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- Not to be confused with the card game Bluke.
The term "blook" has been actively used since the 1990s, by librarian/collector, Mindell Dubansky, to describe unique or manufactured objects and ephemera that are made in imitation of a bound book or several bound books standing together. A blook is a replica of a book and has no text. The term "blook" is a shortening of "looks like a book."
These items can be found as early as the 16th century and were made in many countries. They can take the form of memorial objects, advertising and packaging, toys and games, household appliances and others. For example the "bible regal" was a form of late-Medieval portable organ that looked like a book.
Blogs as books
With the advent of the blog people started to publish books serialized on their blogs. Chapters are published one by one as blog posts, and readers can then subscribe to the blook via an RSS feed, tag it and comment on it. This type of blook was popularized by Tom Evslin in September 2005, with the launch of hackoff.com, a murder mystery set in the dot-com bubble.
An early blook was written by Tony Pierce in 2002 when he compiled selected posts from his one-year-old blog and turned the collection into a book called "Blook". The name came about when Pierce held a contest, asking his readers to suggest a title for the book. Jeff Jarvis of BuzzMachine won the contest and subsequently invented the term, as documented here. Pierce went on to publish two other blooks, How To Blog and Stiff.
Print-on-demand publisher Lulu inaugurated the Lulu Blooker Prize for blooks, using the definition of a book deriving from blog content, which was first awarded in 2006. There are various ways for creating such books, including Blurb's BookSmart. Just as Web-based services like TypePad, Blogger, and LiveJournal lowered the barrier-to-access to online publishing, such tools lower the barrier to publishing books.
The printed blook phenomenon is not limited to self-publishing. As reported in this article in The Book Standard and elsewhere, several popular bloggers have signed book deals with major publishers to write books based on their blogs. It must be noted, however, that this trend has recently started to wane. An amNY article points out that publishers are starting to realize that blog popularity does not translate to sales. Blog to book conversions via traditional publishing houses still happen, but the focus has shifted from blog popularity to content quality.
The term "blook" is one of a short-list of new words being considered by a panel of experts for inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary according to an article that appeared in the news blog of Guardian Unlimited in October 2006 and is a runner-up for Word of the Year according to that article.
- Digital library
- List of digital library projects
- Expanded Books
- Networked book
- OpenReader Consortium
- Project Gutenbergde:Blook