Sunday, December 23, 2012

Holiday Greetings from Eco-Libris

Wishing you and yours happy holidays
and a peaceful, prosperous and green New Year! 

 Your friends at Eco-Libris

picture credit: lara604, Flickr Creative Commons

and we'd also like to share with you this great Christmas video from our planting partner RIPPLE Africa:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Green book review (and a giveaway!): Paddling North by Audrey Sutherland

This week we're also happy to share with you one of Patagonia Books' brand new eBook offerings, and we're even more excited to have a giveaway of one digital copy of the book we're reviewing today! See details below.

So today we have the pleasure to review a great book from Patagonia Books: Paddling North by Audrey Sutherland.

What this book is about?

In a tale remarkable for its quiet confidence and acute natural observation, the author of Paddling Hawaii begins with her decision, at age 60, to undertake a solo, summer-long voyage along the southeast coast of Alaska in an inflatable kayak. Paddling North is a compilation of Sutherland’s first two (of over 20) such annual trips and her day-by-day travels through the Inside Passage from Ketchikan to Skagway. With illustrations and the author’s recipes.

Our review:

As someone who has spent many, many hours paddling down a river, I could certainly relate to this book. Paddling North, by Audrey Sutherland is the story of her journey at 60 years old, padding all alone, over 800 miles through the Alaskan waters, from Ketchikan to Skagway, in a blow up canoe/kayak. The trip takes two months of her life, but it was the adventure she had been waiting for and planning for, and dreaming of. Every day brought new adventure or trials. Launching at high tides, the rain, the wind, the cold water waves, the utter exhaustion, this is a book not just about the mechanics of a trip, it is about surviving on your own muscle, with a small bit of flair tossed in. Her motto being: Go Simple, go solo, and go now. 

I don’t know about the solo, but I agree with all the rest. She is a refreshingly honest woman, that sees herself and her life with a critical eye, and one I wish I possessed for myself. Then there is the food. When you think of camping trip fare, I think of flame charred hotdogs and warmed in the can within the hot coals of the fire, baked beans. I certainly never thought about fine dining with fresh steak, mushrooms, garlic and curry, and then a class of chilled wine. 

A wonderful perk of this book is that she not only shares what she is cooking, she actually then provides you with the recipe. That is awesome. Easy, anyone can accomplish recipes, too. One of the most inspiring things of this book is the author’s courage and her spirit on her journey. I am truly impressed. If I had to find one thing about the book that I didn’t particularly like, I would have to say that at a whopping 457 pages, it was a bit on the long side. Admittedly, my brain began to wander during the last ¼ of the book, as I grew more and more restless. Regardless of the length, I found it a very good book. Well worth my time. 

You can purchase here (both in paper and electronic formats).

We're giving away one digital copy of this book, courtesy of the publisher, Patagonia Books!

How you can win? Very simple. All you have to do is to add a comment to this post with a reply to the following question: What is your favorite river? (and why..). We will have a raffle on Saturday, Dec 29, 5:00PM EST between all the readers that will reply by then. The winner will be announced the following day.


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Friday, December 21, 2012

Digital Publishing: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas?

This is a guest post by Tony Viardo, the CEO of the publisher, Astor + Blue Editions. [Astor +Blue Editions has put its entire first season’s list of e-book titles on a holiday promotional sale for $0.99 or $1.99 until Jan. 7, 2013]

So how many articles have we read about E-books and Digital Publishing this year? For anyone who generally follows the book world (rabid booklover, book-blogger, industry pro or casual reader), we’re literally inundated with the amazing numbers—“E-book sales up 125% (again) over the 175% they were up from last year’s 225% increase!”—and equally amazing technological announcements—“Next Fall, the new ZimWittyZoomDitty tablet not only updates your Facebook and Goodreads friends whenever you snort in disgust … it cooks dinner for you at the same time!” 

This leads many to take at least casual stock of what’s going on/going to happen to the “Publishing World” as we know it. And if your friends are like my friends (hardcore print book consumers), that stock is usually pretty morbid (sharp Greenwich Village angst not included): “Print books are doomed, so are brick-and-mortar stores. Goodbye literary quality. Oh and some pajama-wearing techie living in a basement with a laptop is going to be the new Sulzburger; we’ll all have to bow down!” 

