Download The Universe: A New Website for Science eBooks Reviews

Lots of books are published every year. When it comes to science books, ebooks fills that gap between too-long-for-the-magazine/too-short-for-a-print-book. Download the Universe is a collaborative solution to keep pace with providing peer-reviewed science ebooks. From Discover: “Introducing Download the Universe: A new science ebook review” —

“For over a year now, ebooks about science have been published at a remarkable clip, but there’s been a serious gap in this growing ecosystem: a way for people who want to read new ebooks about science to find out about new projects. Because science ebooks are so new, they have a way of falling between the cracks. Conventional book reviews aren’t very interested; blogs only sporadically pay attention

… We are fifteen writers and scientists who want to explore this new form. On a regular basis, we’ll be delivering new reviews of ebooks about technology, medicine, natural history, neuroscience, astronomy, and anything else that fits under the comfortably large rubric of science. We also define ebooks generously–everything from a plain-vanilla pdf on an author’s web site to a Kindle Single to an elaborate iPad app.”

And from Wired: “Download the Universe Right Here: A New Site for Science E-Book Reviews

“We may now be at a new stage in the history of science books. In just the past few years, tens of millions of people have bought tablets–iPads, Kindles, Nooks, and more–on which they are reading books …

Ebooks are once again redrawing the boundaries. Walk into a book store and look at the science section. Most of the books are between about 200 and 400 pages. Most are created by large publishing houses. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong about a 50-page book, of course. It just doesn’t fit comfortably into the publishing business–a business that has to contend with costs for printing books, storing them in warehouses, shipping them to book stores, and accepting returned books. Ebooks create an economic space for the very short book (and the very long one).”

I could see more of these sorts of collaborative projects cropping up for different ebook genres.

Check out Download The Universe website.


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I run the ThinkLab at the University of Cambridge, and research digital habits, productivity, and wellbeing.

tyler shores cambridge

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