Why I am over buying interactive ebooks 

There are some great books in interactive media format for iOS devices. Two that I regularly read for fun are The Philosophy Book and The DK Illustrated Bible – Story by Story (no, I am not Christian. I am still a devout Buddhist). They make reading on the iPad and iPhone fun. 

Or they did

As Apple regularly updates their operating system – iOS – compatible versions of apps quickly become obsolete. So when my Ebooks start to pop up messages saying they may slow my device down my faith in them wanes. 

One of the greatest inventions was created over 500 years ago. It was portable, long lasting, accurate, required no batteries and durable. You could drop it and it would not break. Infinitely cheaper and it requires no update. It is everywhere even today but its popularly has decreased. I suspect it will rebound though, come back into fashion due to its endearing and enduring qualities. 

It is the book

Luckily I have not invested in electronic books heavily, continuing to buy books as I had done so for the last four decades. In the worst-case scenario when the world is on the brink of collapse I doubt anything electronic will survive. But our culture will still be found and understood through the books that exist everywhere today, even if we perish through our errors in lifestyle and character. 

Two new books on metaphor

Two recent books on metaphors worth looking at is Raymond Gibbs and Herbert Colston’s Interpreting Figurative Meaning and Benjamin K. Bergen’s Louder Than Words. Gibbs and Colston approaches metaphorical meaning from psycholinguistics and neuroscience while Bergen looks at meaning from the cutting-edge perspective of neuroimaging.

Both are worth a look. The Gibbs/Colston is harder to get through than the Bergen. The latter is definitely an easier read, written for those with little background on the subject.

Two new books on corpus linguistics

(Update: this paperback edition is new) I have just acquired two of the latest titles on corpus linguistics. Contemporary Corpus Linguistics is edited Paul Baker, a collection of seventeen essays on the latest (hence ‘contemporary’ in the title) techniques used utilizing corpus linguistics. Three chapters are of relevance to my research: the Alice Deignan chapter (Ch. 2) on metaphors; the Yukio Tono chapter on second language acquisition (Ch. 11) and; the Randi Reppen chapter on English language teaching (Ch. 12).

And Corpus Linguistics: Method, Theory and Practice by Tony McEnery and Andrew Hardie is a textbook. Here also are references to SLA, ELT and metaphors and Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT). More theoretical in content than practical as indicated by the chapters. The chapters are not on particular corpus linguistic concepts (not your frequency, collocation, etc) but on wider historical developments (neo-Firthian, psycholinguistics, etc) instead.

Will have a more thorough read later.

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Manage your extensive reading lending library with BookBuddy

Do you run an extensive reading (ER) course? Do you have trouble keeping track of book in your lending library? If you said yes, to both questions then this may be the solution for you.

BookBuddy 4.0 is an iPhone and iPad, iPod Touch app. Features include:

  • barcode scanning
  • online ISBN search and save
  • backup database to the cloud (only Dropbox at the moment)
  • organize into customizable categories
  • keep track of when and to whom your books have been lent to
  • keep track of books you have borrowed from friends
  • ‘star’ books for easy access
  • status sharing on your social networks

The simply designed interface is very easy to use and navigate. The BookBuddy Lite does everything the paid version does except for a limit to 50 books. Purchase the full version for cataloguing more than 50 books. There is only one drawback: the app is, at, the time of writing USD$4.99. This is expensive when compared to other similar apps but still cheaper than many desktop-based solutions.

From an academic standpoint also it is worth the money. it means you can also use it to keep track of your personal and academic book lending libraries at the same time.

My rating:  4 out of 5

It is comparatively expensive and no barcode scanning for non-English books (you need to do a Search Online for finding book info here … hopefully for now).

Three things Tokyo University students have in common

I was reminded by Stephen Krashen’s post on reading, access to books, and school performance about the three things Tokyo University students have that help them get into the University – bookshelves (with books of course, and the more the better), a globe (to help them see the world differently (or is it correctly)), and a piano (music is softens the mind for original and abstract thinking).

I don’t remember where the source for this is but it was in conversation with my wife and friends.