2nd Thoughts on Booktunes, future, shoppe

Online-Shopping-iconYesterday I chatted away, first with Wim at MOVIE★INK. over coffee, later with my wife over a nice meal. I went to Wim to work on his website, so we ended up talking about what to do with and expect from a niche website that is a combination of articles on a certain subject (his being movie posters, mine being literature) and an online shop. With Rose I talked about maybe going back to University and put my brains to use.

At the moment my options regarding work are a bit limited. I won’t get into details here with you, but painting or spending my days behind a computer both won’t do.

After joining the Putty Tribe, I got fairly enthusiastic about doing all sorts of things including the rebuilding of my Booktunes project. Emily & her posse make a welcoming online community that is both inspiring and motivating. Putting her book on how to build your own Multipod website to use, I came up with a fresh view on the core for the future Booktunes: a Readers take on Exploring / Expression / Inspiration / Quality.

So far regarding my new angle, about the common denominator for all articles to be published on Booktunes. With that I wanted to add an online shop selling literary merchandise that would be related to the articles published on the site. Only the best literature related gadgets from all over the world. Think T-shirts by Out of Print, Dodocases, Penguin mugs & such, Original Booktunes wear. I really felt like going for it, with a large list of ideas & items!

Now, after a few weeks away from my laptop, doubts start to creep in. Or maybe discussing the matter again with Wim & wife made me realise how running a web shop does not really fit with who I am, where I am at, where I want to go.  Investments, a decent margin, supply, marketing, promotion, social media… all things that in some way do not work for me now. And, more important, focusing on the future, maybe not the stuff to fully realise my potential.

According to my lovely wife Rose I would feel at home in the academic world. The way I think and work, my ethics, ideals, views… If there would ever be a moment in my life when I should choose between living my life as it goes (moving from one job to the other, being bored but kind of ok, without feeling too much stress and excitement), or finding a challenge that ultimately adds some depth to the things I do, discuss, put out… then that moment would be now.

I will talk about it with my brother tonight and get back to you and myself. And that is a promise, to you, my parents and myself. Thanks.

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Cookin’ with Kerouac: Brakeman Breakfast

Dharma BumAlthough more known as a drinker than a culinary writer, Jack Kerouac often talks food during his hikes and searchings as a Dharma Bum. Reading about his rambles with Gary Snyder reminds me of one of my favourite Kerouac fragments from “The Railroad Earth”.

Completely at ease, with no reason to rush, Jack prepares for a long day of working at the tracks. The perfect day for a brakeman seems to unfold itself from the moment he awakes watching a fresh coffee brew as it does. His writing made me feel like having a cuppa myself and start my day with a true Kerouac breakfast.


The beautiful piece of prose also raises a question. How can one work like a devil all day on just an omelette and café? Let’s be fair, Jack throws in some bacon and tops is eggs it off with a lick of peanut butter, but still. Organic, vegan, superfoods, paleo… on my own journey to what is best for me I sometimes wonder if the food in 2015 is as good as it once used to be. This morning, from wonderer to wanderer, I decide Jack’s diet is best bet:

I had heard that peanut butter and lettuce contained all the vitamins you should want, this after I had originally started to eat this combination because of the deliciousness and nostalgia of the taste

from “The Railroad Earth”,  Lonesome Traveler – Jack Kerouac
[amazon US | UK | DE]


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Literary Roadmap by Atlas Obscura

atlas-obscura-logo-a1a91ec8562f7df9cebb23b2e2fb2c96b9b82eb6ac2df4b665f8661382394bb4Atlas Obscura just published The Obsessively Detailed Map Of American Literature’s Most Epic Road Trips. Richard Kreitner and Steven Melendez did an amazing job mapping the routes 12 authors took with some of their greatest books.

From Mark Twain’s Roughing it (1872) to the more recent Wild (2012) by Cheryl Strayed, the map shows all stops tells what each writer wrote about it. I completely agree with Richard Kreitner’s thoughts on this project:

Most interestingly of all, for me at least, you can ruminate about what those differences say about American travel, American writing, American history.

