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Sunday I was lucky enough to have the chance of attending a book reading (well, a passage actually) by Cory Doctorow! The event took place at Flyleaf Books right here in Chapel Hill, a charming independent book store that will most definitely see me and my kids more often from now on (plus, they’re right next to Foster’s Market and Flying Burrito)!

Cory came across as a very humble, down to earth kind of guy and it didn’t take long for the crowed to feel right at home. He took the time to answer random questions while we waited for some of the late arrivals, and once the clock struck 13:00 he proceeded to read a passage from his new book, “For The Win”.

Ever since I listened to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy" read by Douglas Adam himself, I learn to appreciate listening to books when they’re read by their respective authors. I mean, who best to convey what the characters really meant, the right intonation of voice, then the author of a book, right?

[caption id=”attachment_1085” align=”alignright” width=”192” caption=”For The Win by Cory Doctorow”]For The Win by Cory Doctorow[/caption]

So, you could say that I had pretty high expectations about this event… and I was not disappointed! The reading was absolutely awesome and Cory is a great story teller, grabbing everyone’s attention, the entire room getting completely absorbed by the narrative, holding their breath… and then he left us hanging there at a major event of a scene, as if urging us to grab a copy of the book (you can download it free of charge too) to see what happens next!

After a round of applause, he started answering questions from the audience, starting with the younger kids that were present. A couple of things that came out of the Q&A session:

  • Cory uses Ubuntu on his Thinkpad;
  • When he writes on Linux, all of his writings are done using gEdit, which he pronounced “Get it”; :)
  • He saves his writings in *.txt format, so that he’s not tied to a specific text editor;
  • He uses a python script called “flashbake" to synchronize his writings and some metadata related to his environment (i.e. current music he’s listening to, the weather where he is, etc) to a git repository;
  • In response to why he makes his books freely available for download, he gave us 3 reasons. One of them: better have his work out there and known to others, than be an obscure author and never see your work out there!

[caption id=”attachment_1086” align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”Cory Doctorow signing our book”]Cory Doctorow signing our book[/caption]

Before we left, I got in line to get my “For The Win” book signed and take a picture with Cory. As he was signing the book my oldest daughter turns to him and proudly says: “I want to be a writer when I grow up.” To which he replied, “Write a little bit every day. Make sure to end in the middle of a sentence. Pick it up the next day and continue it.” I can tell that she took it to heart!


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