Welcome to my blog.
It is newly launched, and I am happy that you have found it. I will do my best to reward your attention, but a word of warning may first be in order: this will not be your customary bibliocentric blog. Entertaining literary anecdotes and photos of rare things to covet or marvel at may occasionally slip into the frame, but they will not be the norm. If this is what you are hoping for then I am sorry to disappoint (But do check the blogroll).
My postings here will, instead, most often be directed at a subject of much more limited appeal: the increasingly busy intersection of old books and digital technology. It is a place I find myself regularly approaching from all directions – as book buyer and bookseller, as programmer and as the operator of a website dedicated to making the internet a useful tool for bibliophiles. It is an intersection where I believe important things are now happening with an impact we have only just begun to see and understand. My various occupations take me through that intersection every day, and over time I have persuaded myself that some of the things I observe there may possibly be of interest to others. Perhaps even you. You don’t need to be a confessed bibliophile. It is enough if you care about books, especially the old ones. If you do, then I hope I will occasionally have something worthwhile for you to read. Here. In my new blog.
And if searching for old books on the internet is one of your regular activities, then I hope to have a few tips that will help you along.
But I also have a few practical objectives to serve. As you may already know, I am the person responsible for a website named viaLibri that helps people find old and rare books on the internet. While I am gratified by the number of people who use it regularly I am also frustrated to see how many of its most helpful features are only rarely put to use. That frustration is compounded when I receive pleasant emails saying things like “I love viaLibri, and would be thrilled if it could also do ____.” As often as not I can only write back to say “Actually, it does do_____. Just go there and click that.”
But what about the people who never write?
I have only myself to blame for this, of course. If regular users don’t know about something they can do with viaLibri then it can only be because I have not effectively shown it to them. I hope to rectify that here. I would love to sit down and write a user’s guide to finding old books on the internet, but I know full well that I will never find the time. Perhaps, however, I can accumulate one. Perhaps I can put together a user’s guide in the form of an archive of categorized blog posts written spontaneously over time. How to do this; where to find that. Each in its own separate post, organized in a sidebar, perhaps even linked to the site itself. It could useful. At least that is what I have been telling myself. If you would like to encourage such a project then please tell me about a topic you think I should undertake. It would be great to hear from you.
With that I think my plate will be full enough. At least for now.