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~生まれた町で夢見てきた...~
"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
The ebook dream just won't die. 
20th-Nov-2007 12:34 pm
Reading
All of the things I said about the Sony iteration awhile back still apply to Amazon's Kindle. First and foremost, the cost is still much to high for the product that it provides. (Price of the machine aside, I'm not paying $9.99 for what is essentially the privilege of reading a book without the typical materiality one would expect of a book. Note to Amazon.com/publishers/writers: For me, the price ceiling is $3.99...and, yes, I have thought about this.)

And correct me if I'm wrong, but its free wireless capacities will not work abroad. Which means that its functionality as a lightweight traveling library is much reduced.

I also think that the brand name is not particularly auspicious. While reading the press release PW e-newsletter article about the Kindle, I kept having visions of...burning. Might I point out that associating books with fire probably isn't the smartest of marketing gimmicks?
Kindle \Kin`dle\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Kindled; p. pr. & vb. n.
Kindling.] [Icel. kyndill candle, torch; prob. fr. L.
candela; cf. also Icel. kynda to kindle. Cf. Candle.]
1. To set on fire; to cause to burn with flame; to ignite; to
cause to begin burning; to start; to light; as, to kindle
a match, or shavings.
Comments 
20th-Nov-2007 06:10 pm (UTC)
Might I point out that associating books with fire probably isn't the smartest of marketing gimmicks?


*dies laughing*

Maybe they’ll come out with a compact version called the Kindling? ^_^;

Aside from the sensual pleasure of an actual paper and ink book, my eyes just do not work as well reading off a screen as they do reading off paper ^^;
20th-Nov-2007 06:23 pm (UTC)
Actually, the E Ink technology is really nice. However, at least for the Sony Reader, the processor was so slow! You had to wait a second or two for each page to change; and lemme tell ya that's really annoying when there's only a paragraph or two on the screen to begin with. (Dunno if they've improved that.)

"Kindle" is supposed to refer to firing up the inspiration...but I still think of burning twigs or paper when I say that word to myself.
20th-Nov-2007 06:34 pm (UTC)
Slow would be annoying, something like that should be able to scroll up and down text with no delay at all ^^;

You know, it would be good for textbooks though. One reader to carry around campus in your backpack rather than 50 pounds of books.. They’d still probably charge $150 for each text download though >_<


20th-Nov-2007 06:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it would be nice for textbooks. Except that you'd have to learn different mechanisms for organizing understanding of the text. It's hard to flip through an ebook. ^^;;
20th-Nov-2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
Hmm, hard to highlight with my yellow marker too ^^;
20th-Nov-2007 07:25 pm (UTC)
I swear, there’s no greater profit margin in the book industry than on college texts, especially with new editions every year or two to make sure used books go out of date really fast.. I remember having to buy one that cost $125, and then seeing a two-edition back version of the very same book in a remainder bin for under $5.00 >_<


20th-Nov-2007 07:37 pm (UTC)
Actually, the true textbook publishers HAVE to do that to remain solvent; the used book retailer competes with and defeats the publisher if they don't issue new editions all the time.

Scholarly books (at least the ones from UK university presses) are priced so high because they simply don't sell.
20th-Nov-2007 07:45 pm (UTC)
Scholarly books I expect to cost a lot since they do have such a limited audience, I even have a couple that were printed to order ^^; But those still didn’t cost anywhere near my average for assigned texts from Prentice Hall and Irwin and the like.. I got used whenever I could in grad school..
20th-Nov-2007 07:49 pm (UTC)
Were the scholarly books by American publishers? If so, you should know that American university presses routinely eat big losses in order to keep their prices low. They see themselves as a service providing knowledge to the masses--and that means that they have to keep the prices of their books along the lines of trade publishers. UK university presses, on the other hand, pass costs directly to buyers, averaging $120 per hardback, $60 per paperback.
20th-Nov-2007 09:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the two I’m thinking of were both US.. I think others I have I got used ^^
21st-Nov-2007 12:56 am (UTC)
Random post that has nothing to do with this entry:

Do you want to exchange X-Mas cards this year?
21st-Nov-2007 03:55 am (UTC)
Sorry, I don't have the time or money...or inclination for those sorts of things, to be honest. ^^;
21st-Nov-2007 02:38 am (UTC)
So they want us to pay $10 for the privilege of not owning a book? Sorry, not interested.

Some technologies don't need to be improved. They just work. Books just work.
21st-Nov-2007 03:57 am (UTC)
Or $1.99 for public domain classics. (Nothing like paying money to not own something I could easily not own for free!)

I've actually been thinking about the "future of the book" a lot lately for two (oddly) of my classes this semester. And I have more eggheaded things to say about this most likely forthcoming. (I need to get a life.)
21st-Nov-2007 04:19 am (UTC)
Or $1.99 for public domain classics. (Nothing like paying money to not own something I could easily not own for free!)

No only that, but it's something you could easily and completely legally not own for free!
21st-Nov-2007 04:28 am (UTC)
I've actually been thinking about the "future of the book" a lot lately for two (oddly) of my classes this semester. And I have more eggheaded things to say about this most likely forthcoming. (I need to get a life.)

What we're seeing is a classic example of corporate sleaze. A completely non-existent problem is being created - the Future of the Book. We're being persuaded that this technology is outmoded and will eventually have to be replaced, but it's nonsense. Some things don't need to be digitalised. At the moment I'm drinking a cup of coffee out of an old-fashioned analog coffee cup. It does the job it's designed to do it, and it does that job perfectly. It's true that it doesn't play mp3 files or take photos, it doesn't come with customisable ringtones to tell me to hurry up and finish my coffee, and it doesn't send me an email alert to let me know when I've finished my cup of coffee. But as a coffee cup it works just fine.

It's the same with books. These corporations are trying to persuade that there's a problem, so they can then sell us an expensive solution to that non-existent problem.
21st-Nov-2007 05:11 am (UTC)
Does your coffee cup have a handle? That would be a "new" technology, there. ^_~

It's true, though. There aren't that many cup- or, oh, fork-related innovations out there.

These corporations are trying to persuade that there's a problem,

It's funny. The big book publishers (Random House, etc.) are all terrified, absolutely TERRIFIED, that what happened to the music industry will happen to them. That those HP 3-in-1 printer/copier/scanner thingies will be their death knell. So back a few years ago they tried to get a jump on this with official ebooks and ebook technology. Of course, their fears were largely unsubstantiated...probably because the average person can't be assed to scan all of Harry Potter one page at a time.

Of course, not all publishers are thrilled about Bezos' Kindle scheme. (Penguin's rep sounded pissed off that they were selling ebook versions of their books at a loss.) Because this means that they'd have to change in big ways to meet the demands of the new medium.
21st-Nov-2007 04:43 pm (UTC)
The Kindred might have been a better name... oh wait, that's vampires XD
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