Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Where to begin...

The whole e-reader thing is such a non-story for us that we've successfully ignored it now for ages. Occasionally however an article is thrust under your nose that just has to be addressed and exposed for the inanity, ineptitude and stupidity it represents; from the Washington Post.

Life is actually too short to repudiate this piece and after reading this quote:

Weinstein starts with the handiest analogue: iPod and MP3 player sales. He notes that between 2003 and 2008, digital music sales grew from 2 percent of the US market to 33 percent

Do I have to explain? Do I have to?


  1. Darth KindleJune 24, 2008

    Ah, my son, you are right to despair.

    But Weinstein's Handy Analogue may have a point. Granted, my looks are ugly and my buttons are awkward as sh*te to use, but who knows, with a more considered, elegant bit of product design, and some saturation advertising aimed at the shrunken brains and googly-eyed generation, I swear by the light of my ever-extending saber, my e-day will come.


  2. All right, I'll bite. Explain.

  3. AnonymousJune 24, 2008

    I have always been a e-book skeptic but the article made me think again. If you cut out the physical book and distibution and all the intermediaries still get a healthy cut then presumably a book's price can come down signifigantly. All you have to ask yourself is at what sort of discount per book would you be tempted to get an e-book reader? What's your price?

  4. Presumably your explanation is "books is not music". Or am I missing something?

  5. Darth KindleJune 26, 2008

    Sort of related thought...

    ...does the killing off of the hardback thin the wedge-end? And if the well-crafted and beautiful object that is a sewn and bound book can become something unusual and "collectable" with "limited editions", why not kill off the physical body of all books and let them hang in the ether, and maximise profit margins for the business of publishing...?

    (sorry for the incoherence and mangled syntax- I am supposed to be a St*r W*rs character after all)


  6. I think what Adam was trying to say is can we just wait until books as we know them are dead? And then talk about it?

    Obviously I don't think this is about to happen. Our bestseller at C & P is the new Hardback James Bond and we are selling it for £18.99.

    We have just opened another bookshop made of walls etc and it is doing very well indeed.

    So let's just deal with this whole issue when we're dead ok?

    I think we may be waiting some time...

  7. Despite being an unrepentant book lover and collector I am quite excited by the Kindle and all its techno-ilk. It's just not logical to suggest that either the Kindle will replace books, or that books would have to disappear in order to justify the Kindle's existence. They fulfill two completely different needs.
    The Kindle is just a gadget - it'll never change how I feel about books as physical objects. I can't wait to be able to go on holiday without lugging several kilos of novels I couldn't decide between. (However, my concern is that the downloadable books will be mainly bestsellers and the usual front of house biographies.)
    I worry more about publishing cut back that mean most paperbacks yellow and fall apart after just a few years. I've got books published during the Second World War that have lasted better than a modern Penguin. This does more to undermine books as covetable objects than the ability to download them.