Turn the Screen,…er, page

Commercials like this give me the same kind of ominous chills characteristic to Orwell’s 1984…

Someone, somewhere, is reading 1984 on a tablet or an E-Reader…

More foreboding:

Report Says Kindle, Nook, Other eReaders Wrecking Publishing Industry

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3 Responses to Turn the Screen,…er, page

  1. For a moment I thought the book was going to win, for a moment –I honestly slapped my forehead when the kindle won.

    This is a trying time for books and libraries –but like all stories that follow the Hero formula (think Joseph Campbell) –good always wins… (that’s what The Sisters hang on to!)

    Thanks for this. I am guessing you’ve enjoyed The New Spice commercial Some good news for libraries.

    We are gong to be visiting libraries in Oakland County next week –we hope to stop by and visit our old library –we lived in Ferndale in the 90’s! We signed up to follow along –we enjoy what you are posting.

  2. First, I should no doubt disclose that I have an e-book reader. It’s a Sony pocket edition. I picked it because it will handle the open epub format as well as the “digital rights managed” versions. The screen area is roughly equivalent to a page in a mass market paperback. By me, that makes it small enough to be convenient.

    What will be most important in determining how e-book readers affect the publication of traditional books is how useful the devices are for people who read books. Since getting mine, I have read about equal numbers of e-books and ordinary books, including some that I have checked out of the library. I’ve found it most useful for acquiring – at no cost other than a few minutes of my time – interesting publications available free at Project Gutenberg.

    Books available from Gutenberg are old enough to be out of copyright. Not all are classics in any sense, though some are. At any rate, if you find something that might be interesting and it is free, then you get it. If you find it is not really worth your time, then you just stop reading it. You haven’t lost any money, and have lost no more time than you want to lose.

    Books that come with restrictions on that prevent you from transferring them to other devices, lending them out, and generally keep you from doing things you could do with ordinary books are, in my opinion, a very bad deal. If you are going to lose your entire e-library when your handheld device is lost or broken, then restricted e-books such as those available from Amazon for their Kindle are especially bad as purchased items. I think the price on these should be very low, as in less than a dollar, to compensate.

    The restriction on e-books borrowed from the library – they are free but will self-destruct in a few weeks – seems reasonable. This is equivalent to the terms for borrowing a paper copy, without the inconvenience of overdue fines or transporting physical books.

    I do not think that e-books will destroy print publishing any more than television destroyed radio. However, radio and movies and television and the internet have all affected print publishing by supplementing it, and so will e-readers. In the 19th Century, print publishing had a near-monopoly on spreading news. Print publishers, especially those of periodicals, were pretty much able to decide was and was not news. That monopoly is long since broken, as is the monopoly of the recording business in deciding what music is or is not popular. Breaking monopolies is not a good thing for individuals or companies who were making money from the monopolies, but it is good for our society as a whole.

    Now, if we could just break the monompoly of the oil industry on transportation fuel …

    Art Myatt

  3. Pingback: Turn the Screen addendum | Ferndale Public Library Observer

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