January 25th, 2010

some more comments from the ars technica thread

I think the most bizarre statements come from the people with a lot of history with e-books. I think, in fact, that so many gadget buyers have been screwed so many times by ebooks, that it's hard for them to give the kindle a fair shot (or, for that matter, any e-ink screen reader a fair shot).

But this one's juicy. Check it out.

"I remember reading nothing about people loving the smell and texture of horses. In fact, I remember reading that people thought it was the *cars* that were smelly and loud and were many steps backwards."

Er. I guess let's just start with the extended section in either _Cheaper by the Dozen_ or _Belles on Their Toes_ (I forget which, but it almost does not matter, as _Belles_ continues what _Cheaper_ started) about how sad it was that it was so tough to get good manure for the garden any more, now that cars had so thoroughly replaced horses. Lots of people loved horses, but there was a significant horse shit problem in cities. Cars were considered a huge step forward in terms of cleaning up cities, because they didn't produce shit. Suggesting that people didn't love horses qua horses is just a bunch of foolishness.


"People may love a song, but they don't love the media it is set into."

While Brett Milano (author of _Vinyl Junkies_) is more or less agnostic to media (he's a live music guy), there are _plenty_ of people out there who luuuurrrvvve vinyl. Also, there are people who get all squee over vacuum tubes, but no one brought that up. Okay, I did.

"No one forms any kind of intangible bond with a library of books, personal or public domain."

Really? Um.

Kudos to this guy for noting that some of Rocket eBooks fans were people who wanted more large print selection.

All of these, however, are minor, compared to this piece of foolishness:

"They just wanna make a bookPod: "5,000 books in your pocket". no one needs that. no one WANTS that. They just want the one book. One at a time. And they want to maximize their ENJOYMENT of the book and stay with that book as they make the journey through it"

Oh, dear. I mean, there had _already been_ multiple commenters saying that they bought an ebook/ereader/wtf because they could stop carrying several books around at once. Some of them didn't even read that fast -- it took them weeks for each book, but they had a half dozen in flight at a time and picked based on mood and electronics supported that habit much better than paper. If you're going to claim that someone isn't "getting it", you should make a slightly stronger effort yourself to "get" it.

Slightly. I'm not asking much. Really.

ETA: Different commenter, equally juicy:

"If I could only take my entire library to Cabo with me." ... Do you hear anyone say these things?"


"Music lends itself to portability and short stints."


"We all have easy reads that you can pick up and put down easily, beach reads if you will, but for the most part readers want more extensive time."

Okay, I really draw the line here. I tend to read the heftier non-fiction, academic titles typically, in short stints, because I hit things like that 50% off coupon and have to think about it for a while (say, about two romance novels worth) before continuing. By contrast, the trashy fiction I read more or less continuously, subject to having to pay attention while driving. And we'd already had multiple commenters saying they wanted to read on a tiny device they were already carrying _because_ all their reading was done in these short, interstitial moments (grocery store, bus stop), and big complaints happened when devices were slow to boot.