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Monday, July 30, 2012



A friend offered the theory that it is all to do with e-Readers -- when you are reading on Kindle or whatever in a train, bus, or aircraft, no one else can guess what you are reading, so you can get away with reading sexy rubbish.  Or violent rubbish. Or whatever you fancy.

Inter alia. It reminded me of a plane trip I took when I was about seventeen.  In those days, airlines handed out magazines in nifty hard covers with their logo.  Someone had loaned me a copy of Fanny Hill, and so I poked it into the airline cover, and read it throughout the trip ... which went very fast.  Then, when the announcement came that we had to get ready to land, I sneaked Fanny Hill out of the cover and into my bag.  No sooner had I settled back in my seat, than the man across the aisle leaned over and said with a grin, "You were reading a dirty book, weren't you."

But to get back to the subject, in the New Zealand Herald "Canvas" magazine this weekend, there is a story by Caroll du Chateau looking "into the publishing phenomenon taking the world by storm."

She gives some interesting background. Apparently, the "seriously sexy" book started out as an imitation of the Twilight series, written for author E.L James's fans. (How she got fans in the first place is not explained, unfortunately.)  Her fans were not all that happy with all that explicit sex, so she took it off the fiction website where she was running it, and put it on her own site. At that stage it was called "Master of the Universe" (sounds like a comic book) and was huge, being three books long.

A small Australian publisher, The Writers Coffee Shop (no apostrophe) picked it up, sliced it into three, and renamed each segment. What happened next is opaque: C du C merely says that the big publishers started circling, sharks that they are.

And Random House UK bought the trio for one-point-two million greenbacks.

Then the story investigates why people like it.  Interestingly, no one who was interviewed would allow their name to be published.  As everyone allowed, it is not exactly great literature.  But, it is addictive, say just about all the people quoted by C du C .

Well, only for some, as the vitriolic reviews on Amazon testify.

Please, don't waste your time, money and brain reading this book, wrote 1848 reviewers.

These books are not well written, incredibly repetitive, there is little character development, and the sex scenes are, well, vanilla, wrote 2202 reviewers.

Did a teenager write this? asks "meymoon" ...

I really don't like writing bad reviews. I admire people who have the courage to put pen to paper and expose themselves to the whole world, especially those writing erotica. Having just finished this book, however, I feel compelled to write a review.

About half way through the book, I looked up the author to see if she was a teenager. I really did because the characters are out of a 16 year old's fantasy. The main male character is a billionaire (not a millionaire but a billionaire) who speaks fluent French, is basically a concert level pianist, is a fully trained pilot, is athletic, drop dead gorgeous, tall, built perfectly with an enormous penis, and the best lover on the planet. In addition, he's not only self made but is using his money to combat world hunger. Oh yeah, and all of this at the ripe old age of 26! And on top of that, he's never working. Every second is spent having sex or texting and emailing the female character. His billions seem to have just come about by magic. It seriously feels like 2 teenage girls got together and decided to create their "dream man" and came up with Christian Grey.

Then come the sex scenes. The first one is tolerable but as she goes on, they become so unbelievable that it becomes more laughable than erotic. She orgasms at the drop of a hat. He says her name and she orgasms. He simply touches her and she orgasms. It seems that she's climaxing on every page.

Then there's the writing. If you take out the parts where the female character is blushing or chewing her lips, the book will be down to about 50 pages. Almost on every single page, there is a whole section devoted to her blushing, chewing her lips or wondering "Jeez" about something or another. Then there's the use of "shades of". He's "fifty shades of @#$%% up," "she turned 7 shades of crimson," "he's ten shades of x,y, and z." Seriously?

The writing is just not up to par, the characters are unbelievable, and the sex verges on the comical. I don't know what happens in the remaining books and I do not intend to read them to find out. But given the maturity level of the first book, I imagine that they get married, have 2 perfect children, cure world hunger, and live happily ever after while riding into the sunset, as the female character climaxes on her horse causing her to chew her bottom lip and blush fifty shades of crimson. Jeez!

