Domesticating Zebras

How do you domesticate a zebra? You can't, or at least that's the justification put forward by Jared Diamond in his Guns, Germs and Steel for why these wild beasts were never used as draught animals or cavalry in sub-Saharan Africa. Much of what Diamond writes has a logical ring to it, and whilst the…

Spine Reading

Ever wondered why the spines on your books and DVDs aren't all oriented the same way? Why some read top-to-bottom and others read bottom-to-top? Admittedly, this phenomenon is rare with books printed in the Anglophone world, where the top-to-bottom approach is preferable, but take a look at a bookshelf in continental Europe and you'll probably…

Audiobook Showcase

Another site for those lovers of audiobooks. Podiobooks offers a way for authors to showcase their talent for free, parcelling up their work into episodes which can be delivered via podcast or downloaded manually from the website. Whilst listening to the books is free, the website recommends users to donate, as 75% of donations goes…

Just a late addition to the recent list of book-related websites, for those who enjoy audiobooks the LibriVox website offers readings of books in the public domain, read by volunteers. A few problems with the online catalog system when I checked it meant that it was difficult to simply browse for titles, but there appears…

New Ways to Read

Amongst the plethora of new and interesting websites which crop up every month, there were a few which caught my eye recently that weren't related to the usual photos, videos and blogs. Instead they were related to books, and whilst no doubt most of the websites won't take off, there were some interesting ideas among…