If you (or that good friend of yours) fall into the mortified category, my take (for what it’s worth) may come as positive news: E-books are not, and will not be, the Grinch Who Stole Christmas; in this case, the “Print World’s” bacon. Now, as the owner of a “Digital First” publishing house (Astor + Blue Editions, my opinions may easily be written off as self-serving and invalid. But bear with me for a minute… these are fact-based observations and I might just make sense (Someone tell my mom and dad). 

As someone who earns a living from publishing, I have to follow numbers and industry trends as closely as possible. And while some see doom and gloom for Print, I see exciting developments for both Print and E-book formats. What do the numbers show? Digital book revenue is skyrocketing, print revenue is declining. Natural conclusion? E-books are killing print books. But not so fast. Historically, Print revenue has always seemed to be declining (even before E-books were invented), but that doesn’t mean the book market is dying or shrinking. 

We have to remember that in fact the book market is growing. Readership always grows because population always grows. Every year, new readers enter the vast pool of the club that is “adult readership,” (despite Dancing with the Stars). And every year more readers are being born and theoretically being inspired by Ms. Crabtree’s elementary reading class. **So why the decline? Readership grows gradually, but the sheer number of books and book vendors grow exponentially, showing an investment loss almost every year. (Basic statistics: the widening universe makes it look like a shrinking pie when it isn’t). 

So what does this mean? If you look at the numbers (historically), revenue for print books may have declined, yes, but not more than “normal,” and not significantly more than it did when there were no E-books around. (This is arguable of course, but the long term numbers do not show a precipitous drop-off). The yearly revenue decline, if there is one, can just as easily be written off to economic conditions as to E-book competition. Bottom line: Any drop in print revenue that may be caused by E-books are not significantly sharp enough to declare that E-books are destroying print book sales. (Hence no Grinch). 

What may be happening, and what I believe is happening is that a whole new market for E-books is developing, while the print book market growth, like Publishing as a whole, is still growing at a historically gradual pace. (Boringly flat). Come up with your pet anecdote here, but I believe that more new readers are entering the market (who otherwise wouldn’t have) because of E-readers; existing readers are consuming more books (both print and e-book) than they did before; and while it would seem that a certain print title is losing a sale whenever readers buy it in E-book format, this is offset, at least somewhat, by the fact that more print titles are being bought (that otherwise wouldn’t) because of the extra marketing buzz and added awareness produced by the E-book’s cyber presence. All of it evens out in the end, and I believe, ultimately fosters growth industry-wide. 

So take heart Print fans, E-books are not the dark villain you think they are. And here, I should correct my earlier analogy—that E-books are not the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. They may actually be the Grinch…in as much as, at the end of the story, the pear-shaped green guy ended up not only giving all the presents back to the singing Who-villers, he created a flash mob and started a big party as well.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

CR Press launch tree planting collaboration with Eco-Libris with 2 new books of Anis Shivani and Bob Dixon

We are happy to announce on a collaboration with a great publisher who make great books - C&R Press. Committed to supporting new and emerging writers whose work might otherwise be ignored by traditional commercial publishers, C&R Press publish imaginative, diverse books of literary excellence, mentor writers and publishing professionals, and engage new audiences in the essential tradition of literature.

Through this collaboration, authors that publish with C&R Press will be able to plant 100 trees for the title they publish. These authors will also have the option to add a special "100 trees planted for this book" logo to their book's design, as a way to showcase their commitment to environmental sustainability.

Here are the two first books that take part in the new program. 100 trees will be planted for each one of them!

The Fifth Lash & Other Stories by Anis Shivani
The old securities everywhere are gone; identities are switched and tried on and abandoned faster than ever; the media landscape saturates individual consciousness, and makes lies out of centuries of tradition and heroes of plastic idols. The Fifth Lash and Other Stories daringly enters this phantasmagoric cauldron, where appearance and reality have seamlessly blended, to complicate the picture even further, to turn all we think we know about Islam and Pakistan on its head. The “truth” will never set you free, is the ironic signature of the original voice defining this collection.

Some of the stories in this new collection have appeared in turnrow, Nimrod, Phoebe, Other Voices, Asia Literary Review, Confrontation, Crazyhorse, and other literary journals.

