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The college textbook is on track to becoming a relic of the paper-and-ink era. On campuses around the country, professors and students are selecting digital versions of books that can be read off of a computer screen.
Most college students are used to going online for music, videos and news — so why not textbooks?
One college in rural Missouri is the first trying to go entirely book-free.
From Shelf-Awareness, a discussion of e-books and print books from booksellers.
From Rachel Whang of Atomic Books, Baltimore, MD: I don't understand why anyone would go to a bookstore to download e-books, as some have proposed. Do people go to record stores to download music? No. People don't go to places to download anything. That's why they like it. And that's why music-selling stores are going away.
From Jodi Kaplan who runs Squidoo lens: For print and bookstores to survive, they have to add value. Bring authors in, host book groups, have authors blog on their sites (or connect to the authors' blogs). Send e-mails to loyal customers informing them of new books they might like to read. Invite people into the store to form connections with the store, the authors and other readers.
Michael Herrmann of Gibson's Bookstore, Concord, NH: As not only a bookseller but a booklover, I can see why e-books would be priced lower than real books. Not only do you not have printing, storing and distribution costs at the producer's end, but you also do not have a permanent artifact at the consumer's end. That is to say, e-books are not collectible. They are ephemeral. There is no guarantee that they will be readable or retrievable in two, 10, 50 years. They have less value than a real book. So perhaps they should cost less. -- Read More
The Consumer Electronics Association estimates that about 538,000 e-readers were shipped in 2008, representing 235 percent growth in the market from 2007. While this week's unveiling of Amazon's Kindle 2 makes the device the hot item in e-readers, the Kindle's hardly alone in the expanding market for e-reading devices and applications.
Channelweb.com saved you the trouble of rounding them all up by taking a long look at what's out there.
See pictures of the Jinke, Netronix EB-100, Readius, and other readers you may not have heard of.
I am predisposed to dislike the Kindle because I love books.
.........Yesterday, though, I started thinking seriously about the environmental comparison between print and technology and was struck by the potential advantage of well-wrought and properly made digital readers.
.........Even before it hits the storage shelf, each book has a long history of pollution. Last March, the Green Press Initiative investigated the environmental ramifications of the publishing industry, and their findings were daunting.
Full piece at the Huffington Post
Scott Douglas writes on his blog that the somewhat new Kindle update makes pages turn quicker and the Web load faster; he also notes a still unexplained feature called "Sync to Furthest Page Read."
The New Yorker, Narrative Magazine, and several regional newspapers have also made their way onto Kindle.
The Kindle 2 has a feature which allows the book to be read out loud. And wow, does this have the Author's Guild up in a tizzy.
"They don't have the right to read a book out loud," said Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild. "That's an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law."
Amazon is moving forward with the rather logical opinion that there's no way a person would confuse the computerized text to speech voice with an audiobook.
So all of you youth librarian types doing story time? STOP IT. You're violating copyright and you're probably doing it more ways than one since you're not only reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom out loud, but you're putting on a public performance.
In the Personal Tech section of the New York Times there is an article titled, What We Need on a Kindle
It starts: Amazon hasn’t even begun to ship the new Kindle. And, indeed, I haven’t even seen one yet, only photos.
But I can’t help but start thinking of all the things I’d have done differently if I was Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon. Or if I was Howard Stringer, the chief executive of Sony, the maker of the competing Sony Reader.
The article then details those suggestions. The article has a comments section.
Here was one of the comments:
How about the ability to borrow books from your local library and read them on your Kindle? The inability to do that is the only thing that’s preventing me from buying one.