What is driving the eBooks boom?

Via Yves Smith, here is one hypothesis:

What's popular on Fictionwise? Well, once again it seems like
porn is blazing a path to a new media format. Of the top 10 bestsellers under the "Multiformat" category, nine are tagged "erotica" amd the last is "dark fantasy"…People who read erotic romance and 'bodice rippers' love
ebooks because of the privacy they offer, both during purchase and when
reading.

By the way, Andrew Sullivan asks how one is to post 250 times a week and read Ulysses.  The answer is simple: one page at a time. 

One advantage of Kindle is that it provides a new tool for mental accounting.  Call me irrational but formerly I could not read more than seven or eight books at a time without abandoning some of them midway.  Kindle (like Netflix, I might add) gives me a new queue and allows me to have more "hanging," partially unread books at any point in time, yet without disrupting my mental equilibrium.  I'm rereading Moby Dick, one chapter at a time, on plane trips, and next in line are Middlemarch andUlysses

Comments

allows me to have more "hanging," partially unread books at any point in time, yet without disrupting my mental equilibrium.

Probably because you can't see the piles of books with bookmarks sticking out of them.

I tried a daily paper on the Kindle but only liked it when on the road (by train) so I actually read it each day. However, seeing the unread editions on the Kindle and deleting them was less satisfying than recycling an unread physical paper at the end of each day to reduce the clutter and the sense of overhang.

It was more difficult to scan the entire newspaper quickly on the Kindle because the screen is much smaller than the unfolded paper.

the kindle is going to kill off the last of the neighborhood book stores...

The Kindle is so huge compared to my iPhone, and the iPhone screen is color. So I'm sticking with Stanza. 16 gig carries plenty of books, and of course iPhone has wifi. Plus the iPhone reader Stanza is 100% free, and there are tons of great 100% free books for it, esp. classics. I'm just not getting the Kindle concept.

"Kindle (like Netflix, I might add) gives me a new queue and allows me to have more "hanging," partially unread books at any point in time, yet without disrupting my mental equilibrium."

My laptop has done this for me also; I am not sure I count it as an advantage...

what happens when they run out of copies of the letters? move on to cyrillic, or something?

Unconvinced by the privacy argument. Sure, that's probably nice. But I'd bet what's driving the popularity of romance ebooks is the general popularity of romances: I've seen estimates ranging from 35 to 55 percent of the paperbacks sold. The wonderful thing about ebooks for romance readers is more likely to be convenience, the ability to get and read books rapidly without needing to physically store/get rid of them afterward. I'd buy your queue argument as relevant to this market, too.

Raivo Pommer
raimo1@hot.ee

Die letzte Bank

Die letzte bislang unabhängig gebliebene große Bank ist verstaatlicht. Trotz einer starken Kapitalaustattung und der Unterstützung durch die Gläubiger sei die Liquidität der Straumur Burdaras nicht mehr ausreichend, teilte das Institut am Montag mit.

Die isländische Finanzaufsicht IFSA habe daher den Verwaltungsrat der Bank entmachtet und das Institut unter staatliche Kontrolle gestellt. "Im Ergebnis ist Straumur geschlossen", erklärte die Bank.

Die internationale Finanzkrise hatte Island besonders hart getroffen. Die Regierung übernahm im Oktober die Kontrolle über die drei größten Finanzinstitute des Landes - Kaupthing, Landsbanki und Glitnir. Damit verhinderte sie zwar den Zusammenbruch des Finanzsystems, der Staat ging jedoch fast pleite und konnte nur durch milliardenschwere Notkredite gerettet werden.

Read ebooks on various Palm devices for years now, only bought an iPod Touch AFTER eReader was available on it. And it cost $300, but also does a lot more than a Kindle and fits nicely in my pocket.

iPhone for trendy users? Sure, I guess, if by trendy you mean "wants a device that does more than one thing." Not buying a Kindle is not indicative of having made up my mind that it's technically inferior to an iPhone - as a dedicated device, a Kindle had better run rings around an iPhone. But I don't want to carry yet another device, nor do I want to lock myself into a proprietary format (and before anyone asks, no I don't use iTunes content with DRM). Stanza and the classics are enough to fill in the occasional free hour when I'm on travel, otherwise my rare forays into adult literacy are supported by the local library. Which, like my iPhone, is a sunk cost.

"The kindle is going to kill off the last neighborhood bookstores..." ...just like the horseless carriage killed off the last neighborhood stables! This has got to stop!

"the kindle is going to kill off the last of the neighborhood book stores..."

Neighborhood book stores. Mine is basically a boutique, with just a few books in it for decorative purposes. If I know what I want, it won't be in stock. I can ask for a book, and they'll order it for me. How? On-line, of course. Then when it arrives they call me on the phone. I have to go down then and pick it up. For that, they get a mark-up, natch. On the other hand, if I order it on-line myself, I pay less and the book gets delivered to my door. Why then would I go to the neighborhood book store? I wouldn't. The neighborhood book store already has no reason to exist. Kindle is basically competing with UPS. And I don't feel the least bit sentimental about UPS.

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