The Biblio Files  

  our bookish life  

The Biblio Files

The Biblio Files
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
January 01
We (Steve and Helen) irresponsibly gave up our promising careers in aviation and bookselling over ten years ago. Now books seem to have taken over our lives. We frequent libraries, bookstores, and thrift shops in search of interesting books. We buy/swap/sell, but mainly, we read. We both wear glasses and have been mistaken for librarians.


MARCH 23, 2014 12:15AM

Oh No, I Forgot to Read the Classics!



I suppose my secondary education was substandard, but I've never felt that held me back in any way. It must have been inferior because I don't recall ever having been assigned to read the classics. The only classics I can remember that were assigned were short ones -- … Read full post »

JANUARY 30, 2014 8:08PM

14,000 New Books

  pw_Header - Spring_14

Twice a year the big publishers preview the books they'll be releasing in the next six months. At the end of January, we get to see what's coming up in the spring and summer. Spring Preview Season is upon us and it's a doozy. Publisher's Weekly, the major… Read full post »

JANUARY 28, 2014 12:08AM

Tomorrow-Land -- An Audio Book Review


It's only January, 2014, and there's already an avalanche of 50th anniversary books about 1964. How to choose? I like to opt for accounts with an unusual perspective. Tomorrow-Land looks at 1964-65 by focusing on the World's Fair in New York. Author Joseph Tirella centers on… Read full post »

JANUARY 26, 2014 12:38AM

Spring Preview Season



I'll admit it --  I'm a shopping addict. When it comes to books, I enjoy shopping almost as much as reading. Twice a year, I can indulge my addiction to shameful excess. It's that time of year  --  Spring previews.


All the publishers put out catalogs and… Read full post »


Our imaginary bookstore is coming along nicely. It doesn't have the usual mysteries, biographies, and travel sections. Instead, we're stocking the nonexistent shelves with books from our favorite categories, categories which are inexplicably missing from most reality-based bookstores.… Read full post »

DECEMBER 30, 2013 12:56AM

Our Top Ten Books of 2013


We've looked at a lot of books this year, and as usual, there have been a few stinkers, a bunch of mediocre books that were okay but not terrific, and a handful of titles we want to read over again right away.


Herewith, The Biblio Files' 2013 Best… Read full post »

  paris to the pyrenees

In much the same way that I enjoy watching One Foot in the Grave, a Britcom that features a cranky recently retired "you kids get off my lawn!" sort of curmudgeon called Victor Meldrew, I liked Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way ofRead full post »

"Barnes & Noble Reports Big Falloff in Nook Unit" was the eye-catching headline in the business section of today's New York Times.

Last year Barnes & Noble reported that while their physical stores and website were doing less well than hoped, Nook sales and the B&N university bookstore ch… Read full post »


Bookstores and publishers are barely hanging on these days, but sometimes you have to wonder if they don't bring some of their bad luck on themselves.

That whole Pippa Middleton book was quite a fiasco. PenguinBooks paid Prince William's sister-in-law a £400,000 advance for a party plan… Read full post »


  used ebook


The Washington Post reports that Amazon has received approval for a patent to sell used e-books. I'm imagining publishers' heads exploding at the thought. What does it mean? How can you sell or buy a used e-book? We can pirate e-books and lend e-books (with the seller's… Read full post »

JANUARY 29, 2013 12:11AM

Are You Worth Your Weight in Books?


  cat reading hemingway


To the annoyance of professional book reviewers everywhere, book reviewing is for everyone now. Anyone with a blog or an Amazon account is good to go, no qualifications necessary.


The results are, as you might imagine, mixed.


But as enthusiastic participa… Read full post »

JANUARY 23, 2013 3:51PM

Abridged Too Far (repost)


Reader's Digest Condensed Books. You can't give them away. No one will take them. I've seen them in boxes marked FREE outside of thrift shops, the sort of shop where they sell ancient hotel soaps and used wigs and last year's calendars. Even at those… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 24, 2010 2:47AM

Kindle's Robot Voice

Ever hear a computerized voice mail system? You can't mistake it for a real person. Maybe just for a second, if you're not paying attention.


