Posts Tagged ‘books’

Stinson Book at Amazon

A Picture from Edna

I was very pleased today, 25 November 2009, to see that my book “So Obscure a Person” in paperback was ranked #50 amongst Virginia genealogy books at Amazon.com.

The image, Stinson Book at Amazon, was originally uploaded by Edna Barney. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

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I am a fan of Librivox.org where I have downloaded many classic audio readings to enjoy on my iPod, and at times on my laptop. (Books I Have Read.) I have recently discovered some interesting statistics at their web site. Their wonderful volunteer readers have now recorded a total of “almost” 8760 hours of audio, which means that, if one is so inclined, one could listen to Librivox.org recordings for almost an entire year (345+ days), without even a bathroom break.

Perhaps I could do that now that my iPod Touch no longer turns off automatically when I fall asleep at night whilst listening. (See yesterday’s post.)

In addition, this incredible feat was accomplished by 2140 volunteer readers, of whom sixty readers completed 50% of the recordings. That calculates to six months “non-stop” audio readings by sixty Librivox volunteers

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Whoo Whee … I finished listening to all eleven plus hours of Lizzie Driver’s reading of “Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift. Wow! How did she do it?

What a depressing ending! Imagine returning home after, was it eleven years, and your family still loves you, but you hate and detest them all, plus your friends too. For the love of horses! And I never even knew that I was a Yahoo too. I thought Yahoos were people that I labeled as bumbling incompetents. I didn’t know I was one. And so are you, dear reader. If you don’t believe me – read the book: Gulliver’s Travels.

Now I feel like reading something fun – like “Alice in Wonderland.” But I think I read that a few weeks ago. It’s already a Vanished Memory. I ordered “Longitude” from Amazon, and it arrived today. I told Cliff that I bought it for him, as he’s a technical scientific person, but I really want to read it. I wonder if that would be fun to tackle?

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My father’s sister had told me that her mother, my grandmother, Martha Smith of Cheltenham, Essex, England, had remembered a favorite exclamation of her mother to her father, which was; “Jimmie, Damn your Eyes!” I had never before heard this expression, until I came across it last night in the writings of G.K. Chesterton in “The Innocence of Father Brown.” I can but assume that my great grandfather, Jimmie Smith, must have been a most perceptive person.

DEAR FATHER BROWN,–Vicisti Galilee. Otherwise, damn your eyes, which are very penetrating ones. Can it be possible that there is something in all that stuff of yours after all?.

“Vicisti, Galilee” translates as “you have won, Galilean” – which was the supposed resignation from the last pagan Emperor of Rome that Christianity had won out as the state religion.

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When I was a child, no one ever read “Wind in the Willows” to me. I am now making up for lost years, by listening to it on my new iPod Touch. The story of each chapter is told by a different reader at Librivox. I do not know how it is that I ever turned into the something or other that I am, without the life’s wisdom that is told by these wonderful animals in the storybook.

What a delight it was last night while listening to Kara Shallenberg reading Chapter Three – “The Wild Wood” to find myself in the old children’s tale. I am Badger. I even live on the border of the “Wild Wood.”

The Mole had long wanted to make the acquaintance of the Badger.  He seemed, by all accounts, to be such an important personage and, though rarely visible, to make his unseen influence felt by everybody about the place.  But whenever the Mole mentioned his wish to the Water Rat he always found himself put off.  ‘It’s all right,‘ the Rat would say. ‘Badger’ll turn up some day or other–he’s always turning up–and then I’ll introduce you.  The best of fellows!  But you must not only take him AS you find him, but WHEN you find him.’

‘Couldn’t you ask him here dinner or something?‘ said the Mole.

‘He wouldn’t come,‘ replied the Rat simply.  ‘Badger hates Society, and invitations, and dinner, and all that sort of thing.’

‘Well, then, supposing we go and call on HIM?‘ suggested the Mole.

‘O, I’m sure he wouldn’t like that at ALL,‘ said the Rat, quite alarmed.  ‘He’s so very shy, he’d be sure to be offended. I’ve never even ventured to call on him at his own home myself, though I know him so well.  Besides, we can’t.  It’s quite out of the question, because he lives in the very middle of the Wild Wood.’

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How lucky I am! On my journey along Route 66, I found an iPod Touch.

I mentioned how delighted I am to be able to use my new iPod to listen to audio books. Of course, it has been quite a learning experience, as not only have I never owned an MP3 player before this brand new model iPod Touch, but I have never ever used a touch screen as a navigation system, except at airports and ATM kiosks.  Last year when I purchased a new Point and Shoot camera, one of the latest models featured a touch screen, but that seemed so foreign to me that I rejected it for one with traditional buttons and wheels.

The iPod Touch has only two buttons plus the charger insert. It was strange to say the least, but now I am learning that by touch, I can discover more and more that this little gizmo can accomplish. One thing that I was able to see straight away was that not only can  I listen to audio books, but I can  READ text books.