About the author:
A member of the National Book Critics Circle, and the winner of a 2012 Pushcart Prize, Anis Shivani publishes criticism in many newspapers and magazines. He is the author of three books, including Anatolia and Other Stories, which was longlisted for the 2010 Frank O’Connor Short Story Award. Shivani lives in Houston, and studied at Harvard College.

You can buy the book on Amazon or directly from C&R Press.

Look Forward: A Father and Son’s Journey to Healing by Robert & Bobby Dixon
No "Parent Instruction Manual" prepares you for this--the news that your son is dying halfway across the world. But that's the news Robert Dixon received while working in Shanghai, China. This is his story, told as only a father could tell it.

Look Forward is the harrowing account of how 34-year-old Bobby Dixon survived a motorcycle accident that left his body hopelessly shattered. None of the first responders thought he'd survive the ambulance ride. None of the ER doctors thought he'd survive the night. No one ever thought he'd wake from the coma. But with the skill of the first responders from Worcester Fire Station 11 and the amazing commitment of the UMass Medical Center, Bobby lived, despite the odds. His hope? To one day walk again.

Look Forward is the true story of how Robert Dixon and his son overcame unfathomable adversity together. It's a chronicle of courage, commitment, self-exploration, and faith. What they learn along the journey is how a fragile relationship between father and son can become the most unbreakable of bonds.

About the author:
Bob Dixon entered that United States Air Force in 1970 at age 18. When he left it in 1978, he spent the next 14 years in night school to earn his Associate's and Bachelor's degrees. Along the way, he worked for Honeywell and other major corporations as an employee or consultant in supplier management, global sourcing, and quality. In December 2010, Bob founded The Military Civilian Career Coaching Connection (MC4), a LinkedIn group that partners pro-bono coaches and mentors with U.S. military veterans to help them successfully transition into civilian careers. 

He's been featured on numerous national media outlets and has been a guest speaker at such venues as Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Georgia Tech University, Rutgers University, Drew University, and some of the largest corporations in Israel, Japan, the U.S., and China. Currently, Bob lives with wife in New Hampshire. On weekends, you're likely to find him on a John Deere tractor--or golfing.

You can buy the book directly from C&R Press.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Check out our special holiday gift offer: trees + book stickers + beautiful holiday greeting card

I would like to remind you that we have a special offer for the holidays: trees + stickers + beautiful holiday greeting card.

It's very simple - plant trees to green the books your loved ones read. We will send them a beautiful holiday card and Eco-Libris stickers to display on their books' sleeves. Just change the shipping address on the PayPal payment page to the address of the gift receiver (or send us a separate email to with the details) and we will take care of the rest!

The holiday greeting cards we send are made by Doodle Greetings
(see picture above). Not only these cards come with a beautiful design, but they are also eco-friendly - printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper and are made chlorine-free and acid free. This is a good fit with Eco-Libris stickers, which are also made of recycled paper!

This is also very affordable gift offer, starting from $6.50 for 5 trees/stickers and a holiday gift card! $25, for example, will get you 25 trees, 25 stickers and a beautiful holiday gift card. Interested? go to our holiday gift page.

Last but not least, if you buy books this year as gifts for family and friends (and maybe even yourself), we have some ideas on how to make your gift more sustainable. Check out our 10 recommendations on how to green your book gift this holiday season.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting green reading!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Green book review (and a giveaway!): Closer to the Ground by Dylan Tomine

I'm sure you've heard of outdoor clothing company Patagonia. For 40 years, they have outfitted hardcore climbers to casual day hikers. But puffy jackets and fleece-wear aside: did you know that Patagonia is also in the book business?

We are excited to share with you today one of Patagonia Books' brand new eBook offerings, and we're even more excited to have a giveaway of one digital copy of the book we're reviewing today! See details below.

So today we have the pleasure to review a great book from Patagonia Books: Closer to the Ground by Dylan Tomine.

What this book is about?

Closer to the Ground is the deeply personal story of a father learning to share his love of nature with his children, not through the indoor lens of words or pictures, but directly, palpably, by exploring the natural world as they forage, cook and eat from the woods and sea.