I have been tinkering with a similar idea for a road map, and I am sure I will get back to this Atlas Obscura page quite often, and also very soon – the moment when Fitzgerald’s The Cruise of the Rolling Junk  drops on my doormat [amazon US | UK].

The Cruise of the Rolling Junk

What would be your favourite literature infused road trip? Anything fictional? The road is life!

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Putty Tribe – Booktunes with a multipotentialite twist?

IMG_0176Finding my way as a guy without a job, a bit depressed about my career options while battling some health issues, I started researching how a new Booktunes site would be the most sensible thing to work on by converting it into a webshop selling literary tees & such. Stumbling across the Emilie Wapnick and her Putty Tribe inspired me to free my thoughts on exploring many fields in both personal and professional life – and as it turns out to find a common denominator for Booktunes.com.

Puttylike is a Home for Multipotentialites. Emily Wapnick’s self invented word compromises those who ‘refuse to choose’ (as Barbara Sher’s book on Scanners entitles them). Her Puttylike posts really appealed to me, scrolling through them confirmed my ideas on not narrowing down, on letting inspiration rule and maybe finally put my inner restlessness to use by giving it a positive twist.

I bought her book Renaissance Business, joined the TribeThe book and took off. The book, worksheets and the community are very supportive and showed me a lot of new insights already. I managed to find a couple of common threads shared by my different interests and, what’s more important to you (since you are reading the Booktunes blog after all), a clear view on how to develop the new Booktunes site.

To be continued!


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Booktunes webshoppe – from reselling to kickstarting

Kerouac teddyCurrently I am looking for a job! My mission is to find out if I can make a profit by helping you get that nice Hemingway T-shirt, Mr. Men mug or, bear with me, a Penguin beach chair. (?) How about a nice combination of books, sounds, shoppings and bloggings?

Since my wrist got injured I had to give up painting houses. With that, lettering shopfronts & signs is no option for the near future. Hélas, selling wine on the market would be too heavy, though it would be fun and I am sure the concept I came up with would work.

Although selling shirts & shit is pretty far away from the original Booktunes concept (building a database of book soundtracks), I don’t think it is such a bad idea to start a Booktunes webshop for now  and see how I can incorporate the original Booktunes ambitions in a later stadium.

To conclude two weeks of research: Reselling literary merchandise means stocking Tees, dealing with low margins and investing a little money. Another option is producing original Booktunes fashion. Should I use Kickstarter to do an initial run of sweaters? Murakami fans know what twin gear I am talking about, and with the upcoming release of Pinball, 1973 this might not be such a bad idea. Better margins, more fun, very geeky, maybe too niche. All in no particular order.


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Booktunes webshoppe?

countrylife chairFor the next couple of weeks I will be investigating if it would work to open up a Booktunes shop. Literary merchandise is hardly ever seen in The Netherlands and, according to my research so far, shipping a single shirt or such from the US to EU brings high shipping costs. My aim is to find out if I can make a profit by helping you get that nice Hemingway T-shirt, Mr. Men mug or, bear with me, a Penguin beach chair (?).

I am not so sure about the Penguin beach chair, and I don’t really like talking about fashion, but I must confess I am pretty happy with the Henry Miller V-neck I bought in a roadside shack near the Big Sur. Same goes for my brother sporting his City Lights shirt.

Unhappy with the fact that Booktunes has been on the back burner for too long, I hope a shop will bring in money to get it going again. How about a nice combination of books, sounds, shoppings and bloggings?

What stuff would you like see easily available for EU shipping?



from the vault: Inspired by Murakami

Goodreads icon 380At the beginning of this new year Goodreads member Vincent posted a thread about reversal of the Murakami & Music combination:

Its often spoke about how Murakami has been influenced by various types of music but does anyone know of any notable musicians that have claimed to have been influenced by his writings?

I had to dig deep through folders and gigs to find the original Booktunes page dedicated to Murakami-inspired music. Noting that by now the list would be a lot bigger – apparently mainstream artist Lykke Li found some inspiration as well – I hope you and Vincent enjoy the tunes on display.

