Posted by Jack on 09.30.2008 at 12:59 pm
Now that you know “We [heart] Books” I thought I’d tell you what we’re reading here at the SF Office.
Justin: Always Be Testing, Collapse (Audiobook), Watchmen
Cory: The Big House, The Glass Castle
Geoff: Obama’s Challenge
Eddie: Web Analytics an Hour a Day, Watchmen
Xavier: Let My People Go Surfing
Jack: Blink, Doctor Zhivago
Ryan: Where the Wild Things Are, Post Office
Elina: Lonely Planet Travel Guide: Barcelona (lucky!!!)
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, books, cory, eddie, elina, geoff, jack, justin, ryan, San Francisco, SF office, xavier
Posted by Xavier on 09.30.2008 at 11:33 am
What a night it was! David, Niko and I were privileged to attend Books For Africa’s 20th anniversary gala. We all had especially big smiles on our faces when we saw a chart with the number of books shipped to Africa start skyrocketing in 2003 after being almost flat for 10 years. I wonder what happened in 2003? Well, they hired a dynamic director (Pat Plonski) and partnered with a certain online bookseller. Now they ship 75,000 books PER WEEK.
The momentum was unbelievable – there were two congresspeople in attendance, and an address to the audience recorded by none other than Kofi Annan, former secretary general of the UN.
Better World Books is still easily Books For Africa’s largest source of funding, and we presented them with a $95,000 check just to remind everyone. BWB delivers more funding (and a lot of books!) than they receive from OPEC, USAID, or the Minnesota Vikings, all supporters as well.
So Better World Books, be proud of every day you spend working. As Tom Warth, BFA’s founder says, “the children of Africa thank you”.
Posted by Rudy on 09.29.2008 at 4:00 pm
For the next ten weeks, my more than 200 co-workers and I will be celebrating the very best of one another through each of Better World Books’ core values.
- We ♥ Books. Respect the book. Read often and help others to do the same.
- Flabbergast our Customers. Seek out opportunities to make a difference with value, service, and selection.
- Invest well. Waste not. Choose wisely; consider the return on your efforts and the impact in your actions. Reuse, reuse, reuse… Then reduce and recycle.
- Lead the movement. Take a stand; share your enthusiasm and build momentum through human connections.
- Speak through action. Put your ideas to work; play to win but never fear failure.
- Be passionate. Wear your heart on your sleeve; stand up for what your believe.
- Pursue growth through learning. Challenge yourself; make a point to try new things.
- Be genuine. Keep it real; be honest with others and true to your quirktastic self.
- Embrace change. Adapt to circumstances; help others find ways to succeed in our evolving world.
- Respect our team. Be humble; welcome diversity and recognize that shared success is the only kind that matters.
To get things started, the Antiquarian, Rare, and Collectible Books Team performed an original composition by cataloguer Carol Devorkin entitled “I Am ARC”…
Posted by Jack on 09.29.2008 at 3:54 pm
The SF office of Better World Books is the newest collection of volunteers at Dave Eggers‘ group, 826 Valencia. Starting next month we’ll be helping at a local SF school with college essays by high school seniors. After that we’ll be spending 3 hours each week at the center, tutoring kids from 6-18 in various subjects. Besides that, some of us will be doing more work on our own time in workshops, in-school tutoring and editing of the publications of the students’ work from the center (guess who’s doing that).
From the site:
826 National is a family of seven nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping students, ages 6-18, with expository and creative writing at seven locations across the country.
Our mission is based on the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.
Each chapter offers drop-in tutoring, field trips, workshops, and in-schools programs — all free of charge — for children, classes, and schools with particular interests or particular needs.
826 is especially committed to supporting teachers, offering services and resources for English language learners, and publishing student work. Several locations offer unique retail experiences as well.
1 Comment » | Tagged Impact, 826 Valencia, authors, Dave Eggers, Impact, San Francisco, SF office, volunteering
Posted by admin on 09.29.2008 at 11:41 am
What you may have missed last week:
-Getting books to Liberia, one book at a time
-Grammar Girl, teaching your humble blogger
-Getting your input about Shakespeare
-Shakespeare and Facebook, combined at last!
