"I don’t hate anything about e-books or e-book readers or tablets. There’s a lot of discussion about that, and I think it’s misplaced. The problem I have is whether we believe in the book itself.
To me a book is not just a particular file. It’s connected with personhood. Books are really, really hard to write. They represent a kind of a summit of grappling with what one really has to say. And what I’m concerned with is when Silicon Valley looks at books, they often think of them as really differently as just data points that you can mush together. They’re divorcing books from their role in personhood.
I’m quite concerned that in the future someone might not know what author they’re reading. You see that with music. You would think in the information age it would be the easiest thing to know what you’re listening to. That you could look up instantly the music upon hearing it so you know what you’re listening to, but in truth it’s hard to get to those services."
- Jaron Lanier: The Internet destroyed the middle class
"Maybe books won’t survive the transition to digital devices, any more than scrolls survived the transition to movable type… what the internet portends is not the end of the paper container of the book, but rather the way paper organized our assumptions about writing altogether."
- Clay Shirky | Is the book a crucial cultural artifact, or just an outdated container for content?
"We may be discovering that e-books are well suited to some types of books (like genre fiction) but not well suited to other types (like nonfiction and literary fiction)… the e-book may turn out to be more a complement to the printed book, as audiobooks have long been."
- Nicholas Carr | Is the book a crucial cultural artifact, or just an outdated container for content?
America’s first bookless public library will look ‘like an Apple Store’
Bexar County, Texas says that it will open the first 100 percent digital public library system in the country, unveiling plans for its first location this past week. The plan has been in the works for a while, headed up by Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, who says he was inspired to create a digitally native library while reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs.
» via thisistheverge
"It’s clear the publishers are trying to band together to give themselves even deeper pockets. Somewhere Jeff Bezos is doing his signature cackle that the publishers have been baited into trying to play his game. It’s like bringing a knife to a gun fight, when the other guy has a semi-automatic gun that shoots crazy cash and distribution. Bezos knows what anyone with a basic grasp of math knows: They could all merge together and still not out-spend him. He can lose money on every big book deal; the publishers cannot. You think he’s not crazy enough to keep losing money until he dominates an industry? Try him.
…Publishers can only be gutted by Amazon, because they put themselves in a position where cash advances and placement in bookstores were the only two things they brought to the table. And guess what? As Tim Ferriss’s moonwalking-blog attests, if you have Amazon, you don’t need either of those."
- All six mega-publishers can merge, and they still won’t win Amazon’s game
Ebooks Made of YouTube Comments Invade Amazon Kindle Store
From the press release:
The Internet slang of YouTube comments is treated as fresh dialogue, and sold through Amazon.com in the form of massive, self-generated e-books. In an auto-cannibalistic model, user generated content is sold back to the users themselves, parasitically exploiting both corporations: YouTube and Amazon.
5 Reasons Why E-Books Aren’t There Yet — Wired.com
4) E-books are positioned as disposable, but aren’t priced that way.
This one is simple, and also easy to oversimplify since people still have to get paid. But until e-books truly add new value, the way Hollywood did with DVD extras, it’s just annoying to plunk down $13 for what amounts to a rental. E-books cost virtually nothing to produce, and yet the baseline cover price, set by publishers, is only fractionally below the discount price for the print version of new releases.
E-books can’t be shared, donated to your local library shelter, or re-sold. They don’t take up space, and thus coax conflicted feelings when it is time to weed some of them out. But because they aren’t social, even in the limited way that requires some degree of human contact in the physical world, they will also never be an extension of your personality.