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Ebooks aren’t there yet???

I am not sure that I agree with John C. Abell’s article in Wired5 Reasons Why E-Books Aren’t There Yet:

1. An unfinished e-book isn’t a constant reminder to finish reading it.  My kindle is always with me (that’s why I got into trouble when I dropped it in the bathtub!)

2. You can’t keep all your books in one place. I find this reason to be really interesting as ebooks are sorted by app and unless you use only one (like a Kindle) you will need some other app to put them all together.  Calling all librarians — you’ll have this one figured out soon I’m sure.  Just look at the “Amazon”-like book catalogs in many libraries.

3. Notes in the margin make you think.  Hmmmmm, white space in ebooks for readers to riff in…..interesting.

4. Ebooks are positioned to be disposable, but their prices aren’t. Well, there is some progress in the ability to share ebooks and libraries are finding more ways to lend ’em.  But we are definitely not there yet.

5. Ebooks can’t be used for interior design. No, but they take up a hell of a lot less space in your house or office!  Thank goodness!  And you can take your collection with you anywhere you go.

So maybe we aren’t there yet, but we’re getting closer!  And I can’t wait for all the ebook discussions at Internet Librarian 2011 .  There is a two day stream of programs planned, Ebook Evolution & Revolution, Oct 18/19 in Monterey CA  and it’s filled with publishers, distributors, aggregators, librarians from every type of library, industry watchers, and more!  Should be a great conversation.  Hope you can join in!

 

2 comments to Ebooks aren’t there yet???

  • Those kinds of lists drive me nuts with their ‘straw man’ arguments. Comparing paper books and ebooks is NOT the same as comparing a car with a horse and buggy, but thats what lists like this really do. It would be a pretty costly endeavor to try to maintain a household with equal access to the horse and buggy and a minivan, but the same is not true for someone with both a bookcase and a Kindle.

    The idea that its really an either/or thing is just silly. While I buy any novels I want to read as ebooks, I do not and will not be buying ‘coffee table’ books in that format any time soon.

    My thoughts on his five items:

    1. An unfinished e-book isn’t a constant reminder to finish reading it. – All my life I have had a near phobia about leaving the house with a book that I will finish before I get home. So I end up with piles of books with less than 50 pages left that I have to work through on weekends. This does not happen with ebooks since as soon as I finish one, say in a doctor’s waiting room, I can move on to the next one on my list.

    2. You can’t keep all your books in one place. I wonder how many books he owns? Last time I moved it involved giving a way a LOT of books and still packing and moving about 85 linear feet of books (we measured). With my ebooks, I not only can keep them in one place… a flash drive, Dropbox, home network storage, Amazon’s Kindle Management software, I can actually keep them in SEVERAL places as backups when appropriate. I could never do that with my print books.

    3. Notes in the margin make you think. EBook readers like the Kindle already let you highlight and take notes and let you see popular highlights by other readers. I think that’s enough. If people started physically inking up my print books I would think alright… I’d think about it beign the last time I loaned that person book. 🙂

    4. Ebooks are positioned to be disposable, but their prices aren’t. EBooks are no more disposable than print books. Loaning is nice and all, but if I knew an ebook would be a one time read and I’d never want to share it or read it again, I’d get it from a library or a friend…exactly like I do with print.

    5. Ebooks can’t be used for interior design. Ok, to me, this is just silly. If you want books for interior design reasons, visit a library during a booksale fundraiser or visit a used bookstore and ask about buying some books by the case or by the kilogram. However, as silly as it seems to me, its a non-issue for the same reason I said above… decorative books, like those coffee table books, are not going anywhere soon.

  • Sheila Willison

    I’m with you Jane! I can’t imagine where I’d store the over 300 books I have in my kindle. I am happy to have purged the books I had. I was just steps away from being a hoarder.

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