An interesting article by a publisher of lavish “illustrated” books who says the Kindle doesn’t scare him. Reason? It can’t do what he can do.
E-books are about 10 years old. Their growth has been rapid, but they’re still evolving. It’s not yet totally clear, for example, what the Kindle wants to be when it grows up. A one-page book? A fundamentally un-book-like display of groupings of words in hovering gray type on a gray screen, bare and unornamented? So far it is a machine for long-form reading only–not for viewing.
It has its advantages. It’s nice and clean, with no wondering who fumbled with it at the library, no cigarette smoke odor, no food stains. If you have the leisure of reading out of doors, its one plastic page doesn’t flutter in the wind (though I’m told the type sometimes disappears in the sun). You can carry around hundreds of volumes on one Kindle.
Disadvantages? It mostly contains words, not pictures, and not in color. The content available is somewhat limited so far to topics in popular demand–health, money, sports, hobbies, news analysis, baby names. Conventional text titles, such as fiction, biography and history, are gaining traction, however, especially in certain niches, such as romance fiction, which comes in strengths from flaccid to super-steamy–and the latter has the advantage of coming to you digitally, wirelessly and confidentially, although, alas, also unillustrated.
- E-comics get PSP platform, which should be awesome for the form
- Waterstone’s says e-books should be published in tandem with print
- Heroic computer dies to save world from Master’s thesis (Thanks, Chris)