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And Father's Day Is STILL a Good Time to Buy a Book

Because Dad (and Gramps and Poppa) deserve the thought that counts    

16 June 2010

Consensus on Electronic Paper?

Wondering why independent booksellers have to stay on the sidelines?

The Wall Street Journal Online has a great video on explaining the current drawbacks of e-books.

Graham Beattie shares an interesting reporting of e-books. I like the quote, "e-books are good for those who prefer technology to reading.  'It’s in a format that appeals to them.'"

My boss Joe Wein has a schizophrenic time of it, as he loves both technology and books.  The ipod for reading Kindle-app enabled books and the Wall Street Journal was difficult and he preferred the paper versions.  However, having now gotten an ipad, he is happier, because the screen is larger and the app must be more adapted.  I still see him sitting back reading with the large newspaper spread in his two hands.  Electronic books are probably good for those like he who buy and read books recommended by others.  However, when he finishes something he wants to keep for reference or pride of ownership or sentimentality or other reasons, he would prefer a hardcopy, meaning a printed bound book.  He has said, as have others, that amazon.com should offer a discount to those who have bought a Kindle book and then, return to buy a paper version.  In fact, he thought the discount should be the entire price of the Kindle book, thus making the Kindle book purchase more of a free preview or a deposit on a printed bound book.

I echo the following sentiments:
Nevena Nikolic, book buyer of the independent store Time Out, says digital books are inevitable and she is “ready to jump on the bandwagon”...“We’re excited about e-books, we’re not afraid of technology.”
Books on First is unafraid, willing, ready, but not able.  Kindle is proprietary to amazon.com and as noted in the linked video above, there is no standard and thus, how can we even begin to figure out what bandwagon to jump on?

Someone out there must be thinking outside the box for us readers!! (I hope)  And, as it has been said, hope is not reality.  I do beg to point out, though, that in the case of most independent booksellers, our hope is not a denial of reality, just fingers crossed that we can hang on until we figure out what the new reality is going to be.

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