobol Award Staff

end quote

(For Internet archivists, you can check out the 'Official Rules of the Contest') by CLICKING inside the single quote marks.

In the words of Michael Lieberman on his Book Patrol blog:

The Meltdown of Big Media
Book Patrol
January 13, 2007
By Michael Lieberman

"I'm thinking this might be more like a Corporate Dark Age not a Cultural one."

"You can bet the crash will not be pretty but you can also be sure there will be lots of light at the end of this Dark Age."

The Dragon's Almanac 2007 - 15 January


from Justin Wintle

"Around the base of a great tree the grass never suffers frost."

. . (57) Chinese Wikipedia - Happy Birthday To You


A Brief Description of Wikipedia from India:
By Krishna

This month Wikipedia celebrates its sixth birthday. Also, earlier in the month, the number of English articles on Wikipedia crossed 1.5 million. This number grows by almost 2000 every single day. Compared to this, the number of articles in Encyclopedia Britannica (over 122,264) is a far cry.

More than a million people visit Wikipedia every day (half of whom visit the English pages). 5 out of every 100 internet users visit Wikipedia daily. Only 11 other sites are visited by more people. Wikipedia is very often at the top of Google search results (almost always in the top 10 results) for things ranging from ideologies (communism - 1, capitalism - 1); sports (cricket - 2, football - 3); sciences (economics - 1, literature - 3); places (India - 1, France - 1, Budapest - 2); people (Sachin Tendulkar - 1, Einstein - 2); objects (water - 2, chair - 1).

Wikipedia's more than six million articles in all languages are created by registered users and they are edited by any user, not necessarily registered. To register, one simply needs to pick a login name and password. An email address is not necessary. More than three million "Wikipedians", or registered users, edited articles at least 10 times since they registered. 80,000 of these edit at least five times every month and 10,000 edit at least a hundred times a month.

Krishna is doing Ph.D in mathematics. He writes at Quasi-Coherent Ruminations.

14 January 2007

2006: Best-Ever Online Year for Christmas Sellers | 2007: the Year for Buying Blind


A Good Online 2006 Christmas: Keeping Internet Buying On Billboards All Year Long | | Guardian Unlimited Business

Bloggers, of anyone on the planet, know that for the Internet it is now more than the interface, it is distributed and virtual software: Web 2.0/3.0 that will be hot in tech news (again).

But with wireless and cellular or satellite comm expanding, there is all the more reason to push shoppers online "instantly" in 2007. This Internet access mobility, for transmiting ads AND closing the sale, will push 'impulse buying'. The scenario Blogaulaire sees coming could be very strange; almost as strange as car-hops on rollerskates were in the mid-to-late 1950s.

More advertising dollars are certain to go toward instant shopping, without even looking at the screen. Using any iThis or iThat - any of a myriad of handheld devices now closer than the horizon - Internet shopping could be as easy and without customer care as picking up a latte to go.

(Using a handheld as a price scanning and price-comparing device via satellite downloads of web searching will figure as only the most arcane of utilities. Punching in a short code on a device for instant purchase may become the most mundane application.)

In an earlier post, Blogaulaire posed the query: Is it all so 'the Establishment' now that it is boring. That's an acceptable question. But I also implied that the quality and service issues with online marketers would, in a manner of putting it, vanish. Cuz that's boring too!

Well people are people, and we have the opportunity to look back over nearly 3 weeks of 2007. And I have to make one revision. It looks like the issues of bait 'n' switch, like motel owners were accused of going back to the invention of the automobile (and used car salesmen thereafter), well those consumer protection issues, I predict, are going to stick it out in the LIVING and BUSINESS as well as ENTERTAINMENT sections of the print newspapers.

Maybe we'll see more of this:

Business News

Amazon mystery: pricing of books
A Times reporter finds fluctuating costs for his obscure chosen titles at the Internet retailer.

By David Streitfeld, Times Staff Writer
January 2, 2007

After getting 'burned' at Amazon for a title that he selected online but only decided to buy a few days later, a writer for the L. A. Times decided to do his own fantom shopper test.

David Streitfeld would add items to his basket while on Amazon and note the prices; then he would come back a few days later to 'check out' and pay. In this test, both the U.S. Amazon site and the U.K. Amazon site registered more price rises than declines for the items in Streitfeld's pre-Christmas basket.

Streitfeld was acting out the role of a buyer so rushed that first he skims through tossing stuff in a basket. Only later, after the rush of desire does he 'check out' to pay with his plastic number account. But most people in such a rush would not take the final step he took: compare initial price with check-out billing.

Instead of just name-calling, labelling the phenomenon "price gouging", the L. A. Times reporter went out and interviewed someone with expertise in the field of marketing practises:

"Sucharita Mulpuru, an e-commerce analyst at Forrester Research Inc., wondered whether Amazon was going down the path of dynamic pricing.

Dynamic pricing involves selling identical material for different amounts based on the customer's willingness to pay. In the physical world it's a common feature. Want to fly to Paris tomorrow? It's going to cost lots more than if you can wait a few weeks."

This feature business article, in a final understatement, says such business practises may be 'normal' but,

"There's also the risk of alienating customers."

Good point. Do we risk being further alienated all year long?

Will it be "Hold the steering wheel hon, I want to order 'that'," pointing to the passing billboard as the car swerves into the left lane and the driver pulls out a cellphone.

The Dragon's Almanac 2007 - 14 January


from Justin Wintle

"To meet a good friend in bad times is like meeting the Buddha in hell."

. . (53) Japanese