walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

mockable eBook coverage is getting harder to find

But it's still out there!


by one "Keir Thomas"

When I first started making fun of ebook coverage, the standard commentary (oh-so-mockable) was of the form, "but I love the way books feel/smell/etc.". The next stage was, "I read a lot, but not enough to justify the price". After that came, "the iPad will kill the kindle". We seem to be in a minor carping phase.

I've been thinking recently about what happens to books when their owner dies. As long as the owner is alive, the owner is dealing with what to keep and what to get rid of. But when the owner dies, someone has to figure out what to do with the books. Typically, that turns into a disposal problem where really everyone wants them gone, but is kind of hoping they can get more money for them than is realistic, however occasionally you get spats about who gets to keep some fraction of the books.

A media library -- whether through iBooks or through Amazon -- presents an interesting problem. It's not at all obvious to me that you couldn't keep an account going after someone died, but if, for example, somebody died and I had to deal with their estate and that included a bunch of accounts including one at Amazon, I might want to be able to access both "their" books on my kindle(s) and "my" books on my kindle(s). The simplest solution is to just keep multiple kindles around, but perhaps Amazon could be convinced to merge libraries.

Thomas is envisioning a wildly different scenario: he wants to share his kindle with another person, without her using the device messing up his settings. "Yes, Kindles are dirt cheap, but not yet cheap enough for every family member to have one." On the one hand, I am sympathetic. On the other hand, given the number of iPads and kindles I have bought for other people, it's not just that you guys are too broke to afford two kindles. It's that no one is giving you presents, either. That makes me feel a little sad. But I'm pretty sure they'll get cheap enough for this to take care of itself.

Thomas has other complaints, many of which resolve to, hey, why isn't it also a: calculator, phrase dictionary, general purpose toy, calculator. He also wants more fonts and to be able to configure more things in general. He also whines about having to pay to have books bought other than on Amazon to the kindle. To which I respond, hey, I kinda like the defaults and/or who is going to pay for these things.

Still. It's just not as mockable as the book huffing of years ago. I'm feeling a little melancholy as a result.

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