Cult of the Amateur

I just finished reading Andrew Keen’s “Cult of the Amateur(Cult of the Amateur)”: I had heard it discussed on more than one podcast, so I had been looking forward to reading it. It was pretty much what I expected. Keen holds a “Michael Gorman-esque(Gorman on Web 2.0)”: view of the world, in that the only choices that matter are made by book publishers, newspapers editors, and record producers. Everyone else should stay on the sideline and be happy that they are allowed the privilege of purchasing things chosen by industry giants. He singles out Lawrence Lessig, Jimmy Wales, and Glenn Reynolds for particular scorn. And he sometimes blames Web 2.0 for issues like Internet gambling and Child pornography without making bothering to explain just how they are linked. He is also the only person I can think of that champions both COPA and Dopa. “Michael Sauers(The Cult of the Amateur a partial response)”: does a great job of going point by point through it. If you want to read a well-written screed, I can’t think of a better one. But I don’t really consider it anything more than that.

Scholastic Sizzling

I just had the chance to lay my hands on “eight copies(Our Initial Potter Collection)”: of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows but I didn’t even look at the title page. That I saw elsewhere.
bq.It didn’t take long for Scholastic, the U.S. publisher of the Harry Potter books, to send us a takedown notice for our post “The Latest Harry Potter Book Hits BitTorrent.” In an email yesterday, Mark S. Seidenfeld, an attorney for Scholastic, demanded that we “act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material or items claimed to be infringing” and referred to the post. The full text of the notice is below. A print article in USA Today says that they are contacting every site that has mentioned this story and demanding it be taken down. – “Michael Arrington(Scholastic Loses It Over Harry Potter/BitTorent Story)”: Meanwhile…
bq.Copies of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” have been arriving early by mail, U.S. publisher Scholastic Corp. said, accusing a distributor of sending them out too soon. The company plans legal action against Levy Home Entertainment, the distributor, and Levy customer, New York-based Scholastic said today in a statement. The copies that went out starting July 17 amounted to one- hundredth of 1 percent of the total to go on sale in the U.S., Scholastic said. The seventh and final edition in the “Harry Potter” series is scheduled for release after midnight on July 21. Scholastic obtained a subpoena on July 16 to identify an Internet user who allegedly leaked the book on the Web. – “Gillian Wee(Potter Distributor Ships too Early, Scholastic Says)”: I can understand why Scholastic is so upset. I am sure all of this is going to greatly decrease sales.
bq.Scholastic, the American publisher of the Harry Potter stories, is printing 12 million copies — the largest first printing of any book in history. – “Judith Egerton(Final Potter book already sets records)”: Or perhaps not.

The Death of Harry Potter

Many people predict that Harry will not survive the “Deathly Hallows.”
bq.Although Rowling didn’t specify precisely when and how Potter will meet his doom, fans took for granted that he will die and are appalled by the very idea. One aficionado wrote, quote, ‘I truly feel that for Rowling to kill off any of the trio would reflect a callousness towards children I don’t wish to contemplate’, completely ignoring the fact that the author only hinted that the main character may die. – “Elena Gorgan(Fans’ Violent Reaction To Harry Potter’s Death)”: Last Week, at the “HP Panel(At Harry Potter panel at Oasis)”: at Oasis, we discussed whether his death was imminent. The consensus was that it was not. One of the most eloquent arguments was by one audience member that having him die after undergoing all his struggles would send children who had enjoyed the series the wrong message. I can’t disagree.
bq.For everyone who has dreamt of walking the streets of Diagon Alley, they soon will have the chance.”The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park will make the magical world of the famous book a reality for its legions of fans. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Universal Orlando Resort are partnering to create the worlds first fully immersive Harry Potter themed environment based on J.K. Rowling’s books and the Warner Bros. films. “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” is expected to open in 2009. – “ABC News(Harry Potter Sneak Peek)”: It could just be me, but I can’t quite see launching a theme park based on a dead literary character.

Harry Potter Home Stretch

bq.”Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the last of seven installments of J.K. Rowling’s mega-selling international phenomenon, will be published July 21 – at midnight, of course, a time to be marked by celebrations and more than a few tears, as Rowling wraps up the magical adventures of the boy wizard, his friends and his enemies. – “Hillel Italie(7th and Final Potter Book Out July 21)”: I am disappointed about them missing the 7/7/07 deadline but I placed my pre-order anyway. Now I just need to wait for the “library copies(Potter Countdown Begins)”: to arrive.

Harry Potter and the Interminable Wait

We had a patron just now who wanted to place a reserve on the book. While we have added marc records ahead of time in the past, I think it is still a trifle premature (although “Amazon(Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)”: may feel differently). I am still hopeful for a July 7th release, but there is going to have to be some movement pretty quick to make that.

Children Reading

bq.”I don’t think that it cuts down on the amount of imagination that a reader uses. What you’re looking at is a flat drawing on a sheet of paper. They’re filling in all of the details. – “Me(What Are Our Children Reading?)”: We have always gotten pretty positive coverage in our local newspapers but it seems like the last year, they have really increased their interest in what we are doing. I hope this trend continues.

Comics Community in OPML

When I saw Steven’s “Comics Community List(Comics Community List)”: via “Dave Winer(Steven Cohen at PubSub)”:, I immediately sent the link to my brother because I thought it might be something he would find of interest. It turns out he had already seen it from “The Beat(PubSub Community Lists: The Comics List)”: Sometimes, the Internet turns out to be a much smaller place than you “would expect(On Blogosphere Growth)”:

Literate Cities 2005

Where does your city rank among the nation’s “Literary Elite(America’s Most Literate Cities)”: The “methodology(Methodology)”: is probably problematic, but it seems like they can make a valid case for what they chose. Although with “newspaper circulation declining(A Bleak Future for the Broadsheet)”: so rapidly, I am wondering how important a criteria that will continue to be.


I have never been the biggest movie buff but I have been a fairly regular attendee at the movies. Until this summer. I realized the other day I hadn’t been in a theater since the debut of Batman Begins. Scary. On a happier note, though, I was thoroughly pleased with Serenity. I thought what Joss Whedon was doing with the characters translated well on to the big screen. And the story had enough twists and turns to keep all of us on the edge of the seat. And the group I saw it with were definitely enthusiastic. Go see it if you haven’t already.

Coliseum of Comics Library

Coliseum of Comics is a chain of comic book stores that operate in the greater Orlando area (I have lost count how many different locations I have visited over the years). Now they have put together “The Coliseum of Comics Librarian & Teacher Resource(The Coliseum of Comics Librarian & Teacher Resource)”: Basically, they consist of pre-assembled sets of graphic novels in different categories. For those of you who find yourself comic-challenged, this could prove to be a great way to try adding some of these to your collection.