This compelling, masterfully written tale follows Dylan Tomine and his family through four seasons as they hunt chanterelles, fish for salmon, dig clams and gather at the kitchen table, mouths watering, to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Closer to the Ground captures the beauty and surprise of the natural world—and the ways it teaches us how to live—with humor, gratitude and a nose for adventure as keen as a child’s.

It is a book filled with weather, natural history and many delicious meals. A compelling story of raising children to know the natural world. Captures the adventure of foraging, cooking and eating close to home. Finely crafted narrative of outdoor life through the seasons. Originally published 2012; eBook published 2012.

Our review:

I live a fine line between city and country. I work in the city, but live very differently, within my rural property. It’s one of those fine lines in life. The book, Closer to the Ground , by Dylan Tomine, is a book on how he and his wife and two children don’t live that fine line. They instead live the life of nature as best they can.

I’m a bit jealous to be honest. In this book we get to spend a year of this life as a fly on the wall watching and learning and wondering if we could do it ourselves and do it even half as well as they do. The life stories of crabbing and clamming and digging for oysters; the constant worry and year round back breaking work of putting up wood for heat; the mushroom and yes, deer hunting; fishing for salmon and anything and everything else in season; gardening and “gathering”, the good, the bad, the tearful. We follow along to see and feel both the wins and the losses of each of these events.

As the reader, we get to meet fun and interesting people, both in passing and through memories. There is a chapter / inner debate on the benefits and detriments in our world footprint featuring a Prius and an old beat up Montero. The issues are there. The worries of the world are there. They are more palatable because they are not shoved down you throat with demands. This author shows you all the sides of the issues he faces every day, whether its over deforestation or burning wood for heat instead of using electric energy; or growing your own food instead of getting the hybrids and grocery store selections; or going out and fighting to catch fresh fish and dig fresh clams instead of worrying about hormone laced store bought meats.

Again, the issues are apparent, but they are there within the story. Not just facts thrown at you and expected to take root. His life looks hard and wet and cold and backbreaking, but it also looks wonderful from the outside looking in. This book is such a fantastic read. I absolutely loved it. High praise coming from me, but true all the same. I say again, I loved it.

You can purchase here (both in paper and electronic formats).


We're giving away one digital copy of this book, courtesy of the publisher, 
Patagonia Books!

How you can win? Very simple. All you have to do is to add a comment to this post with a reply to the following question: What is your favorite outdoor activity? (and why..). We will have a raffle on Friday, Dec 21, 5:00PM EST between all the readers that will reply by then. The winner will be announced the following day.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Don't miss Simon and Schuster Audio Holiday Sweeps Week!

If you're an audiobook lover like us, you should check out the Holiday Sweeps Week our friends at Simon & Schuster Audio run this week. There will be a different prize every day and you can enter through their Facebook page: 

Here's the list of prizes that you can still win this week:

WEDNESDAY: The Ultimate Christmas Collection: Patrick Stewart's A CHRISTMAS CAROL, THE BRIDGE, THE TRUE GIFT, and THE CHRISTMAS BOX!

THURSDAY: A Thriller Thursday Collection: CREOLE BELLE from James Lee Burke, BLACK LIST from Brad Thor, LAST MAN from Vince Flynn, and BONES ARE FOREVER from Kathy Reichs!

FRIDAY: A Pimsleur course in a language of your choice!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Libraries are Forever: E-books and Print Books Can Coexist (infographic)

We find the relationship between paper (or print) books and ebooks very interesting and important to our ongoing mission of making reading more sustainable. Therefore I was happy to learn about a new infographic  of, which "examines the state of print books in the digital era, and why (contrary to popular belief) recent trends show that print books can in fact coexist with e-books."

So here it is - I hope you also find it valuable:

E-books Infographic


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pick-a-Woo Woo's new book, Guardians of Earth, is going green with Eco-Libris!

We are happy to announce a new collaboration with our partner, the Australian publishers Pick-a-Woo Woo, on a great new green children's book that was just released: Guardians of Earth: Adventures in Wild & Wonderful Places.

100 trees will be planted with Eco-Libris for this book. As you can see in the picture above, our logo is also added to the book's cover.

