Wednesday, July 25, 2018

An Economist Ready to Write Off Libraries Evokes A Nationwide Response

An economist's misguided op ed suggesting that public libraries could be replaced by Amazon and access to digital media, led to such a public outcry nationwide that Forbes pulled it down with an apology. Public libraries are grateful for the huge outpouring of support from people in communities around the country!  

Many articles have appeared, such as the one this week in The Washington Post. But the true depth of emotion expressed can be seen in the comments below the article.
It is encouraging to see the enthusiasm expressed by the many library advocates who took time to add their comments. Special thanks to "bonnieque" who specifically mentioned the Fairfax County Public Library: "I am a heavy user of my regional branch of the Fairfax County Library system. When I moved here more than 30 years ago, one of the first things I did was to get a library card. I am so grateful for the resources at my fingertips. "

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Best Books of 2017 - Did Your Favorites Make These Lists?

It's our favorite time of the year here at About Books! As one year ends and another begins, we reflect on the highlights of the last twelve months. What have we learned? How have we grown? And perhaps most importantly, what great books did we miss? The end of 2017 means best books of the year lists are everywhere, and they have something for everyone. Use them to build your 2018 list of hot, new books you may have missed or to size up what you read in 2017 against the critics.

Did your favorite books make these lists? Happy Browsing!

Washington Post "Best Books of 2017"



Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Virtual Reality in Fact and Fiction

With Oculus Rift headsets and touch components now readily available, the virtual world is becoming more of a reality. However, science fiction authors have been looking ahead towards its possibilities for decades. What does the future hold for our virtual lives? The following books explore the theme in fact and fiction.

Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality, Elias Aboujaoude

Stanford psychiatrist Aboujaoude explores the phenomena of the e-personality and how it may impact our day-to-day lives even when we are offline. The author asserts that all of us possess an e-personality which may differ in subtle or extreme ways from our in-person self. Most of us are bolder and more impulsive online whether purchasing products, sending email or posting to social media- and even more so when anonymous in chat forums or interactive games. The author suggests guidelines for managing the potential dangers of this contemporary phenomenon.

Virtual Reality, Josh Gregory

For young readers age 8-12, this new guide explains the latest in virtual reality technology as well as the history and future innovation prospects.

Ready, Player One, Ernest Cline

There’s still time to read this science fiction gem before the movie comes out in 2018! In the year 2044, fossil fuel exhaustion and climate change have degraded the quality of life on Earth. Most humans escape the bleakness by entering the virtual reality world of OASIS. In OASIS they can access any book ever written, explore other planets and have endless adventures. Even more compelling, the creator of OASIS, who was obsessed with 80s pop culture, left a fortune to whomever could solve a complex puzzle after his death. Trivia from that decade are the keys to unlock the prize. With stakes so high, some are willing to kill to win.

Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson

“This Snow Crash thing--is it a virus, a drug, or a religion?” Juanita shrugs. “What's the difference?” Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for the Mafia while living in a converted storage unit and hacking in his spare time. But in the virtual world known as the Metaverse, he’s an elite sword fighting warrior on a mission to track down a deadly virus – Snow Crash – that has the power to destroy both worlds. Cyber punk villains and robot dogs populate this action-packed adventure. Some say this book predicted the online world Second Life.

-Suzanne LaPierre, City of Fairfax Regional Library