Amazing it was to make that discovery, as I had not realized that would be an added bonus. As I said before, there should be miracles included in this gadget, as a way to justify its pricey price. When I find a book I want to read, I merely turn the iPod Touch sideways (horizontal) and the text lines up perfectly for reading. However, both the iPod and the text books must be connected to the Internet, as I must read them through the Safari browser which comes installed on the iPod Touch. I have not found a way to download these text books into iTunes or to the iPod, so I am assuming that is not possible. However, this works fine for me at home in bed, as I have WiFi at my house. I know where the free text books are on the Internet and the iPod Touch knows how to remember my favorite places.

Of course, this iPod works for reading all kinds of other stuff on the Internet, not to mention my other blogs, my Google calendar, my Google homepage with all the latest news on it. And you know what? Surprise, surprise! I have been able to enter my events onto my Google calendar from my iPod and I have also been able to read and send Gmail. So who needs an added phone anyway? Not me. But I bet with a bit of sleuthing someone can find a phone on this thing too, as it does connect to the Internet.

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I am continuing to learn how to use my new iPod as a reader. I like being able to download audio books of my choosing, however I have discovered that when I click on the link at LibriVox that reads “Subscribe in iTunes,” although it does automatically download the entire book into iTunes on my computer, it in fact downloads as a Pod-cast, and shows up under Pod-casts on the iPod. In a troubleshooting mode, I returned to LibriVox to try and download an audio book as an “Audio Book.” So far, I have not been able to actually do that. The nearest I came was to do a kind of work-around by downloading the book as a zip file onto my computer and then creating a “Play-list” in the “Music” tab in iTunes. I transferred all the MP3 files of the book into the play-list, which I named with the book’s title. Now, when I want to listen to the book, I go to the Music Tab on my iPod and find it under play-lists. The “Play-list” book plays all the way through, without stopping at the end of each chapter as the pod-casts do, however … when I stop in the middle of a chapter, and then return to listening, it is necessary to begin at the beginning of that chapter again. And, of course, I have to remember to which chapter I was previously listening, no small feat to someone with “Vanishing Memories.” I cannot find a way to backtrack or to go forward in the chapters with the iPod Touch.

However, I still love it, and although I did look at the display of Sony Reader at the store, which I am sure does all of these things and more, my iPod Touch is so much smaller and easier to carry about in a pocket, purse, camera case, the palm of my hand or wherever.

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I have been reading “The History of the Middle Ages” by Samuel B. Harding. It was written for children of long, long ago, and as I have always felt quite deficient in my knowledge of European history, I decided to give it a try. I actually am not really reading it, as it is being read to me by a lovely lady named Kara Shallenberg. I found the audio at her web site kayray.org and downloaded it to my new Ipod. I have never owned an MP3 player before this new Ipod Touch, so all of the learning and implementing of this new technology is quite revolutionary to me.

Anyway, when I awoke in my bed in the middle of last night, I reached for my trusty new Ipod, and listened for three chapters until I fell back asleep whilst the Vandals, Huns, Romans and Goths were marauding the entire European continent. Well, not really the Romans, as they were civilized. This audio book stops at the end of each chapter, which seems to be good, as once I fell asleep, the recording eventually stopped. I think the Ipod turns itself off too, but I am not sure of that. Ms. Shallenberg reads for LibriVox.org where I found this at their website:

We get most of our texts from Project Gutenberg, and the Internet Archive and ibiblio.org host our audio files (for free!). Our annual budget is $0, and for the moment we don’t need any money. We’ll let you know if that changes. In the mean time, perhaps you might consider supporting our partners: Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive.

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LibriVox is Free

I made a mistake in my posting yesterday about free audio books. I have since corrected it. LibriVox.org has free audio books. I wrote “librivox.com”, which is NOT free, but is a gateway to paid sites for audio books.  This is what LibriVox says at their site:

LibriVox: free audiobooks:
LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net. Our goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books.

I have since discovered another promising site of current audiobooks. It is audible.com and one subscribes to it for a monthly fee. I am planning on giving that a trial, as it will be a way of getting current books that are still under copyright.

Oh the world it is a-changing and I am forever trying to keep up.

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I have discovered that I can both listen to audio books and read text books on my new Ipod Touch. I am quite amazed by it all. Today I spent some time trying to learn how it works.

I expected that I would be able to download audio books. I just had to learn how to do it. Since I am interested mainly in the classics I don’t need to buy anything from the Itunes store, thank goodness. The books that I like are free at librivox.org and other places. However, I was quite astonished at how easy these are to capture. Right now I am downloading “The Secret Garden.”

This is what I have learned so far. I go to librivox.org and find the audio book or whatever that I want on my Ipod. On the catalog page for that book, there is a link that reads “Subscribe in iTunes.” I click that link and from there it automatically downloads the entire book into the iTunes player on my computer. The first time I did this I was confused because I received only the first chapter. However, I did not know that after the first chapter downloads, you go to the “Podcasts” tab in iTunes where you see the title of the book with a little black triangle to the left of it. You must click that black arrow and the “GET” button to download the remaining chapters. It is quite easy, although I do have to double check and make sure that each chapter actually downloads.

Then you synch your Ipod to your Itunes on your computer. I am about to try that now that I have downloaded two audio books. Synching to the Ipod Touch is more than a bit confusing, but eventually I am able to get it to work. I hope it works this time, as here goes.

I will explain how to read text books in another post.

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