Based in Western Australia, Pick-a-Woo Woo Publishers are publishers of Mind Body Spirit books for children. Their inspirational books are designed to help children connect with their intuition and inner guidance, develop their awareness skills and enhance their Mind, Body, Spirit connection.

This book is a green book, not just because of the trees planted for it, but also because of the story it tells and the messages it sends to the readers. Here are more details about Guardians of Earth: Adventures in Wild and Wonderful Places:Adventures in Wild's Wonderful Places. 'Have you ever seen a penguin in your study; or a slinky, carpet python on your porch; a wedge-tail eagle resting in your sandpit or been possum spotting with a torch? We have! Follow the adventures of three lively lads. A Wild and Wonderful start to becoming a guardian of the earth.' 

"Pure delight! Highly recommended!" Andrew Chapman - Biologist, " Everyone will love the magic this series brings." Tracey Puckeridge - CEO, Steiner Education Australia

Author: Esther-Rose Mills
Esther Mills was born in Cape Town, South Africa. Her love for conservation and art are combined in 'Adventures in Wild and Wonderful Places', the first book in the 'Guardians of the Earth' series. Inspired by life in the Fitzgerald River National Park; where her husband Stephen worked as a national park ranger; and the curiosity of her three young sons, Esther is commited to reconnecting children with nature and the importance of sustainable living. The Mills family currently reside in the garden village of Nannup, Western Australia.

Copies of the book are available for purchase on MBS Press website.

Other Pick-a-Woo-Woo titles that go green with Eco-Libris:
The Star Who Lost Her Sparkle

The Boy Who Was Born To Love Frogs
Angel Steps
Ocean's Calling
KC the Conscious Came

Archie Angel to the Rescue

More information on these books and other titles published by Pick-a-Woo Woo can be found on their website -


Monday, December 3, 2012

Green book review: Visit Sunny Chernobyl by Andrew Blackwell

We didn't make it last Friday but we didn't forget it's time to review another green book, so here we go - this time we're reviewing Visit Sunny Chernobyl and Other Adventures in the World's Most Polluted Places by Andrew Blackwell (published by Rodale Books).

What this book is about?

For most of us, traveling means visiting the most beautiful places on Earth—Paris, the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon. It’s rare to book a plane ticket to visit the lifeless moonscape of Canada’s oil sand strip mines, or to seek out the Chinese city of Linfen, legendary as the most polluted in the world. But in Visit Sunny Chernobyl, Andrew Blackwell embraces a different kind of travel, taking a jaunt through the most gruesomely polluted places on Earth.

From the hidden bars and convenience stores of a radioactive wilderness to the sacred but reeking waters of India, Visit Sunny Chernobyl fuses immersive first-person reporting with satire and analysis, making the case that it’s time to start appreciating our planet as it is—not as we wish it would be. Irreverent and reflective, the book is a love letter to our biosphere’s most tainted, most degraded ecosystems, and a measured consideration of what they mean for us.

Equal parts travelogue, expose, environmental memoir, and faux guidebook, Blackwell careens through a rogue’s gallery of environmental disaster areas in search of the worst the world has to offer—and approaches a deeper understanding of what’s really happening to our planet in the process. 

Our review:
This book had me at the title. What a great start to a fun and lively non-fiction book (which I can’t say all that often). The author, Andrew Blackwell, has quite the way with story telling in this book. 

Andrew Blackwell travels to the earth's worst polluted places but it is so much more than just that. He takes us with him on his adventures. This includes Chernobyl's highly regulated and radioactive exclusion zone, Delhi, India, for a quick trip into the Yamuna river filed with sewage, a trip up north to the sand oil mines of Fort McMurray, then onward to the Amazon, and more. This author takes part in his own adventure as he sails the ocean, wanders through garbage and sewage, and radioactive Kiev. Then he tells of his adventure with a wonderfully entertaining sarcastic humor that has you giggling along with him. 

This book was not just a joy to read, it was also very informative. He brings to light the ways that people all over are polluting and destroying the world and don’t even see what they are doing. It was quite eye opening and somewhat scary and sad at the same time. This is a wonderful book. I hope Mr. Blackwell continues to write more on this subject, as I will definitely be in line for more. 

You can purchase the book on Amazon.


Raz @ Eco-Libris