The weekend is almost here and I seem to have an accumulation of links and things to share so this will be a bit of a mix of fonts and e-books.
A few more fun font things. I neglected to mention in my post about Just My Type by Simon Garfield that I came across the best name ever. The English printer William Caxton had a young helper who eventually took over his press. The man’s name was Wynkyn de Worde. I couldn’t make up a name like that if I tried. He was supposedly quite a good typographer. Have some fun with a little quiz and find out What Type Are You? I got Universal and while I have never used it before, I thought it looked quite nice. And for those of you with smartphones, you can get an app called WhatTheFont that will supposedly help you identify fonts in your daily meanderings about town. And some font humor thanks to Richard from Marks in the Margin, pleaase enjoy 20 Cats as Fonts.
A thoughtful post at the New York Review Blog, E-books Can’t Burn. Here’s a passage to make e-book fans and print fans both pause and think:
The e-book, by eliminating all variations in the appearance and weight of the material object we hold in our hand and by discouraging anything but our focus on where we are in the sequence of words (the page once read disappears, the page to come has yet to appear) would seem to bring us closer than the paper book to the essence of the literary experience. Certainly it offers a more austere, direct engagement with the words appearing before us and disappearing behind us than the traditional paper book offers, giving no fetishistic gratification as we cover our walls with famous names. It is as if one had been freed from everything extraneous and distracting surrounding the text to focus on the pleasure of the words themselves. In this sense the passage from paper to e-book is not unlike the moment when we passed from illustrated children’s books to the adult version of the page that is only text. This is a medium for grown-ups.
Calling e-books a medium for grown-ups is a bit much, but I found the idea that e-books offer a more direct engagement with words intriguing. True or not? I don’t know. I can say that whether I am reading a paper book or on my Kindle, after a paragraph or two I don’t notice what I am holding in my hand, I notice only the story. And isn’t that how it should be?
If you are a library e-book borrower and you notice that e-book offerings aren’t quite what they used to be, that’s because Penguin pulled its books from OverDrive. OverDrive is the digital content service that a great many public libraries use to provide digital audiobooks and e-books to patrons. Random House is currently the only one of the Big Six publishers that offers a general use license to libraries for e-books. All the others either don’t allow library lending of e-books at all or make the library buy a new license after 26 “check-outs.” Yet all of these publishers claim they love libraries. Huh, could have fooled me.