communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.

1/04/2010

reading, e-readers and books


I like books. I like owning them, buying them, signing them with my initials, smelling them when they are brand new, arranging them by size, straightening their pages. On the other hand I HATE having to borrow my books, not getting them back in time when I do, seeing them messed up by other people, seeing them misunderstood by other people. I love the idea of books and the objects as such.
So, I am writing this as a way to rationalize my unexplained desire to get an e-reader and the ever larger number of books I read in digital format. While thinking about it, some of the reasons that come to mind are intrinsically related to the digital space:
1. Speed of procurement: ebooks you can get at the wink of an eye and this means that necessary information is made available immediately
2. Convenient format: ebooks can be read an any computer or handheld device and if you place them somewhere handy online you can access them from anywhere plus if you have limited storage space (physical I mean) like I do, this makes it easier to store.
3. Easy to share: by no means trying to suggest infringement on copyrights, I think that ebooks are an easier form of disseminating content you like even if it is simply by print screening some passages
4. The fun reading utensil which is the e-reader: this I have found to be exceptionally girlie for a reason but I find the object - the e-reader as such - particularly fun to carry and hold and also somewhat of a status marker, like saying I am a child of the digital age
5. Immediacy of gratification: this is connected with my post a while back on feeling deprived of access to things that interest me NOW. With ebooks, the wait between the moment book comes out and the moment you get it is smaller. Plus I think that in the near future ebooks will come out simultaneously to paperbacks.
6. Convergence of media: whether we like it or not, the digital space and technology have changed the way we physically interact with our environment. I have all but lost the habit of writing by hand (just as a while back I realized that using a fountain pen seemed tedious because I had been using a ball pen all my life) since I type most everything and similarly I am finding reading on non-electronic media somewhat awkward. I cannot explain this and I understand it makes little sense physiologically speaking but it is not far from the truth.

Now, as for e-readers: The Economist has a brilliant piece on what technology they use - (unfortunately I could not find this online, it was part of a technology supplement published in December 2009; I did find a small opinion on this here ) and to make matters even more exciting it seems Apple's tablet has been sped up to design due to the particular rise in ebook consumption as it is, aside from other uses, best suited to function as an ereader also. To me the key issue is not, as discussed previously here, how to include non-content related stuff within the text, but rather how to make a reader that requires little energy to operate, is compatible with other devices such as phones or laptops and MOST IMPORTANTLY where to draw the line at what an e-reader should do. Because if it plays videos, searches the web and displays content, it's a laptop :D

This is, most assuredly, to be continued.
image via

3 comments:

Dan said...

Soo...what brand of ebook reader you got? :)

Bogdana Butnar said...

nook :D

Dan said...

wow, u rule :) te-ai miscat repede, abia a aparut asta Nook...am si eu un Sony Reader, dar salivam la Nook de ceva vreme...