September 3rd, 2010

e-reader coverage

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/02/technology/02couples.html

This gimmick here is when a "couple" disagrees about whether reading is better on an e-reader or on paper. It is just a gimmick, but the author really beat it to death. The real story, of course, which comes through quite clearly (so the author isn't a total loss) is that the transition from paper to whatever is going to be the situation going forward (almost certainly a mix of paper and e-readers, with that mix tilting towards e-readers over time, but probably never completely eliminating paper) is a tough economic proposition for publishers.

That Idiot Shatzkin is still in someone's contact list:

"“There is much more emotional attachment to the paper book than there is to the CD or the DVD,” said Mike Shatzkin, founder and chief executive of the Idea Logical Company, which advises book publishers on digital change. “It is not logical — it’s visceral.”"

Amazingly, in the _very next paragraph_, we learn that two women sharing a paper copy of _The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo_, "Ms. Conti ripped out sections of the book as she finished them so Ms. Aybar could read them." I, personally, have _no problems whatsoever with what these two women did to their copy of the first entry in the Larsson trilogy_. NONE. However, it's hard to see that right next to "emotional attachment to the paper book". It just makes no sense whatsoever. Could I buy a segue? Please?

Yet no segue could satisfy, since one of the women (the one who got to read stuff first) bought an iPad, and the other woman persists in saying things like this for attribution:

"“I feel more connected to a book than I do through the iPad,” said Ms. Aybar, who works at an education nonprofit group."

Here's the bit I continue to marvel at: the argument that you can't share books that you buy for an e-reader. R. bought me my first kindle that first Christmas they weren't really available. I got mine in time, but it didn't work, and I didn't get the replacement for a couple months. I bought the next version a little while after it came out, and I'm already love love loving my third version (altho I still haven't bought a DX). I also read e-books on my iPad, and on my MacBook Pro. I'd read them on my Blackberry, but my Blackberry is an old unsupported model. I am perfectly capable of handing someone one of my older kindles (and I _have_ on numerous occasions), if I want to loan them a book on it, or just so they can try out the e-reader and see if they might want a copy. At this point, I could loan out _two_ functioning e-readers (three if I were feeling very generous, which I cannot imagine happening), something not possible if I bought a single copy of a book. So e-books, at least for me, are more loanable than paper books -- even with DRM.