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Maybe I was wrong about e-books August 15, 2010

Posted by pacejmiller in Blogging, Technology.
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Admittedly, I have not been the biggest e-book supporter out there.  I like the look, feel and smell of a real book, made out of paper, in my hands.  I’m not crazy about the idea of purchasing “intangible books” from the Internet because I feel like I should get getting stuff like that for free!

Having said that, I am starting to see a lot more people out there with Kindles and in particular i-Pads on the streets, reading e-books.  I tried it out a couple of times myself at some electronic stores.  And no, it’s not the same — but maybe someday I could get used to it.

A friend of mine recently alerted me to a couple of articles which indicate that e-books are on the rise.  First, this depressing article from Crikey about how two of Australia’s biggest book retailers, Borders and Angus & Robertson, are struggling to stay afloat.  Book orderings are now made very cautiously, and in very small quantities.  If you thought it was hard to get on shelves before, it’s now harder than ever.

Secondly, this article by Michael Wolf entitled “How e-Books Won the War”.  I wouldn’t exactly go that far myself (there’s still some life in the old hardcopy I reckon), but things are starting to look up for e-books and down for traditional books.  Stieg Larsson has become the first million e-book author, and Kindle prices are set to drop below $100, possibly as early as Christmas.  Barnes & Noble, the massive US book retailer, is in strife as well.

Have I been wrong about e-books?  Are they really going to take over the world, and at a quicker pace than any of us could have anticipated?

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1. C.H. Scarlett - August 15, 2010

With this nasty recession/depression, I think people have learned quite a few things that will carry us on in the future. One, how to pinch pennies. Two, how no matter what, we need to get Greener. People have simplified their lives and one of the ways to do that, is to simplify your living space. While I absolutely adore my library, I will admit that my shelves are stocked with reference books compared to the very few fiction books that I liked enough to read more than once. I believe Ereaders help with this. People can go online and grab books that they want and THEN if they absolutely LOVE something, they can snag it in print. No more hundreds of books eating up space in the closets because you didn’t like them that much to begin with AND or you have no place to put them.

I don’t think this will affect getting books into Book Stores…but we will have POD (Print on Demands) more available to a consumer. Machines have already been built and are working themselves out. Now the shopper will be able to go into the bookstore, scan the isles, open, look, sample a book BUT if they want it, then they take it up front and their very own personal copy is printed up right there before their eyes.

For those who stand firm on Traditional Publishers (who are struggling) you can still have them. BUT instead of having millions of books gathering dust in boxes inside of warehouses of wasted paper and ink…losing money….these businesses will have to get wise, smarter, and GREEN. They will no doubt go to POD and sometime in the near future we will see these machines in place.

Ereaders are dropping in cost and more and more companies are creating them to make more competition. (That’s good for us because that means the price will drop.) This is our future, BUT, I don’t see a reason for anyone to worry. For those who cling to the romanticism and fantasy of holding a book and pages in your hands…you still can. But you will probably be more picky as to what you buy (in print), instead of grabbing whatever (you’ll do that with Ebooks). Now, I believe we will have the best of both worlds.

Great article.


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