Connectives Home A Book Lover's Web

A loosely classified set of links, mostly annotated, to sites that have some connection to books and reading. (Last updated April 2002)

By and about libraries

Electronic book collections and resources

The On-Line Books Page
A glorious and continually-updated site of links to over 10,000 books that are freely and legally available for online reading. These are all either out of copyright or approved by the copyright holder for online use.

This site includes information about contributing online books, and a list of books in process or requested for bringing online.

Hours of fun with every visit, with an excellent set of links to other online collections.

A Celebration of Women Writers
Another glorious and continually-updated site, whose editor is also one of the two editors of the On-Line Books Page.
The Internet Book Information Center New
A lively, meaty personal site by Frederick Zimmerman, who must be one of the world's most committed living booklovers. From his "What I Believe" page:
Sure, one of the reasons that I love books that they offer entertainment and escape; but to me, the transcendent, enduring importance of books is that through books, we hear--with unmatched intimacy and fidelity, and in all their nuances and ramifications --the thoughts of some of the best and the most vital human beings who have ever lived.

And so say all of us.

Project Gutenberg
The grand-daddy of electronic publication projects. Project Gutenberg has been around since 1971, bringing books and publications into the most basic electronic format (ASCII text) so that they can be available indefinitely.

ASCII is not always pleasant to read, and has no way of showing illustrations. You can download Project Gutenberg material directly, or you might prefer to hunt around for a Web version which has more formatting and might include illustrations (often copies of the original printed illustrations).

It's relatively easy to add HTML coding to the basic ASCII text, but the work of turning centuries of written and printed material into ASCII is fundamental. This is a grand project.

Open eBook Forum
The Open eBook Forum is an "association of hardware and software companies, publishers, authors and users of electronic books and related organizations" attempting to work out technical standards for eBooks. Interesting site if you're interested in the infrastructure of a new industry and some of the influences on how standards and technologies gain acceptance.
Electronic Beowulf
A site about an online version of the only known manuscript of Beowulf. Electronic Beowulf is a two-CD set (purchase information available at the site), and this site discusses how the CD project tackled the contradictory needs to preserve the irreplaceable, and already damaged, manuscript and to make it available for study. The solutions include detailed images of every page, and using codes (actually SGML) to categorise parts of the text, right down to individual words. These codes make it possible to search the text very specifically; the site includes the online help to the CDs, which shows how this search works. Beautiful example of how an electronic edition of a book can enhance physical versions.
An active and comprehensive site about commercial electronic publishing.
Report from BookExpo America, June 2000
A Chicago Tribune report on the state of eBooks as displayed at a book fair. Interesting overview of a confused situation.
Ebook Evaluation Project
Of the Rochester Regional Library Council.
Electronic Book Shoppe
Pointlessly twee title, but the page has quite a useful description of the options available for ebook formats.
Jacobyte Books
Australian publisher's site with an interesting range of titles. As well as being available for download, many books are offered on CD and floppy disk or in paper editions. Prices are shown in US dollars, but credit card transactions are in Australian dollars. If you're buying online from outside Australia, currency exchange rates might give you a pleasant surprise.
An astonishing labour of love. Not only does the site contain hundreds of reviews, interviews, and articles; it also has categorised links to thousands of Australian and world-wide sites for and about books, authors, reviews, publishing, writing, research, and more. Two warnings: (1) You might need to click the Back button several times to get it to work from the site; (2) Ignore the the home page links to Ozlit news and diary pages: the information they once contained is now available in other parts of the site. Spectacular value.
Research in Computing for Humanities (RCH)
A portal site to information about people using technology for literature, history, music, archeology, and other humanities disciplines.
Writing on Your Palm
This site is run by Jeff Irvin, a professional writer with a deep interest in electronic books and palmtop computers. Good articles and links to electronic book sites.
The One Book List New
A list of over 800 books that have changed the lives of the over 1,000 people who submitted them; numbers, according to the homepage, as in 1998. I haven't tried submitting a title now (April 2002) to see if it's still growing. Like the 100 Hot Books and other best seller lists, it's an intriguing glimpse of what makes a zeitgeist tick.
BookWire Directory New
A huge collection of links to bookish sites, mostly in the U.S. It claims over 7,000 links, which are in four major classifications: Booksellers, Libraries, Publishers, and Other.