So I go for my friend's theory -- people are reading it because eReaders make reading such stuff in public relatively anonymous.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Moral strength and ingenuity vs despair and cannibalism

BOOK REVIEW: Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World by Joan Druett (available on Amazon Kindle $US11.99)

This well written book tells a tale of moral strength and ingenuity versus despair and cannibalism.
Two shipwrecks in the same year, on the same island within 30km of one another led to entirely different outcomes.

One party of castaways showed qualities of leadership, courage and resourcefulness and the other despair, disunity and selfishness.

Situated 465km from New Zealand, the Auckland Islands are one of the bleakest places on earth - home to unique mega flora, sea lions and some of the most ferocious weather on earth.
By 1860 Auckland islands had a reputation as a graveyard for ships, unrelenting weather and unfertile soil.

An attempt to found a British colony in 1853 was defeated by the sheer difficulty of surviving in such an inhospitable place. It has the distinction of being the site of the shortest lived attempt to found a British colony –two years and nine months.

On January 3, 1864, the schooner Grafton, out of Sydney with a crew of five, was wrecked on the coast of the Auckland Islands.

On May 10, 1864, the 888 ton freighter Invercauld from Melbourne en route to Peru with a crew of 25 was also wrecked about 30km from the Grafton. Both groups struggled for existence without ever becoming aware of the other's presence.

The five men from the Grafton wreck were saved by the leadership of the captain, the skills of Francois Raynal and a resolution to keep busy in spite of weakness, sickness and injury.

All the Grafton castaways suffered with boils and other ailments attributable to intermittent semi starvation and malnutrition. Their diet of sea lion and was too high in protein and fat and they didn’t get enough carbohydrates, in spite of eating tubers of the mega herb Stilbocarpa.

In grim circumstances they fed, housed, and clothed themselves using salvage and anything the environment had to offer. They even managed to build a boat to take three of them back to New Zealand. Upon landfall they organised a rescue mission to pick up the other two.

The fate of the castaways from the Invercauld was quite different. Of the twenty five crew nineteen men survived the wreck to be washed ashore at the foot of a three hundred foot cliff.

Robert Holding, a 23-year year old sailor, was the only one of the crew who showed any initiative or compassion for his fellows. Those who found shellfish ate them before they could be stolen. There was no thought of sharing.

Holding managed to persuade the men to climb the cliff and hunt for food and shelter. Two men died of misadventure and exposure, one group went back to the wreck to see what could be salvaged and were never seen again.

Eventually Holding found the remnants of the now deserted colony of Hardwicke and persuaded the group to move to a broken down house and there they stayed.

Invercauld's Captain Delgarno could have organised the men into work parties and hunting groups, but he remained sunk in apathy, as his crew died of exposure and malnutrition around him.

Joan Druett's inescapable conclusion is that if Holding had held rank and been allowed to take control, more of the Invercauld group would have survived. Within five months sixteen men had died of privation and neglect - it is certain that the other three would have also died if they hadn’t been rescued by a passing ship.

Today these remote islands are seldom visited. The occasional department of conservation scientist makes an appearance, otherwise these lonely seas and skies are seldom visited except by the sea birds and sea lions who call the Auckland Islands home.

This is a very well written and researched book – the author’s notes at the end describing her sources and how she came by them are as interesting as the story itself.

I thoroughly recommend this book to those who are interested in sailing, adventure stories, and the early history of New Zealand.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Apple Officials Said to Consider Stake in Twitter

Apple, which has stumbled in its efforts to get into social media, has talked with Twitter in recent months about making a strategic investment in it, according to people briefed on the matter.
While Apple has been hugely successful in selling phones and tablets, it has little traction in social networking, which has become a major engine of activity on the Web and on mobile devices. Social media are increasingly influencing how people spend their time and money — an important consideration for Apple, which also sells applications, games, music and movies.

