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Editorial November 2000
On Books & Loons
By Hilary Williamson

Loon calls from the lake
Lift my eyes from a book
Sun sets

Why BookLoons? The call of a loon is one of the few things that can pull my attention away from an absorbing story (loons have such compelling cries, full of mystery). All of our reviewers are more or less loony over books. And it's one step up the food chain - wouldn't you rather be called a bookloon than a bookworm?

Seriously, BookLoons is a place for people to connect to books that interest them, in many different genres. It was launched in Fall, 2000 as a millennial venture at a time when the world of books (along with so much else) is going through a transformation to new media. E-books have been multiplying since Stephen King published Riding the Bullet on the web, story samples or excerpts are now available from many online sources and consumers are beginning to order books through Internet shopping.

Though it's still early days for electronic books, the industry is moving ahead quickly. Books on CD and talking books for kids have already been around for some time. Providers are pushing competing standards for ebook formats with names like Softbooks, Glassbooks and Rocketbooks. And prices for ebook devices are moving down through the hundreds of dollars to a level that will soon tempt consumers to purchase.

What are the advantages? Accessibility is the obvious one, with the ability to read a review online, then purchase, download and read the book immediately, rather than waiting to buy a paper version in the store or to have it delivered by the mailman. And no more anxiety about which books to pack for a trip, extra ebooks don't take additional space, and more can always be acquired online en route, if you have a net connection. The disadvantages are the same ergonomic factors that we encounter with computer screens - eyestrain and glare - but the ergonomics will improve with time.

Think of BookLoons as your local corner bookstore in the global village, with shelves full of books in all the media. Our reviewers give you their opinions of the best in recent books from Contemporary to Speculative Fiction and Mysteries, and we pull old favorites off our own shelves to tell you about excellent titles that you may have missed over the years. If you're exploring a new genre or buying a book for a friend or family member, feel free to send us an e-mail and ask for recommendations. We'll be delighted to help, and hope to see you back here often.
Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.