Chapter 3: The Internet library of Babel

Reading in an endless book

The Internet is all in one - particularly for literature
  • efficient global info-machine
  • multimedia archive
  • free encyclopedia
  • book seller and distribution channel
  • discussion forum
  • huge library
  • promotion-tool
  • endless database
  • gaming zone

Some may say the better book, the bigger one, the more flexible one.

Information channel

Internet is an efficient information and promotion channel for "minority programs":
Estonian Literature Centre
Dokumentationsstelle für neuere österreichische Literatur

Efficient databases:
Lexikon der Schweizer AutorInnen
Literapedia (literature from Berne)
British Council: List of writers

Currently a website is a must for every institution.
→ Ingeborg Bachmann Centre for Austrian Literature


Market place and distribution channel

Real books online
  • Various, amazon etc.
Audio books
→ alternative reseller:
GoogleBooks (with the objective of a virtual bookshop)
Books out of Print
Books on demand

Librairies and archives

The network of the european libraries:

Free access to free books and free audio books

Early printed books in flexible PDF copies

Austrian Books Online - public private partnership of the Austrian National Library with Google
- about 600'000 (copyright free) works online
- about 180 millions of pages
- the complete inventory of historic books from 16th to 19th century
- 5000 digitized books per year
See FAQ (in german)

About Google Books
What about author's rights?
Google tried to turn the legal ways: the authors has to object a use
See the Google Books Amended Settlement Agreement


A Forum for the literature

Internet is a perfect discussion forum. Some blogs are popular, some are more scientific

Readers' Radio
Internet audio stream is easy - and cheap to realize

Agenda (currently updated)

  • Book Festivals (
  • Wer liest wo? (

Literary criticism / Book reviews

Internet will replace the press as the best forum for criticism. The space is no problem.
But: How to create a trustworthy label?

Some successful examples:

 But: What about the fees?