Apple has considered an investment in the hundreds of millions of dollars, one that could value Twitter at more than $10 billion, up from an $8.4 billion valuation last year, these people said. They declined to be named because the discussions were private.

Read More:

Indies on the NYT bestseller list

An energetic showing

On the New York Times bestseller list this weekend, three well established Indie authors maintain their ratings, while a newbie rides the erotica wave

Colleen Hoover's Slammed is at slot 11, up from slot 15

Jennifer Probst's Marriage Bargain has dropped only one slot from last week's report, now at 13th

Bella Andre, who has made such a stir with her lively romances, has three slots, at 29, 31, 32

And then there is the new name (to me) -- Lyla Sinclair, with her erotic novel, Training Tessa

It actually sounds a riot -- if you have the stomach for bondage, punishment, and really dirty sex, a real harking back to the pornography that was furtively read by those naughty nineteenth century Victorians.

Having lost her job when her employers went out of business, as happens so often these days, Tessa Greer heads to Houston, where she finds a position as receptionist with the Maddox Brothers ... who turn out to have creative ways of punishing her for small lapses, punishments that she finds unbearably exciting.

What I find screamingly funny is the cautionary message on the smashwords site:

Content Warning: Not for readers offended by fantasy inappropriate office behavior. Like many Lyla Sinclair stories, this novella contains various BDSM elements, including domination, restraint, corporal punishment, anal sex as well as unconventional use of office supplies.

Friday, July 27, 2012


I changed my i Pod name to Titanic. It's syncing now.

When chemists die, they barium.

Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.

A soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.

How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Than it dawned on me.

This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I'd
never met herbivore.

I'm reading a book about anti-gravity, and I can't put it down.

I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.

They told me I had type A blood, but it was a Type-O.

A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

PMS jokes aren't funny, period.

Why were the Indians here first? They had reservations.

Class trip to the Coca-Cola factory. I hope there's no pop quiz.

Energizer battery arrested. Charged with battery.

I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.

How do you make holy water? Boil the hell out of it.

Did you hear about the cross eyed teacher who lost her job because she
couldn't control her pupils?

When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.

What does a clock do when it's hungry? It goes back four seconds.

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

Broken pencils are pointless.

I tried to catch some fog. I mist.

What do you call a dinosaur with a extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.

England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.

I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.

I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.

All the toilets in New York's police stations have been stolen. Police
have nothing to go on.

I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.

Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.

Velcro - what a rip off.

Cartoonist found dead in home. Details are sketchy.

Venison for dinner? Oh, deer.

Earthquake in Washington obviously government's fault.

Smashwords founder speaks out on Penguin acquisition

Dianna Dilworth, on GalleyCat, reports that Mark Coker, founder of self-publishing platform Smashwords, criticized Pearson’s acquisition of self-publishing company Author Solutions in a recent post.

He suggested that the purchase was an investment in a business that makes money off of authors, rather than an investment in self-published authors. Coker wrote:
Does Pearson think that Author Solutions represents the future of indie publishing? Author Solutions is one of the companies that put the “V” in vanity. Author Solutions earn 2/3 or more of their income selling services and books to authors, not selling authors’ books to readers. Does Pearson think so little of authors that they’ve decided they can earn more money selling them services than selling their books? Don’t get me wrong, I have no qualm with indies investing in professional editing, proofreading and cover design. I encourage that. There’s just something about this that feels icky.
Coker is not alone in his criticism of the move. Last week, book blogger Jane Friedman argued that the move suggests not that self-publishing is the future of publishing, but rather that offering editorial services to self-published authors is the future. She wrote, “Unfortunately, many people seeking help are not well-informed, don’t have the patience to research their options, and end up writing a big check to someone to make the headache go away.”

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Death of Tupaia

Sinking in spirits, sinking in frame, that admired patriot Tubiah came to Cooper’s Isle,
but came to die.

