Registered Since: 2008-09-18 17:05:12
Profile: Hi, I'm Jack and I'm the Chief Blogging Officer and Evangelist over here at Better World Books. I'm the one you'll primarily be reading, with my two personalities: admin (for official posts and normal features) and Jack (for book reviews and things that typically involve my opinion). However, unlike most bloggers, I'm not actually working from my mother's basement, although I don't actually get paid, I just sort of show up to work like Milton in Office Space (ok, this isn't true). I do however, serenade books, like the one in the photo. I went to Holy Cross (the Jesuit school in MA, not the one from "Rudy"), am from NYC, lived in Ireland where I worked for a Fortune 500, was a Music and English major, prefer modernism and Brit Lit, don't believe in the DH (even though I'm a diehard Yankees fan), think sampling (particularly the Grey Album and Girl Talk's work) should be legal, and eat oatmeal every morning at work. Oh, and my real name is John, but don't tell anyone. My fave book is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The scene in which Gatsby stands with the green light blinking on the dock, never closer to Daisy and never further away breaks my heart every single time and I relish that feeling. It's not often that the written word can hit you in the gut like that.
Posts by Jack:
Posted by Jack on 12.31.2008 at 8:10 am
“I want to read more in 2009.”
“I want to lose 10 pounds.”
“I’m going to get up earlier.”
“I’m going to work so much harder this year.”
“This is the year I write my novel.”
Ah, New Years resolutions… we’ve all been down that crooked path to “self-betterment” and the optimism of another fresh start. So, simple question: do you make resolutions and do you keep them?
Have your say » | Tagged Poll Wednesday, holidays, new years eve, resolutions
Posted by Jack on 12.30.2008 at 12:33 pm
2008 was a crazy year.
On the plus side, we saw history being made left and right: Barack Obama elected as the first black president of the United States. There’s nothing I can write about this that hasn’t been said already, but wow, what a spectacular event that was. It’s nice to see that your fellow citizens have the ability to surprise.
Before that Michael Phelps (yes he has a book) was on TV 24/7 as he dominated swimming in a way I haven’t seen since Flipper. And on the plus side his voice was MUCH less annoying. But seriously, the Olympics came and captured us like no other event really can, with everything from table tennis, to archery, to US gold in basketball, to the ever spectacular running (Usain Bolt anyone? Have you Read more…
1 Comment » | Tagged Uncategorized, on my soapbox
Posted by Jack on 12.26.2008 at 11:38 am
Happy Boxing Day (British nations, such as our Canadian neighbors) and St Stephen’s Day (to my beloved Ireland, my former roommates’ Czech Republic, Italy, Austria and Hong Kong) and happy Proclamation Day in Australia and happy first day of Kwanzaa!
As your celebrations continue, and for many of us our four-day weekend rolls on, we hope you have a great time with your family and friends and stay warm (or cool as the case my be, for all you lucky southern hemisphere/equator dwelling folks).
One question for all you folks out there: did you give or receive a book for Christmas/Hanukkah/whatever you’re celebrating?
1 Comment » | Tagged Poll Wednesday
Posted by Jack on 12.24.2008 at 1:12 pm
Have you checked out the Betterworld.com $5 Challenge? Going on over at our facebook fan page (search for Better World Books) and our twitter account (@BWBooks) you can win a $5 Gift Certificate everyday to betterworld.com! Just in case your family forgot to get you the books you wanted, get some money towards what you really were looking for!
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, $5 Challenge, books, Contests, facebook, twitter
Posted by Jack on 12.19.2008 at 4:22 pm
Based on my perusing of Urban Dictionary, “Totes” appears to be the abbreviation of totally. This word is typically used by a hipster crowd that feels that there is some irony in pretending to speak like Paris Hilton. At the same time, this group will claim to like pop music and some types of popular rap even though they normally hate the musical selection of others. This is totes crap.
Totes in this context does not appear to be related to the umbrella company.
Posted by Jack on 12.19.2008 at 12:23 pm
The following is a different kind of list. These are my Top Ten favorite things about Better World Books:
10. Feeling Connected – Through the wonders of Facebook it’s so easy to know what’s going on in the company. At 200+ people we’re right on the fringe, but it’s still like middle school where you know everyone–or at least have heard a slightly incriminating story about them–and thus are comfortable wishing anyone a happy birthday (even at the UK office!), new birth (to Casey and Justin’s newborn!), marriage (way to go Dustin!), or holidays (everyone!).
9. The Employee Discount – I would be bankrupt if it weren’t for the sweet discount that we get for being the loyal horde that is BWB employees. It’s just that simple.
8. Customer Service – Have you ever had a problem with an order? If you’re one of the few who have you’ve encountered our studly team of CS rockstars, you know that they’re a rare kind. They don’t just want to talk to you, they won’t rest Read more…
12 Comments » | Tagged Uncategorized, happy holidays!, on my soapbox
Posted by Jack on 12.16.2008 at 5:18 pm
Even for those (or perhaps, most of all for those) who love an author with great scholarship and social critique, such as Howard Zinn or Noam Chomsky, the oft pedantic writing can become tiresome. In times like those, I turn to McSweeney’s, where this spoof post brilliantly brings in both Zinn and Chomsky’s stylings while talking humorously about the awesomeness that is “The Lord of the Rings.”
An excerpt for your reading pleasure:
CHOMSKY: Or pathways deprived of giant spiders. And what is Gandalf’s long-term solution to the crisis of the divided peoples of Middle Earth? To install a puppet king of questionable provenance while the Elves continue their slow withdrawal back to the West? Meanwhile, a couple of drunkard Hobbits stagger toward a volcano while carrying a worthless ring. Gandalf is venal, he is calculating, he is ruthless, but he is not stupid.
Posted by Jack on 12.15.2008 at 11:41 am
What you missed while you were foiling a robbery with pepperoni
-Jack talked book industry, and about the Nobel Prize
-Dana chatted with Governor Madeleine Kunin
-We want you to “get selfish”.
-We wanted to know, is it ok to give a used book as a present?
-WalkSudan showed us why we should keep getting books to Africa
-We found an awesome way to store your growing collection
-Better World Book Club is here!
-Jack bemoaned the vernacular, and the poll proved him wrong
-We took a peek at the Top 10 Green Books
Have your say » | Tagged Week In Review
Posted by Jack on 12.12.2008 at 12:53 pm
Because I’m a total curmudgeon, this will now be weekly feature in which I rail on modern language and the destruction thereof. In a recent blog post, our Queen of all things reading related, Dana Barrett, used the expressions “…your book club besties.” Now I am no old fuddy-duddy or anything of the sort (although I certainly fall in the Harold Bloom canonical works category than Oprah kitsch pick of the month category), but is this a commonly used term? You would think, considering that I am still ID’d at rated R films, forget about liquor stores, that I would be more in touch with such vernacular.
I sauntered over to the wasteland of casual verbiage that is Urban Dictionary to find this:
[I’m not even going to touch “totes,” that curious mixture of hipster/Hilton speak Read more…
Posted by Jack on 12.12.2008 at 11:21 am
As you know, we have a serious love for book storage here on the blog. If it’s an inventive way to store books, sign us up.
In honor of that we have the REK Bookcase, which can contract or expand as you need more or less space, eliminating the need for additional shelving or wasted negative space. Blahblahblah, you just want to see the photos, right?
Images courtesy of Gizmodo
5 Comments » | Tagged Uncategorized, book storage, bookshelves
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