-Factoid, and why you should stop using the word
-Beedle the Bard and Brisingr, embrace your fantasy
Posted by Jack on 09.25.2008 at 2:11 pm
Posted by Jack on 09.25.2008 at 12:45 pm
From the Washington State University errors page (love it) a little information about the oft used term “factoid,” which is used quite frequently in this election coverage:
The “-oid” ending in English is normally added to a word to indicate
that an item is not the real thing. A humanoid is not quite human.
Originally “factoid” was an ironic term indicating that the “fact” being
offered was not actually factual. However, CNN and other sources have
taken to treating the “-oid” as if it were a mere diminutive, and using
the term to mean “trivial but true fact.” As a result, the definition of
“factoid” is hopelessly confused and it’s probably better to avoid using
the term altogether.
Now you know!
[On a side note, "betcha" is obviously not a word either...]
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, factoid, random fact, Washington State, words
Posted by Jack on 09.24.2008 at 11:46 am
I figured in talking about Shakespeare on the previous post I would delve a little deeper. New coworker, Eddie, passed this on to me, which captures my Junior year of high school (a semester studying Hamlet and writing a huge and (and hugely tiresome) research paper) and the Junior year of the average student today (using Facebook).
FACEBOOK NEWS FEED EDITION
- – - -
Horatio thinks he saw a ghost.
Hamlet thinks it’s annoying when your uncle marries your mother right after your dad dies.
The king thinks Hamlet’s annoying.
Laertes thinks Ophelia can do better.
Hamlet’s father is now a zombie.
- – - -
The king poked the queen.
The queen poked the king back.
Hamlet and the queen are no longer friends.
Marcellus is pretty sure something’s rotten around here.
Hamlet became a fan of daggers.
- – - -
Polonius says Hamlet’s crazy … crazy in love!
Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Hamlet are now friends.
Hamlet wonders if he should continue to exist. Or not.
Hamlet thinks Ophelia might be happier in a convent.
Ophelia removed “moody princes” from her interests.
Hamlet posted an event: A Play That’s Totally Fictional and In No Way About My Family
The king commented on Hamlet’s play: “What is wrong with you?”
Polonius thinks this curtain looks like a good thing to hide behind.
Polonius is no longer online.
- – - -
Hamlet added England to the Places I’ve Been application.
The queen is worried about Ophelia.
Ophelia loves flowers. Flowers flowers flowers flowers flowers. Oh, look, a river.
Ophelia joined the group Maidens Who Don’t Float.
Laertes wonders what the hell happened while he was gone.
- – - -
The king sent Hamlet a goblet of wine.
The queen likes wine!
The king likes … oh crap.
The queen, the king, Laertes, and Hamlet are now zombies.
Horatio says well that was tragic.
Fortinbras, Prince of Norway, says yes, tragic. We’ll take it from here.
Denmark is now Norwegian.
- – - -
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, facebook, Hamlet, humor, McSweeney's, Shakespeare
Posted by admin on 09.24.2008 at 11:24 am
Today’s poll is about Shakespeare. Either you’re very interested having read that or you’re rolling your eyes to the point of sea-sickness. In any event, how do you feel about the Bard’s work? Awesome (Yes reader, “What a piece of work is a man”)? Tiresome (“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio”)? Loathesome (Oh reader, “How poor are they that have not patience!”)? This is setting up another post, but for now, the issue at hand:
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, authors, Poll Wednesday, Shakespeare
Posted by Jack on 09.23.2008 at 3:05 pm
Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing is my current read. Normally I’m more of a classicist, preferring my MLA and Chicago Manual of Style or the wonderful Elements of Style. Meanwhile, Grammar Girl is the opposite end of the spectrum, appealing to youth or business people who aren’t as interested necessarily in the rote, represented by an avatar, and having made her name via podcasts. Didn’t sound like necessarily my cup of tea.
However, after she answered a question I had for her on twitter (in regards to the capitalization of the word “minister” in a strange context), I thought I owed her text a chance.
It arrived a few days ago, looking very orange and not overly imposing. I delved right in and within some 15 minutes I had already found a number of intuitive rules that I knew previously as well as fleshing out those I was definitely confused about. She even sometimes supports splitting infinitives (Ah! The horror! Meh, whatever… I’m OK with it).
In any event, for the casual writer or anyone who wants to improve their written communication (especially those Wall St. suits that are busy making resumes? Man am I glad I got out of there when I did…) this is a solid addition to your bookshelf.
1 Comment » | Tagged Book Reviews, Book Reviews, editing, grammar girl, manuals of style
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