A little sidebar to our previous post that wonders whether Amazon’s Kindle can revolutionize the book industry…
1) When you buy an iPod, you can transfer all of your current music onto it. With Kindle you have to start buying all new books.
2) The paper-form book (aka “dead tree version”) is still the best technology for reading: fully portable, a nice thing to own and put on shelves, great for sharing, good in bed, at beach, etc. If you lose it or get it wet, no big deal—easily replaceable.
3) Music has constantly found new formats that improve on the old. Same for the iPod. It’s unquestionably better than that bigger, skipping CD player. Books haven’t been able to improve on the form for centuries.
4) Holding 100 albums in your hand is great. Holding 100 books? Not as much.
5) How often do you really go away for so long that you need 10+ books? (Bookstores are everywhere.)
6) Kindle is too expensive (see #1) and too big.
7) Books take much longer to consume, don’t work well in individual (shuffled) parts, and we often only read them once.
8.) Now that you can carry music on your phone, and the iPhone has bundled music, email, internet, and telephone in one small size, is anyone really willing to buy a bigger iPhone or Kindle just to read books on it?
9) Most of us spend more time listening to music than reading. We just do; it’s easier to do while we’re involved with other things.
10) Books: they’re better!
Seth Harwood podcasts his ideas on the publishing industry and his fiction for free at sethharwood.com. He is currently figuring out how publishers should best approach the new, emerging e-book market. Hear his ideas in his latest Hot Tub Cast™ and read them here soon. His first novel is JACK WAKES UP, in stores now.