About the design, development, publication, and distribution of books

Online Book Journal
This site seems to be inactive, but it still contains plenty of useful information. Linkrot is attacking though - it won't be useful for much longer.
First Monday
First Monday is an online journal about the Web, so it doesn't directly relate to books at all. On the other hand, it has so much good stuff that anyone who enjoys reading is bound to find something of interest. For example, the June 2000 issue has articles about a Web-Wise conference run by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (an organisation I'd never heard of, with an annoyingly slow website and an enormous amount of information), and a link to the Digital Libraries for Children project.
Editors' Association of Canada : Web Resources
A few fine links to sites about document design and typography.


The Practice of writing

Dr Grammar (.org)
One of several US sites for different Dr Grammars. Most are pretty good, but limited in that they only concern themselves with US English. I like this one for its links, its illustrations, its absence of commercialism, and its owner.
Guide to Grammar and Style (Jack Lynch)
Lynch is an academic, and his primary audience is students writing academic papers. Which is the same audience as most guides to grammar, usage, style, or good English. Comprehensive guide, fast site, sensible advice.
Strunk and White
A commercial site for the famous little book Elements of Style. Has a, presumably reliable, publication history of the book, some commentary from the writer of the foreword to the 4th edition, and links to other books and writing from the publisher, Allyn and Bacon.
The Technical Editors' Eyrie
An Australia-based site that is focussed on the needs of technical editors, but includes a useful page of online resources for writers of several different Englishes. The site owner, Jean Weber, was my first editor; she gave me such respect for the editing profession that it even carries over to editors who can't tell passive voice from pasta. Warmly recommended.


Writers' Sites for Readers

Sites intended for practising writers (in both senses), selected for interest to general readers.

New Zealand Writers' Website
Well organised and very active, with a particularly interesting links page.


Essays and Links

Sites that don't necessarily talk about books, but do provoke thought.
Collection of short articles by Alan McCluskey and others, many from a European perspective.
The Cathedral and The Bazaar
Eric Raymond's essays on open source and what it suggests for a broader, multi-focal economic model than fundamentalist capitalism.
"Visualization" New
University of Maryland projects and examples of ways to make large amounts of data easier to see and search.

A Selection of Book Vendors Online

Australian Online Bookshop
A cheerfully personal store specialising in computer books, science fiction, fantasy, and Australian books of all types. Provides detailed book descriptions.
ebooks on the net
Electronic books only. Range is not huge, but links include information about available ebook readers, including Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs; devices like the Palm Pilot, the Visor, and pocket computers) and well as single-purpose readers (for example, the Rocket eBook and the eBookman).
Electronic Book Shoppe
Pointlessly twee title, but the page has quite a useful description of the options available for ebook formats
Jacobyte Books
Australian publisher's site with an interesting range of titles. As well as being available for download, many books are offered on CD and floppy disk or in paper editions. Prices are shown in US dollars, but credit card transactions are in Australian dollars. If you're buying online from outside Australia, currency exchange rates might mean these books are astoundingly cheap.
The Old Bookroom
Specialises in out of print, antiquarian and secondhand books on Asia, the Middle East and Africa. This is the online store for Weekend Gallery Books, long-established in Canberra (national capital of Australia). The site feels as if they're still feeling their way online, but it's easy to find information about the books and I'd be confident about dealing with the business. Books (India)
The book store for a general merchandising site in India. I haven't tried to purchase from it yet, but the site is fast, it has clear policies for privacy and returns, and its range looks interesting. Also interesting is the Folio section (heading on the left of the home page), which leads to interviews with Indian writers and columns by Indian columnists. By some counts, India is the biggest English-speaking nation in the world. Worth regular visits.
Zeus Publications

From the Connectives
Big site, and many areas are still under construction. I find this irritating, but less so than in sites about other subjects: this one is the Web embodiment of Christopher Alexander's ongoing work on patterns in architecture. Well worth a periodic visits.
Connective: Once Current Reading
Related books: The Timeless Way of Building, A Pattern Language

Literary journals and reviews New

I'm not a huge reader of reviews, and I'm only an occasional reader of Literary Publications. But I'm also a strong believer in the importance of peers. Many writers are also reviewers, and some reviewers seem as perceptive and constructive as good editors were when books got edited. So I acknowledge the literary scene as an important piece in the booklovers' world, even if this booklover doesn't look at it much.

Some of these sites make part of their content, usually archives, available only to paying subscribers. I visit them all occasionally. I don't subscribe to any of them.

Copyright © 1999, 2009