-- William Perry, surgeon of the Endeavour, writing to the Gentleman's Magazine, 1808

Through the kindness of James Cook scholar, John Robson, a new eye-witness account of the death of Tupaia, the great Tahitian priest and navigator who sailed with Captain Cook on his first expedition, has come to light.

It is in a short series of letters written to the Gentleman's Magazine of London by William Perry, surgeon's mate to William Munkhouse, who replaced Munkhouse as the surgeon of the Endeavour after his superior died in Batavia (Jakarta, Java) in November 1770.

He signed himself "W. P." but, as John Robson observes, it is plain that the writer was Dr. Perry.

Evidently, Dr. Perry was stationed at the seamen's camp at Kuyper Island, close to the island of Onrust, where the Endeavour was being repaired.

First, he confirmed that Tupaia's reason for agreeing to sail on the Endeavour was to go to Britain to procure arms to fight against Puni, the Boraboran chieftain who led the forces that conquered Tupaia's home island, Raiatea:

Tubiah dared an enterprise no less. He saw far-come strangers, who, in his ideas, had enslaved the winds; who could destroy, while yet unseen; against whom distance offered little safety, and armour opposed no defence. To these mysterious wanderers on the ocean, he, without fear, entrusted himself – entrusted a glorious hope, one day to deliver his dear Country from the fangs of Opuni, a neighbouring despot, by means only to be acquired in Britain, - means that appalled those unhurt, resembling the agency of superior beings, and irresistible as lightning.

Then, he described the manner of Tupaia's death, confirming what artist Sydney Parkinson wrote about Tupaia's mortal grief after the passing of his young acolyte, Taiata.

Tubiah came drooping from Batavia, gradually got weaker; and the death, unexpected, of a lively boy he had brought as a servant, hastened his own. The lad’s name was Tayatto of the Tow-tow or slave cast, and of such ingenuity and manners to deserve all his master’s regard. A short illness hurried him off, and he died like a Patriarch, taking leave of us pathetically, each by his name. Tayatto had been received in our large tent but Tubiah would have the corpse removed into his own that he might chant a certain funeral or death-song in his country fashion. The next, or the day after, joined master and man.

That he died one or two days after Taiata also confirms that Tupaia died on about 11 November, as the official logbook, kept by the first officer, logs Taiata's death on the ninth.

A new aspect of Tupaia's voyage is also revealed.  Apparently, when he was persuaded to sail, he was assured that the Endeavour would be back in Britain in ten months' time. That the voyage dragged on (the Endeavour finally arriving home exactly two years after leaving Tahiti) contributed to the deep depression that ravaged the great navigator-priest's health and spirits.

The reported conversation also confirms something that I became more and more convinced of as I researched the strange voyage of this astonishing man -- that his grasp of English was excellent.

It was unfortunate, that the answer to Tubiah’s first enquiries about our future absence from England was “ten Months.” He believed implicitly, moon after moon was reckoned, still with blooming hope up to that period; - but then came all the bitter disappointment. His farther enquiry got ever an uncertain answer, and this made the former mistake infinitely worse. We could all see considerable alteration both in his temper and looks, before we knew, from his various discourses, what the article was so oppressing.

To me he said one day, “Your account about Britain being the ship’s country is a mere story; in fact, you have risen from the bottom of the Sea.” I smiled at the notion and asked, “Which of the many strange sailing canoes he had seen at Otaheite he had known to grow in the Sea?” – He paused, and seemed vexed; but presently finished the conversation with these words: “If not so, you have however lost your way and can never find out Britain again.” This last opinion of Tubiah had more force than he was aware of, at the time I speak of, my own expectation of ever returning to England was very feint.

Similar were the enquiries of our Islander through the ship; and it was too clear that his high-flown hopes had sunk to a very low ebb, long before we reached Batavia. In this Dutch colony so many things presented to confirm every report about Britain, that he lived many days in a state of pleasing wonder. The precious loss of month after month, however, could never be repaired, and his first indisposition brought with it a despondency about conquering Opuni &c.  How distress of mind gives the most trifling complaint in India its most aggravated symptoms! Tabiah declined so fast, that a removal from the City of Batavia was directed. He was conveyed to Cooper’s Isle, where his last sigh was breathed over Tayatto lying dead at his feet. W.P.

