The death of the paperback is much exaggerated

Mark Twain's death was much exaggerated

Julian Morrow (the host of ABC Radio National Summer Breakfast) is a convert to e-reading so he’s had quite a few segments on ebooks. He appears to be frustrated, like the rest of us, at (1) the price of ebooks in Australia and (2) the lack of availability of the books you want. He also seems perplexed at the nostalgia for print books that is used, whether deliberately or not to, try to stymie the rise of ebooks. In a piece on the “death of the paperback” broadcast this morning he admits to not caring less about the smell, the touch, the look of a print book – he just wants to read something and he’s happy it’s on a screen. The podcast is available here. Also there is a previous segment – “books in a digital age” parts 1 & 2 (with Joel Becker from the Australian Booksellers Association ) available here and here.

2 Replies to “The death of the paperback is much exaggerated”

  1. I have to smile at the editor of Sunday Life in one of the podcasts above who conceded that her book reader was “too heavy” and “too valuable” to carry around … not to mention there were few new books available from the book store.

    Maybe she should have done some more research before choosing her reader? Weight, screen lighting and both price and availabilty of ebooks are all crucial factors.

    For my money, there’s a very well-priced reader (around 1/5 of the cost of the cheapest iPad) from Amazon which is the same weight as a slim paperback and has a proper e-ink screen. But any e-ink reader will be much the same, including the new one from Sony.

    As for book availability, in “MyKindle” if you set your location address to a US one (doesn’t matter where it is because nothing is sent there) you can then buy from the US Kindle store. After all, you might happen to be in LA on a business trip, why not? Plenty of people are at any given time. The point is, Amazon want to sell books. And we want to buy them.

    So. Choose your reader wisely and learn the tricks to buying all the ebooks you want.

    1. I agree on choosing the right reader. Julian Morrow has both a Kindle and an iPad and so is aware of the difference – others base their opinion on “ereaders are any good or not” on either an e-ink one or the back-lit screen of the iPad. The low level of sophistication around commentary on ebooks and ereaders is a bit of a worry. Bookwoods.

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