Posts Tagged ‘digital books’

I came across this cartoon the other day:

personal library

The message evokes a sad smile and a nod of the head as the realization that yes, this does look like the future, dawns on us.

Having dinner with some ‘bookish’ friends the other day, I listened to their lament of how libraries are being closed and those that do stay open often sell off ‘old’ fiction books for paltry sums.   And what, they queried, defined ‘old’.  Sad.  Very sad they said.   They are in the publishing business and I guess feel the squeeze in a different way to those like me – the consumer.

An article in The Canberra Times last week: Library book dumping signals a new dark age  highlighted the demise of so many of our book depositories – libraries – most especially university libraries are being converted into alternate spaces devoid of books.   Shelves previously available for browsing have been replaced with computer monitors which allow you to browse in a different way.   The author of this article, Elizabeth Farrelly who has just published a book of her own, poses the inevitable question:

And what do we lose, if anything, in the physicality of the book, and of its trove, the library?

I admit to still not being a committed eBook reader.   And on the occasions that I have read a super book on my eReader, I’ve lamented not being able to loan the prized book to another.   Worst of all though, I cringe at the thought of our children’s children not being able to browse the bookshelves of homes they visit.
Will the book collections many of us so value still today, really disappear, or is this a ‘phase’ we are moving through in our collective march through time?
Your thoughts?

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I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it before …..  but my response is well ….. why not?

As mentioned in a recent article on The Atlantic website – Books With Soundtracks: The Future of Reading? – silent movies are a misnomer.  In the earliest ‘silent’ movies there were always sound tracks to add depth and emotion to the visual.  So why not, thought enterprising brothers Mark and Paul Cameron.   Founding the company Booktrack, they have, over the last three years, developed a “cinematic-type experience” for readers.  While five soundtracks for digital books are already available to download to an iPhone or iPad, further titles, either free or at a cost of between $1 and $4, will be available in the near future.

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Television does it.  Radio does it.  Newspapers and magazines do it too.   Websites do it.  Facebook does it.  Google does it.   The list goes on and on ….. so ….. when you stop to think about it ….. why shouldn’t eBooks join the bandwagon too?

While the notion of advertising in eBooks may sound like a leap into unchartered territory, this isn’t, according to the online article Advertising in eBooks: Heresy or Genius? exactly true.

Selling advertisements in books is not a new idea. In fact, it was common for books to be published in serial form and accompanied by advertisements in the early 1900s.  By the 1960s, ads for cigarettes alcohol, and health and beauty products were commonly found in paperback novels.

But advertising in printed books didn’t perform well. It couldn’t compete with ads placed in magazines, on radio, and on television. Advertisements in those mediums were more attractive to advertisers because they could be targeted to a specific (albeit broad) demographic and delivered in a timely fashion.

As the publishing industry works through the upheaval of moving to digital format and faces the complexity of continuing to make a living out of  continuing with their enterprise, all ideas, I guess, are on the table.

As a reader, the thought of advertisements intruding on the intimate space of the book in hand does cause me to bristle ….. but then ….. is this just a matter of me, together with others in the marketplace, adapting to change?

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