Random House breaks into television

This is going to make RH contracts look different ... 

Jason Boog on GalleyCat reports that FremantleMedia and Random House, two companies owned by the Bertelsmann AG media conglomerate, have teamed up to create Random House Television.

The new entity will focus on creating and developing television content from Random House books.

Here’s what he quotes from the release:

“The first-look deal with FremantleMedia will reside within Random House Television, a newly created part of Random House Studio, the publisher’s rebranded and expanded entertainment division led by Peter Gethers, President. Random House Television will work together with Random House’s editors and publishers, and their authors’ agents, to identify and acquire performance rights for the full range of broadcast network, cable, and premium television scripted formats. The partnership will also seek to collaborate with Random House authors to develop original scripted television properties they might create.”

Boot Camp for Rare Books

Erotica is certainly the flavor of the month

Jennifer Schuessler's story about the study of beautiful rare books in the New York Times even has the word "steamy" in the first paragraph!

And it focuses on an erotic love poem, too...

It's an interesting story about a class at the University of Virginia.  As Jennifer Schuessler describes, for five weeks each summer Rare Book School brings some 300 librarians, conservators, scholars, dealers, collectors and random book-mad civilians together for weeklong intensive courses that are so popular that people return every year.

The story begins with a description of the class lecturer, Mark Dimunation, the chief of the rare book and special collections division at the Library of Congress, handing out slips of paper with syllables to decipher.

They add up to two words and a date:  Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, 1499

Which are the title and publication date of a long erotic love poem printed in Venice by Aldus Manutius and often described as one of the weirdest and most beautiful books ever produced.

Producing the book itself led to a comic moment, apparently.  An assistant brought out a copy from the first printing of the book and began turning the pages, which promptly opened on a woodcut showing a figure with an extravagant erection.

The fifteenth century Venetian version of Fifty-Shades-of-You-Know-What?

But the class sounds fascinating as it covers the history of the book in general, as well as the study of rare volumes, all told by experts in the various fields.

How academics murder the language

Zombie Nouns

How many student and researchers have ploughed through writing that turns reading English into something that feels like ploughing through mud?

Helen Sword, in the New York Times, brilliantly analyses the mistakes academics make

Let's look at this sentence:

"The proliferation of nominalizations in a discursive formation may be an indication of a tendency toward pomposity and abstraction."

And now, the contrast:

Writers who overload their sentences with nominalizations tend to sound pompous and abstract.

Which would you rather read?  The answer is obvious.  One is clear, and the message is easy, while the other, which says exactly the same thing, is ponderous and condescending. Helen Sword wrote them both, as an illustration of how nominalizations can murder the language.

So, what is a nominalization?  Helen Sword explains:

Take an adjective (implacable) or a verb (calibrate) or even another noun (crony) and add a suffix like ity, tion or ism. You’ve created a new noun: implacability, calibration, cronyism. Sounds impressive, right?

Nouns formed from other parts of speech are called nominalizations. Academics love them; so do lawyers, bureaucrats and business writers. I call them “zombie nouns” because they cannibalize active verbs, suck the lifeblood from adjectives and substitute abstract entities for human beings:.

As she goes on to say:

Zombie nouns do their worst damage when they gather in jargon-generating packs and infect every noun, verb and adjective in sight: globe becomes global becomes globalize becomes globalization. The grandfather of all nominalizations, antidisestablishmentarianism, potentially contains at least two verbs, three adjectives and six other nouns.

 A paragraph heavily populated by nominalizations will send your readers straight to sleep. Wake them up with vigorous, verb-driven sentences that are concrete, clearly structured and blissfully zombie-free.

