If there aren’t any pages, is it still a book?
Does an eBook’s page turn make a sound if there’s no one there to hear it?
What, I wonder, will it take for these miraculous devices to finally catch on? I’m sure it comes to no surprise to my regular readers, but I love books. I love reading and I love writing and I love the printed word, as I’ve written before. But, my personal library is starting to take up a lot of room. I’m not sure how many books I have, but it’s easily in the low thousands. I live alone, in a fairly good-sized house, without anyone, really to check my acquisition of lovely, lovely books, so, the numbers get away from me. But, I can say this, there are books in every room of my house. Every. Room.
Well, another thing that I’m sure will also not be a big surprise to my loyal readers, is how much I love science-fiction. Digital books, in some form or another, have been a staple of science-fiction for a very, very long time. It’s an idea that I love. I like the idea of a single, small device that’s able to access the entire encyclopedia, several newspapers, my favorite magazines, and whatever couple thousand books I might decide I just can’t live without. In a world, real or imagined, where space is becoming a premium, books that take up virtually no room would be a plus.
That’s why I can’t figure out the lack of market penetration that eBook readers have enjoyed! This article on BusinessWeek talking about the new, as yet mythical, revision of Amazon’s Kindle is what got me thinking about it. And, all the more for the fact that they’re as baffled as I am!
It’s not like the Kindle is the first eBook reader, either. The Sony Reader has been around for some time, in one form or another. And, there are others, too, like the iRex Iliad, to name just one. To me, these all seem pretty close in their execution, but none of them seem to have really caught on. Why?
No, really, I have no answers. Why do you think?