Monday, June 15, 2015

Books, Books and More Books

You have not heard from me recently because I have been sick. An infection got into my blood stream and the results were not entertaining. I am now considerably better and, although I have not been stitchingly creative, I am trying to write a relevant posting for you.
Over the years, I have collected stitching books that were useful and meaningful to me. Now, that we are moving from a bungalow to a one bedroom apartment, downsizing has become a major issue for both my husband and myself. It's not so much the furniture but the contents of cupboards and drawers and our collections of books. Being a member of an Embroidery Guild helps as we have regular stash sales which recycles items to others who can use them.
It is a traumatic time as one hopes to find new homes for treasures. My problem especially is with the large, hardcover books, beautifully printed and illustrated and still valuable because of their content and their condition. I have a list if anyone would like to see it. Mailing books is hugely expensive but maybe we can make arrangements for pickup at convenient locations.
Which brings me to the topic I wish to share with you. The world and life have changed radically with the advent of computer technology. Younger generations especially use it daily in all aspects of their lives. But publishing embroidery books electronically is still in its infancy.
If ever there was a pair of technologies destined to be wed, this is the ideal couple. The old knowledge and the new presentation. The convenience of the coupling is revelationary. An ebook on a tablet is small enough to sit on the table beside you while you stitch no matter where you are. It does not have to be forced to stay open. One can move forward and backwards in the text easily. Photos and diagrams can be enlarged as one wishes. It will always be there but out of sight when not needed. And, it takes up no space on one's bookshelf and downsizing it will never be a problem.
Adding to this, the purchase price of an ebook is considerbly less than any printed book either hardcover or softcover. This is a consumer's bonanza. For the writer, the amount of work involved remains astronomical and possibly more labour intensive than preparing a text for a publisher to edit and illustrate.

There are definite stages which will be encountered in adapting to this new way of owning information. First, there is the absence of the emotional one of loving books, the smell and glossy feel of the paper, the heft of its weight and the choosing of the place on the shelf among the other books you value. After that comes the stage where you acquire an ebook but decide to print it anyway and store it in a binder on your shelf. Labelling the spine does help locate it but it is less glamorous and tends to be forgotten among its more spectacular sisters. Then, comes the final stage of acceptance. Download it onto your iPad and leave it there. The information is always available whenever and wherever you want it. I have been recently making nametags featuring spring flowers and I needed to have my iPad right beside me for the information on how to stitch the individual flowers. Yes, I need to look them up, too. It was totally convenient and efficient.

EBooks on embroidery are still sparse. Mary Corbet has recently published her eighth, Stitch Sampler Alphabet. Her eBooks vary in length depending on the content. You can contact her at

I now have two books online as Summer Flowers has joined Spring Flowers. I am working on a second edition of Spring Flowers with updated information and presentation. After that, I have in my head a further two books on totally different aspects of embroidery. There are also reprints of the gems printed in the early 1900s now available electronically. These classics are well worth investigating. In embroidery, our heritage is as valuable as is innovation.
I was surprised to discover, as a user, an unanticipated distinction between a novel and technical information when viewed electronically. I have found it hard to follow story lines on my iPad and sometimes get lost. But the opposite is true for embroidery information. It is there, available and responds to whatever I ask of it. The cost is reasonable and it takes up no room on my shelf. It produces absolutely no downsizing problems. You may not have reached that stage in your life but, one day, downsizing will happen to you, too. Get with it and invest in ebooks instead of hard cover glossies, support the writers and help the trend grow.
You can browse my books at

Enjoy your visit.

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