An Anecdotal Index of Digital Reading Trends

The breadth of Peter Pauper Press's subject matter sometimes provides glimpses of unexpected reading patterns. Throughout our ebook catalog's expansion, we've noticed that particular titles thrive on certain ereading platforms. And although given the size of said platforms' overall consumer bases, I'm not sure you could really call Peter Pauper ebook customers a statistically significant sample, a few tendencies nonetheless bear out among our digital readership.

Without further ado, Peter Pauper Press's Highly Informal Index of eReading Trends:

P.S. If you've read our books digitally: Hi! We like you, and hope our forays into the digital age have brought you entertainment and edification. Say hello and let us know what you think of our ebooks in the comments!

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Restaurgatory: Travel Tuesdays and the Infernal Menus

If you weren't aware, fair readers, Peter Pauper publishes a lovely suite of travel guides. Among other things, said guides provide many (many, many) quick glimpses of their respective subject destinations' gustatory highlights. They feature a potpourri of dining options, selected to the best of our ability for merit, price range diversity, uniqueness, convenience, and notable appeal. When we update a travel guide or expand its content for an app, the author and editors working on it verify that the restaurants (and other venues) listed are still open, that their contact information and operating hours haven't changed, and that our description of the establishment is still accurate.

The last, as you might imagine, occasionally involves looking at an online menu.

I don't know if you have ever, in the course of a day, looked at around twenty of a city's choicest restaurants' menus. I do not recommend doing so if the most appetizing thing immediately available to you is the scent of your mango-vanilla hand sanitizer. You're liable to sink into a fugue of sorts, morosely pondering the utter inaccessibility of dragonfruit gelato capped with cacao foam and apricot nectar faux-caviar, or burrata nestled in an artful huddle of braised figs, or really great Sabich from the sort of hole-in-the-wall falafel shop your neighborhood would have if it featured enough pedestrian traffic for a hole-in-the-wall falafel shop.

Menu-purgatory has its perks, though. I first learned of Boston's unparalleled Flour Bakery through an update to our Boston guide, and discovered New York's renowned City Winery—now one of my favorite music venues, as well as a fine place for a bite—while working on the New York app. Other places I haven't yet visited, but have added to my bucket list: It's a bit pricey, but I'd love to get a drink from Bemelmans Bar, in order to sit and take in the murals of Central Park painted by the illustrator of the Madeline books. If I ever make it to Chicago, I think I'd have to turn in my vegetarian card should I not make it to Green Zebra. (Vegetable-inclined kindred, check out their menu only if you wish to discover vertiginous heights of food-coveting.)

Has anyone reading visited a restaurant featured in one of our guides? If so, we'd love to hear about it!

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Travel Tuesdays and the Grand Plan

Hello, stalwart desk chair adventurers! It’s been a turbulent few weeks in the New York area, and as some of you could probably use a diversion, I thought I’d chronicle a rather spectacular venture in which we were involved pre-Sandy. Long story short: San Diego native Jeff Niles used PPP’s New York Travel Guide iPhone app to propose to his now-fiancée, Diana Cuevas, in midair over the Statue of Liberty.

If silver screen romance is to be believed, the key components of an extraordinary marriage proposal (whether it takes place in one’s living room or on the moon) are delightful context and the element of surprise, both of which Jeff’s plan contained in spades. Our app’s role provided a little bit of each. In early October, Jeff wrote Shy Bear Apps, our partner in iPhone endeavors, to ask if they’d help him realize his ambitious vision.

Shy Bear worked with Jeff to determine more precisely what he wanted and how they might achieve it. They then postponed their regularly scheduled lives for a little while, and set about inventing the proposal functionality in time for Jeff’s trip to New York. Their start-to-finish window for this was about two days. Peter Pauper contributed mostly in a second-pair-of-eyes capacity, previewing iterations of the feature and offering (mostly helpful, I hope) suggestions. We discussed, considered, and finally submitted the proposal-equipped build to the App Store. Jeff downloaded and installed it.

A week later, Jeff took Diana on a helicopter tour of New York City. In the sky above its iconic skyline, he handed her his iPhone. They soared over America’s most famous green giant (sorry, Incredible Hulk), and a Push notification popped up on the phone’s screen, summoned by their proximity to Liberty Island. The notification led to a secret screen in the app containing Jeff’s proposal.

Excellent readers, she said yes!

Our congratulations to Jeff and Diana, and to Shy Bear for pulling off this not-insubstantial programming feat so swiftly and cleverly. We were honored to peripherally participate.








A quick postscript: If you reside in the tri-state area or another region affected by the hurricane (or the subsequent snowstorm, what even), and are still feeling its effects, our continued sympathies. I hope recovery efforts provide some relief shortly.

Another, less-topical postscript: We’ve decided to embrace subject matter variety! That is to say, we’d like to introduce a crafts (and other creative endeavors) section to Pauper’s Corner, and I’ve volunteered. Travel Tuesdays will therefore alternate with Artful Tuesdays henceforth! Join me next Tuesday, and we’ll draw dinosaurs. There’ll be excitement! Fun facts! Extremely large teeth!

Image credits:

First image – Luciano Mortula/

Second image – Shy Bear Consulting and Peter Pauper Press Interactive

Third and fourth images – Kindly provided by Jeff Niles for one-time use in this blog post.