The text-to-speech feature of the Kindle reader sounds like that.


When the Kindle 2 came out about a year ago, some/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 17, 2010 12:31AM

Batgirl Was a Librarian



Librarian as Superhero


Publisher Harper Collins has just released a new book – about librarians. Talk about optimistic.

This Book is Overdue! by Marilyn Johnson, and it describes the exciting new world of librarians. Tattoos, precision drills using tricked-out boo/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 10, 2010 12:57AM

Accept No Substitutes

Does every new humor writer have to be described as “the new David Sedaris”? Maybe I should be pleased we've moved on – it used to be every new humor writer was “the new Bill Bryson.” Or “the new Dave Barry.” Before that it was Erma Bombeck.


I… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 2, 2010 11:05PM

Listening Isn't Reading -- Why Braille Is Still Necessary

If you listen to an audio book, have you read the book?

proust and the squid

It's undoubtedly a different experience to read a book with just ink and paper (or pixels and screen) between you and the author than it is to listen to someone's vocalization of the sentences. In ProustRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 26, 2010 11:02PM

Roundup: Contests, Spring Previews, a Secret Online Bookshop


Contest #1 has started accepting entries for its third year of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Grand Prize is a publishing contract with Penguin. Many of the finalists in all the categories also received publishing deals, so it isn't winner-take-all, by any mea/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 27, 2009 11:01PM

Favorite Open Salon Content of The Century (so far)

Favorite Open Salon posts of 2009? Too limited a time frame. Favorite OS posts of the Decade? Better, but still too limited. Favorite OS posts and blogs? Almost there.


Join us in the Wayback Machine to revisit The BiblioFiles' Favorite Open Salon Content (Posts and Blogs) of/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 16, 2009 12:29AM

Publishers Weekly Cover -- Offensive?

The usually uncontroversial Publishers Weekly magazine has unintentionally whacked the wasp's nest that is the book blog world. This week's attention-grabbing cover is inspiring comments pro and con on blogs and Twitter (#afropw): "What were they thinking? Were they even thinking?" "It
Read full post »
DECEMBER 8, 2009 9:48PM

What Are Your Worst Books of 2009?

It's been fun reading all the Best Books of 2009 lists. Now that you have a full slate of highly recommended books, here's a few that I absolutely do not recommend. Back away from these books. Or read them and weep. Presenting...The Stinkers of 2009.

worst book

Not on the List:Read full post »

DECEMBER 3, 2009 9:27PM

Our Holiday Sets Fantasy

Last year, our fantasy Holiday wishes were, for Steve, the Penguin Classics Library Complete Collection, and for me, a Kindle. We didn't get either one for Christmas, although I later acquired a Kindle by other means.


 Kathryn Gursky's Penguin Collection

This year, Steve is still hopi… Read full post »

I have a confession to make. I read The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. I enjoyed it.


I didn't plan on reading it. But Steve (yes, I blame him) downloaded a sample of The Lost Symbol on the Kindle, got hooked, bought the rest of the book and read the/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 16, 2009 7:29PM

Indie Bookstores Not Dead...Yet.

A heartwarming story in today's Washington Post tells of the local bookstore in the tiny town of Poligny, France. The owner was about to close the store, which she could no longer run, due to her failing health. One hundred city residents pitched in about $750 each to form a corporation/… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 11, 2009 1:47AM

No Kindle? No Problem!



One of my favorite Kindle features is "sample this book." For no charge, you can download the table of contents and the first chapter or two of any Kindle book and decide at your leisure if you want to buy the book and read further.


Now… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 30, 2009 2:04AM

I Won't Read Moby Dick and You Can't Make Me

How do you choose which books you'll read? You probably have a variety of sources for new reading ideas: books you've read or heard about online or on radio or TV, suggestions from friends, browsing the bookstore and library. But unless you belong to a book club, you probably don't have… Read full post »