Markets in less than everything

by on April 25, 2009 at 7:29 am in Books, Web/Tech | Permalink

But to other writers and editors, the Kindle is the ultimate bad idea whose time has come. Anne Fadiman,
the author, was relieved to learn that her essay collection, “Ex
Libris,” was not available on Kindle. “It would really be ironic if it
were,” she said of the book, which evokes her abiding passion for books
as objects.

Here is the article, interesting throughout.

1 Jim D. April 25, 2009 at 7:48 am

Anyone miss having stacks of CD’s displayed in their home? This is just part of the evolutionary move into the digital world. But hey, maybe Amazon can start selling custom kindle covers that look like the actual cover of a classic literary piece.

2 Edward Burke April 25, 2009 at 9:40 am

Michael Foody is an optimist. To take his example: no woman will visit his home–he can scan his shelves with his webcam for her entertainment and edification, however, which they can then discuss telephonically in e-harmonic bliss.

The disembodiment of “life” promises to leave our machines without the least vestiges of any ghosts in short order, hunh?

3 Michael Drake April 25, 2009 at 11:03 am

Even more, I miss the heft of stone tablets. Inherently so much more substantial than paper.

Oh salad days, where have ye gone?

4 msi April 25, 2009 at 11:16 am

The “What I’ve been reading” blog post is the new equivalent of books on a bookshelf.

Actually, what Amazon should do is create a “My Kindle Bookshelf” feature on Amazon where you could show off your collection to everyone. Of course they’d have to let you hide the embarrassing ones “Under My Kindle Bed.”

5 Zbicyclist April 25, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Wow. Kindle (and similar devices, such as Ipod touches) opens up new opportunities to find new readers and create a new revenue stream. No good deed goes unpunished.

Question for the academics here: How much do you read the dead tree version of the journals any more?

FYI: when snooping somebody’s bookshelves, I only pay attention to the stuff that looks “loved”. I suppose I could be fooled by someone who buys a bunch of used books.

6 David C April 25, 2009 at 4:07 pm

“Eventually, they get to the naked Perversity argument: that the move away from strong copyright protection will result in less writing, which was/is the same claim made by musicians. Strangely, music (though not the music industry) seems stronger for the change, and I suspect as much of writing.”

That’s mostly the claim made by record labels, and the occasional musician who just doesn’t get it like Metallica or Prince. That’s certainly not the argument being put forth by Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, or System of a Down. Most musicians still make their money through their live show, not record sales. CDs are for the labels to make money, and to promote the artist. File sharing and Youtube are slowly eliminating the major labels, and making it all about the artist while expanding music diversity. Musicians who understand this are in favor of it.

By the way, as somebody under the age of 30, I felt really young reading an article like this, and not getting why anybody would think the Kindle was anything but brilliant.

7 priscianus jr April 26, 2009 at 12:12 am

I love books. I read a lot of them. Kindle comes as the answer to a question I never asked. Honestly, I haven’t the slightest desire to read books on Kindle.

8 Mo April 27, 2009 at 11:46 am

I can understand the authors’ apprehension. Without the pretentiousness value of owning a book, far fewer people will buy the hot pretentious book and will go for something they’d rather read. People will only buy books they want to read, not books they think they demonstrate to people that they read.

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