Hit the link at the top of this post to read the whole illuminating argument.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Queen Victoria's journals online

Unique record of a glittering British era

The Queen's Quill Review and A Love of Adventure

Interview with The Queen's Quill Review

“It’s no longer an either/or world. It’s both and why the heck not?” — James Scott Bell

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Andrea, the inimitable editor of the Historical Novel Society online magazine, and owner of the blog The Queen's Quill Review, about the ePublishing venture that led to my Kindle book, A Love of Adventure.

I was impressed with the thought that had gone into the questions, and the intelligence and insight behind them. The entire The Queen's Quill Review blog is well worth following, because not only does it take independent publishing seriously, but it raises the standard of review, which must help improve the quality of the books that are flooding into the market from this amazing new publishing phenomenon.

Two key questions

With so many contacts in the big publishing houses, why did you decide to self-publish A Love of Adventure (Abigail)?

The eBook phenomenon fascinates me; I truly believe that it is the most exciting development in publishing since the invention of print. I have blogged about it a great deal on my site “World of the Written Word,” and followed the fortunes of a large number of Indie authors, becoming more intrigued as the months go by. The idea of self-publishing an eBook as an experiment became irresistible, and Abigail, being my first novel, was the natural choice.

After looking at all the alternatives, I decided to do all the formatting myself, with just two conditions: that it would cost me absolutely nothing, and that I would share what I learned with the world, via my blog. This I did, ending up with seven “tutorials” that ranged from preparing the manuscript through designing the cover to the ePublishing process. These garnered so much interest that I created a dedicated blog, “KindlePublishingHints,” and transferred the tutorials, in descending order, onto this. It pleases me greatly that in the one month since this guide went up, over 200 people have used it to create their own books.

And why choose to publish as an e-book instead of in print?

I have been sent many self-published print books for comment or review over the years, and have often been dismayed at their quality. Print-on-demand seems to be particularly bad, in this respect. The alternative of having proper print-runs means the problem of storage—one author told me that she ended up storing unsold stock in the crawl space between the floor of her bedroom and the ceiling of the lounge below!

And I truly believe that eBooks are the popular reading of the future.

ZOLA, a big new player in the ePublishing game

Zola targets Google, eyes Amazon

A new bookselling start-up funded by authors and other investors is forming partnerships with publishers and independent booksellers and aims to replace the Google eBooks re-seller program as the go-to platform for indies interested in selling e-books. Oh, and the company plans on taking on Amazon, too.

Zola Books is a New York-based start-up that has raised $1.3 million from investors, including well-known authors like Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler’s Wife), Josh Bazell, (Beat the Reaper) and Chandler Burr (The Emperor of Scent) and plans to offer independent bookstores an online storefront from which to sell e-books, much like Google Books.

Founded in September 2011, Zola will offer readers a social e-reader and bookstore, independent bookstores a new place to sell e-books, and publishers another storefront to display their wares. When it launches to the public on September 19, the company plans to make a splash, offering readers a sizable selection of e-books, including titles that will only be available on Zola.

Read the rest of the Digital Book World story

New Indie bestselling author: BELLA ANDRE

After a $1.99 Gold Box of the Day sale at Amazon, romance novelist Bella Andre took five spots on the Self-Published Bestsellers list with her series, The Sullivans.

Her story, told in a bubbly interview by the Washington Post, reflects what is happening with a lot of authors who have been published by the traditional press.

Bella (real name Nyree Belleville) had sold 12 spicy romances to a traditional publisher, with very disappointing results.  So, at the age of 36, with a husband, young children, and undoubtedly a mortgage, this young Californian set out to publish one of her reverted books herself, on the Kindle publishing platform.

She didn't find it easy. (Nowadays, she could have used my tutorial, KindlePublishingHints, as lots are doing, but they weren't available in 2010.)  However, she managed it, and so the book landed on  Then she forgot it for a few weeks, which was probably a good idea -- because lo, when she finally remembered, she found she had sold 161 copies, and made the grand sum of $281.

