Disclaimer: I have not been contacted or paid to write this editorial about The Folio Society. I am endorsing this company through my own volition and belief in the high quality of its products.
Those of you who have been following my blog for some time will have noticed a trend of lovely books popping up every now and then, all of which were made by a company called The Folio Society. I love paperbacks as much as the next reader, but sometimes there are editions created not only to celebrate the work of art that is the story; these copies seek to elevate the book into a work of art itself through the craftsmanship and design put into them. The Folio Society creates just such books, but what is The Folio Society, and why do I feel so passionate about what it is they do?
It has been my observation that people fall into two camps when it comes to reading with music: those who do and those who don’t. I admit that I fall into the former group, and I thought it might be an interesting subject to cover. The reasons for not listening to music while reading seem pretty obvious; distraction that leads to lessened comprehension and attention to what is happening in the story is most likely the biggest drawback, but what about the positive experience of listening to music for those who choose to do so?
There are those who believe that a book should be read once and then passed on to its next reader; I am not one of them. Granted, many of the books I read end up becoming favorites of mine (19 of the books reviewed on my blog have been re-reads), but most end up being sold to a used bookstore (see On the Subject of Giving, Keeping, Selling, and Buying Books). I understand why people believe that once a book is read, all of its secrets and beneficial qualities have been leeched out through the act and that it has nothing left to give; I don’t agree with it, but I understand. So, I thought it would be interesting to discuss the reasons for re-reading a book.
I don’t believe enough people are aware of or understand what Net Neutrality is, or how it is best for the consumer. It is currently under attack by the FCC’s new chairman who wants to dismantle the regulations that keep ISP’s in check, and keep a level playing field for consumers who may not have a choice in what providers they have due to where they live.
He says that the market will correct itself if internet throttling is allowed, but how can a consumer choose an alternative when there is none? The large ISP’s will benefit, but small businesses and websites will be crushed with little opportunity in a world that allows throttling and slow lanes based on what internet provider you are forced to use.
The FCC has taken the first formal step toward throwing the consumer to the wayside; now is the time to let those you voted for, the people who are supposed to have your best interests at heart, know that this is not what we want.
For an idea about why net neutrality is important, read this.
Do not remain idle and believe that someone else will fix this for you; as bloggers, this is especially relevant and something we should all be aware of. Please take the time to educate yourself and do what is necessary to save Net Neutrality.
One of my favorite aspects of being a reader is finding a book that I feel needs to be shared; whether with someone specific or just in general, giving the gift of a story is one of the best gestures that someone can extend. That being said, the question of how to bestow said book upon another person can have different answers. Some people give books as gifts, lend them to friends, decide to keep them on their shelves, or sell them to bookstores. I thought it would be an interesting exercise to look into how I approach these actions and some of the reasoning behind it.
Those of you who have been reading my blog for some time have probably noticed a pattern of Discworld novels popping up every few reviews, and there is a reason for this. Terry Pratchett has become one of my favorite authors even though I hadn’t even heard of him until four years ago. Perhaps this puts my minimal knowledge of the greater realm of fantasy novels in perspective, but for the others who are ignorant of his existence, Terry Pratchett wrote the Discworld series which totals 41 books and takes place on the Discworld. Though I didn’t realize (or realise) the magic of his prose until relatively recently, his work has come to influence me heavily and I felt compelled to write a piece about how his impact.
I want to take a moment to interrupt the usual flow and pattern of my blogs and raise awareness of an issue that is relevant to everyone reading this. We all take the open and fair Internet for granted, but the time to defend this service is now at hand. Our freedom as Internet users is at risk because of the agenda of the new FCC Chairman who wants to put more power and money in the hands of big cable companies at the expense of consumers.
Right now, new FCC Chairman and former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai has a plan to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies immense control over what we see and do online. If they get their way, the FCC will give companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T control over what we can see and do on the Internet, with the power to slow down or block websites and charge apps and sites extra fees to reach their audiences.
If we lose net neutrality, we could soon face an Internet where some of your favorite websites are forced into a slow lane online, while deep-pocketed companies who can afford expensive new “prioritization” fees have special fast lane access to Internet users – tilting the playing field in their favor.
The Battle for the Net campaign will provide tools to make it easy for your friends, family, and followers to take action. From the SOPA blackout to the Internet Slowdown, we’ve shown time and time again that we can stop censorship and corruption when the Internet comes together. Now, we have to do it again.
Internet services have basically become a public utility in the 21st century and big cable companies should not be allowed to skew the quality their services in favor of sites that can afford to pay them more. I will stand up on July 12th; I hope you will too.
We will return to the regularly scheduled blogs next Wednesday with a review of one of my favorite books: Good Omens; The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witchby Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Thank you for indulging this digression; I wouldn’t have posted this if it weren’t something I care about and feel must be shared.