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Posts Tagged ‘books’

Sunday Serial: Books, Blogging, Innovation & Reading

Untitled, Hamed Saber

In the spirit of all things Sunday, here’s a list of some of the best I read this past week. Enjoy!

The Bookstore’s Last Stand: Barnes & Noble, Taking on Amazon in the Fight of Its Life by Julie Bosman in The New York Times

Read this because: If you’re an indie lover like me, you never thought that you’d vote for the “big box” bookstore, ever. Except for the very brutal fact that these big box stores determine things like the very existence of printed books, as we know it. Indies rock, have way better service than the larger guys, but all the indies combined don’t have the buying power of Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and the distant memory that was once Borders.

This is not the time or place to go into an endless saga about the world that could be if we only had one channel to receive our books from, but let’s imagine that, for a split second. What if one company was in charge of telling publishers which authors needed publishing and which didn’t? What if there was one retailer who said – um, yeah, I don’t think we’ll be selling that one?

9 Ways that You Can Build a Blog that Matters by Benny Hsu on Get Busy Living

Read this because: You’re a blogger, a blogger-in-training, or just curious. Benny does a wonderful job of sharing what he learned building Get Busy Living in a way that anyone can adapt to their own blogging venture.

Bonus reading material: Matt Cheuvront over at Life Without Pants wrote a response to Benny’s post on his blog (with additional tips, too!): The Friday Response: How to Build a Badass Blog.

Innovating the Library Way by Grant McCracken on Harvard Business Review Blog Network

Read this because: Libraries have been around since the fourth century BC, and therefore, librarians can teach us businesses people a thing or two about acquiring new customers because, let’s face it, they’ve lasted the test of time.

This article is a great case study about how one library looked beyond the usual promise of adventure within its products (books), and found a way to renew the value proposition of what is and what could be found within a library.

Read it. And let me know this library’s marketing campaign would have worked on you.

Why Some Startups Succeed And Others Fail: 10 Fascinating Harvard Findings by Alyson Sontell on Business Insider

Read this because: It has a damn good title, and you’re as curious as I am about finding out the scientific, secret sauce between success and failure.

Best Business Books of 2011: For every entrepreneur and intra-praneur by Sarah Peck on It Starts With

Read this because: You’re an entrepreneur-in-training like me. Or you’re not, and you’re just looking for the next book to add to your nightstand. The best part is Sarah breaks up her recommendations in categories like: Marketing & Advertising, Design, Business & Entrepreneurship, organization, and psychology. It’s like your own bookshelf, curated by Sarah.

What did you read this week?

Photo Credit: Hamad Saber

Bookstores, Silence, and Solitude

Stacks By Kirby Gladstein

Tonight I did something that I haven’t done in a long time – I took a walk, by myself, and browsed through a bookstore. Alone.

The happiest place on Earth

Not a lot of people know about my book publishing background or the fact that the happiest place on Earth is getting lost in the stacks at Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon. Growing up that was my oasis. I would get absorbed in the fiction section for hours and emerge with a tower filled with an army of protagonists. When I was in college Powell’s was my solace, my break, my habit. I went there to discover new thoughts, new ideas, and meet new characters that I would take home in perfectly bound, 288-page escapes from real-life.

Books breathe things into your life that you never thought you were missing. They give you a perspective that you weren’t looking for and never knew that you needed.

And that smell of paper and wooden shelves. And the low hum of voices, pages turning, and shoes clomping, delicately, on the wooden floor, trying to be impossibly silent.

Silence and being alone yet surrounded by endless opportunities and new pathways, that’s the feeling I appreciate the most about books and bookstores.

When was the last time you ‘turned things off’ and went dark?

And I’m talking more than unplugging, but literally not communicating with anyone other that that who is inside of your head or a book away.

Not in the crazy kind of way, but the solitude kind of way.

When was the last time you did that and it was okay?

Photo Credit: Kirby Gladstein

One Thing Laura Kimball Doesn’t Need: An Uninteresting Way to Save the World

Note from Laura: This is a guest post (the first ever on lamiki!) by Sam Davidson. I first met Sam online and have been reading his blog and perspective on life for the past year. He’s a writer, entrepreneur, and a man with a lot to say, 50 of which he shares in his new book, 50 Things Your Life Doesn’t Need, and I’m excited to be a stop on the 50 Things Blog Tour.

Readers of this blog know that Laura looks for ways to make a difference. But, she doesn’t limit her volunteerism to some of the most common ways people lend a hand. She likes to take part in things that are new and different. Need Proof? Check out what she’s done with Workstock, or take a look at her sidebar and learn more about the work of Jolkona.

What this highlights can be summed up in one word: passion. And there’s a lesson here for all of us: we can make a hell of a difference if we know what excites us. Laura’s figured it out and bases her volunteer experiences on it. But what about you? What is it you care about?

As a volunteer, you’ll be more useful and make a more direct impact if you’re excited about the opportunity to give. This is why Laura doesn’t need a way to save the world that’s not innovative or fun; it would be meaningless to her. Chances are, you’re much the same.

So, I’ll ask again: what is it you care about?

If you’re not sure, I’ll keep pushing, this time with an excerpt from my new book, 50 Things Your Life Doesn’t Need. I hope this question can help you tap into something deeper and help you discover something you may be passionate about. (more…)