Celebration!  Which in California (as in Wellington, New Zealand), naturally means lunch with some girlfriend writers.  Encouraged, she put more books out, and lo, again, in the month of December her earnings were $19,315.

It's the stuff of Indie writers' dreams. Perched on the edge of a couch in her tiny writing office, which doubles as a playroom for her kids, Belleville said to the Washington Post writer: “Isn’t this just awesome?!”

The rest of the story is well worth reading, being a discussion of this publishing revolution.

Self-publishing frontier, it begins:

There is no good comparison for what’s happening in the frontier world of self-published e-books, because there has never been anything like it in publishing history.

Since Johannes Gutenberg developed the printing press in the 15th century, publishers have pretty much owned the presses, the means of mass production and, therefore, of distribution. Save for tiny “vanity” printings, for the intervening 500 years or so publishing houses have controlled who was able to publish, how many copies were printed, the price and the percentage of profits paid to writers

Read the rest

Driving in London ....

Taking a taxi could be expensive

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tom Scott cartoon says it all

All credit to brilliant Wellingtonian Tom Scott, cartoonist for the DominionPost

Intending to research at the BL during the Olympics?

You will need to read the information carefully.

IF you manage to get there through the transport chaos, you will find restrictions.

There will probably be more bag searches

On the plus side, WIFI access for research purposes will be maintained, as streaming the Olympics will be blocked.

British Library
July 2012
Olympics special

As London will be very busy during the Olympic and Paralympic period, please read this information carefully if you're thinking about visiting the Library. We have made some changes to our services and we also have some special events taking place.

Visit our Olympics page

What's in this issue:

Visiting the Library during the Olympics
With many extra visitors in London for the Olympics, delays to public transport are to be expected between 26 July and 12 August 2012. The St Pancras building will be open from 10.00 on Monday – Saturday and 11.00 on Sunday during this period.
Please do check our website and Twitter feed before travelling.

Find out more

Follow us on Twitter

Bag searching
WiFi access during the Olympic Games
It may be necessary to introduce bag searching for all visitors during the Olympic period, if we are advised to do so by the Metropolitan Police. This will result in it taking longer for visitors to enter the building.
Find out more about accessing the building

During the Olympic and Paralympic Games we will be restricting access, via our WiFi service, to websites streaming the Games. This should ensure that the WiFi Service remains viable for Readers in our Reading Rooms who are undertaking research.

Find out more

What's on during the Games?
Useful information for visitors
To celebrate the Games we are running an exciting programme including:
Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands (part of the London 2012 Festival): a collection of 150 great English literature treasures, from Harry Potter to Our Mutual Friend.

Olympex 2012
: a free exhibition exploring the history, symbolism and iconography of the Olympic Movement through 2,500 stamps and Olympic memorabilia.

Tours of the building
Mon - Sat at 10.30/15.00, Sun at 11.30/15.00 throughout August, £8/£6.50
We will be running daily tours of the Library's St Pancras building. Discover the inspiration behind its design and the constant work taken to manage our ever-expanding range of collections

Olympic voices
Visit our Sounds website to listen to a host of newly-released oral history interviews with British sporting legends,  including Sebastian Coe, Tanni Grey-Thompson and Daley Thompson.

Olympic Torch Relay
– travel delays likely on Thursday 26 July
The Olympic Torch Relay is due to pass through St Pancras station around 07.35 on Thursday 26 July where it will then be the focal point of an event in the station until 09.45. Travel delays may occur.

Emergency Procedures
We have updated our emergency procedures. Please read our guidelines to remind yourself of what to do in an emergency.

General security in the St Pancras area
The Metropolitan Police have told us to expect an increase in petty crime with pick pockets and criminal gangs operating in the St Pancras area. Please take care of your personal belongings and report anything suspicious to one of the British Library’s uniformed security officers.

Personal preparedness during the Olympic Games
Because of the heightened risk of disruption during the Olympic Games it may be wise to have a personal plan in place, for example, looking into alternative means of travel in case of disruption, carrying some cash on your person.
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