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Kindling a Revolution

Just travelled back from Melbourne and sat next to an extremely spry gentleman of 71 years who spent the entire trip reading on his Kindle.

He told me how much he loved this new way of reading. That it can hold 1500 books and he only recharges it infrequently, less than once a month.

As a frequent traveller he enjoys the convenience of his great collection of books in a compact package and at a reasonable price per book. And he’s found that it’s good to read both indoors and outdoors.

I felt quite old-fashioned with a thick book on my lap next to this new-fangled gadget.

As this elderly gentleman said:

“the book industry is in real trouble, it’s not like we’ll stop reading but this will kill the book industry as we know it”

Thus we see again a change in the nature of our media of production is revolutionising existing industries.

We have already seen the changes sweep the music industry. Shifting us from physical objects that we bought and took home to virtual objects that we store on our mobile phones.

Now we are about to see the same kind of revolution sweep through our books.

Even this elderly gentlemen can see this. It will be interesting to see what futile rearguard actions the book industry puts up in resistance to this tide of change.

5 thoughts on “Kindling a Revolution”

  1. Ern Malleyscrub

    Curious that the revolution is confirmed by contra indication; kindle isn’t just a geek item trend but functional.Language transmutes, evolves, so why not books?
    Maybe Guttenburg started it, or was it that guy who painted on the cave walls?Okay, it might have been a woman, yes,this is the shopping list, go out and bag some bison, a brace of elk, etc, thanks, see you when and if you get back alive.
    Nowadays we have twitter facebook, instant SMS and blogs to stay remote from each other.

    1. Yes books have evolved since before Gutenberg’s time; but this time the change in portable media is quite radical. Now the technology (primitive though it is) enables us to carry 1500 books with us in the space once occupied by a single book. Also the industry that grew up around creating paper books now needs to reinvent itself to generate books for the new medium. It also means new pricing models etc need to be developed. Interesting times!

  2. I haven’t checked out any electronic readers although I used to be a big reader. I have to admit I love the feel and smell of an actual book in my hands, I’m a bit old fashioned that way I guess! But considering I’m always on the go with no time to read these days maybe I should look into it. It’s so cool to see older people embracing new tech tho!

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  4. Welcome to the digital world of ‘weightlessness’. Can you imagine trying to carry 1500 books Kate? ;-)

    The effects of digitising books will create a standards war and probably price-wars. New business models will be developed and the consumer will benefit as competition increases.

    I hope the authors get a better deal from the transformation of an industry.

    Interesting times indeed!

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