March 24, Monday night -- Reading Douglas Adams


Reading Life, The Universe, and Everything, by Douglass Adams. He read it when he was a kid and just picked it up at a bookstore. It's not as funny the second time, he said. He's not laughing aloud at it, like he had the first time.

One of his favorite books is A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving. He was able to connect with a singer in his band about it.

Another good book--So You Want to Be A Rock & Roll Star, by Jason Slichter, the drummer in the band Semisonic. The guitar player in his band lent it to him.

His band--The Great Unknowns.

Now days, he said regretfully, what he's been reading is mostly online--blogs about startups, venture capital.

He used to work for LibraryThing, in Maine, until he moved to San Francisco for his own startup. Along those lines, he recommends Founders at Work, by Jessica Livingston, which is a book of interviews with entrepreneurs.

Something crazy he told me about: cell phone novels. It's a genre that started in Japan. 100+ page novels written, and sent to people on little cell phone screens. The author makes money only when it becomes a print book. Now, there are copycats who, get this, try to imitate the style but at a computer keyboard. Cheating!!!

Do you use interactive book websites? -- librarything? goodreads? bookcrossing?

5 Comments:

Bill said...

Douglas Adams...

his work has some of the funniest and weirdly satricial yet true passages I think ever read. The opening sequence in Hitchhiker's is classic. The moment about the dolphins is also wonderful.

It's interesting how sci-fi (or any other genre) can allow the writer to more easily write about us.

Bill said...

I can't get much into onscreen reading--being a bit old-fashioned, I like seeing words in print. I don't know if it's the light streaking from the screen bothering me or the fact of having a tangible book in my hands.

I have a noticeable, but small collection of books. While looking for some poems which I intend to read, I saw I actually have "Life, The Universe, and Everything". It's not the best in the series, but it's the one I have.

here's a bit from the close...

He spent a lot of time flying.

He learned to communicate with birds and discovered that their conversation was fantastically boring. It was all to do with wing speed, wingspans, power-to-weight ratios and a fair bit about berries. Unfortunately, he discovered, once you have learned birdspeak you quickly come to realize that the air is full of it the whole time, just inane bird chatter. There is no getting away from it.

For that reason Arthur eventually gave up the sport and learned to live on the ground and love it, despite the inane chatter he heard down there as well.

...
I love the passage. Your ideal place isn't necessarily as idealistic as you think once you learn more. It might even sound a lot like where you came from. I also like the bit about loving despite all the chatter.

me said...

I am a member of 2 interactive book sites. The one is LibraryThing, which you mentioned in your post. The other is BookMooch which is an international book trading site. I really love BookMooch because I can give books which I don't read anymore to people who want them, and I can get books which I want in return.

The Clandestine Samurai said...

No, I haven't participated in any online book websites, but I'll be sure to give them a look.

I'm not too sure about the life of literary online. I'd have to study how things would work in detail at some point.

Ms. Bassette said...

Love the passage bill quoted. Thanks for a wonderful wording surprise. If only we all could learn to love even with the inane chatter!