What’s next for books?

In Uncategorized on March 5, 2009 at 2:46 pm

With the Kindle should we start burning books?

The headline for a Slate/Big Money article on the Kindle reads:
“The Kindle Revolution: Digital readers will save writers and publishing, even if they destroy the book business”

Of course, in typical journalism fashion, the deck on this title is way over the top. Destroy the book business…really? It will not destroy the book business or even printing businesses–it will reconfigure them. Once again, the book biz needs to take a clue from the music business. CDs are losing ground, but vinyl because of its permanent/sit-down and listen quality are up. Records with cool art can do something for hardcore fans that a CD can’t. And MP3s are there for the casual or the throwaway factor.

A friend of mine last night was telling me he downloaded the Kindle App for his iPhone. We both talked about how we would gladly read a nice looking and well-constructed book of one of our fav. titles, but some books we have a casual interest in. That’s where the Kindle comes to play.

So books need to emphasize what they do best–permanence. Gravitas. Really important stuff. The frivolous read (i.e. the airport paperback) will tilt in the Kindle/iPhone’s favor due to demographic and portability sake. But there’s gotta be room for the limited/special edition Pynchon somewhere…

  1. […] at cat’s cradle, 3/7/09 In Uncategorized on March 9, 2009 at 6:27 pm I know I promised more about the future of books, but […]

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