Screenshot of the original Booktunes Music inspired by Murakami page (click to enlarge/zoom):


Booktunes - Music inspired by Murakami (20130307)


Raisa: El caso es salir de aqui 

Free album download


Ryan Anthony Francis – Wind Up Bird Preludes

iTunes link


Lykke Li: Get Some – inspired by Wind-Up Bird’s Creta Kano

Youtube link

If you have tunes to ad, please share your thoughts in the comments field!

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MOVIE★INK. Film Poster Masterclass

MOVIE-INK-FB-LOGOSo my one best ambitious film friend who is serious about setting up shop, interviews my other best film friend who set up shop already. The result? A Masterclass about Film Posters with great insights into the world of an Amsterdam poster collector. And seller. Now what’s with the nipple poster?

The following interview by BelleOog shows Mr. MOVIE★INK. discussing the different kinds of posters in his collection. Good stuff for anyone who enjoys movies, ink, paper, real stuff.

If you want to know more about Wim & his MOVIE★INK. Gallery watch the more personal interview here. If you like wondering through the beautiful streets of De Jordaan feel free to pop by and be amazed. 

BelleOog at YouTube
MOVIE★INK. site, address & opening hours

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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and Liszt’s Years of Pilgrimage

Tsukuru GroningenThe title of Murakami’s latest Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage clearly refers to Liszt’s three suites. Tsukuru often plays his favourite record, left  by a lost friend, as it reminds him of a lost time. Not exactly homesickness, but plenty of Temps du Mal.. and much more less obvious references.

Apparently when the book got released Universal Music sold out of hardcopies (CD’s that is). Japan and the rest of the world then had to queue up online for a digital alternative. Maybe the whole Booktunes project (building an online source of book related music and musical novel knowledge) was not such a bad idea at all.

The power of the music made it all possible, Everytime he listend to the music, […] a vivid recollection of them appeared.

With the original Booktunes site is still on the back burner in the kitchen of the lab, I decided to upload Side B of Tsukuru’s treasured vinyl on the Booktunes YouTube channel. You can check Monk & Elvis by clicking their names. Enjoy!

‘First Year: Switzerland’. He sat down on the sofa, closed his eyes and concentrated on the music. […]

Dutch translation of the new Murakami novel now available at Atlas/Contact, UK/US release is set for mid-august (Amazon UK/US).

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Murakami Festival Amsterdam – Where is Booktunes?

Murakamifest-250pxAmsterdam has a Murakami Festival coming up! On Januari 11th, 15 small book clubs will spread throughout the city centre to read and discuss their favourite author. Hosted by the likes of Anna Drijver, Jeroen Vullings and Philip Huff this could be a fun nite out. If you do have tickets for this sold out Litfest you will get a bonus:  an advance copy of Murakami’s yet to be published De kleurloze Tsukuru Tazaki en zijn pelgrimsjaren (Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage).  

I do feel a tad bit sad missing out on this event. Once I completed my studies with a thesis on Mr. Murakami, and in the early days of Booktunes we were part of the 1Q84 book launch taking care of the musical program. “Well, Booktunes is on the back burner and you are reading Bukowski at the moment” is what my wife said.

Her remark got me thinking. Would I want to play (a role) at this fest? How? What about my plans regarding Booktunes in general? When do I see Job & Mina again and decide where to take this project?

Regarding the first and second question: Maybe not. I quit dj-ing and don’t see any other role for me on festivals. Seriously.. personally..  festivals, public performances and get-togethers are music things. I do like to share thoughts on books, but preferably with my brother or Will (who is great).

The happening did get me fired up on the future of Booktunes though. I would love to build a new site that would function as a music and knowledge base for all music related books. An online community? Essential and a starting point will be the option to listen to the tunes straight away, no matter where you are. To have tunes at hand while reading.

So I re-upped the original Booktunes Soundtrack for Murakami’s After DarkA good opportunity to start testing some new music players as the WordPress audio options are way too basic (arent they?). Basic, but still worth tuning in to listen to some Murakami music and get ready for the festival on Januari 11th. Enjoy!

More info on the Murakami Festival here (in dutch).

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