How eBooks lost their shine: ‘Kindles now look clunky and unhip’ – The Guardian

Here are some things that you can’t do with a Kindle. You can’t turn down a corner, tuck a flap in a chapter, crack a spine (brutal, but sometimes pleasurable) or flick the pages to see how far you have come and how far you have to go. You can’t remember something potent and find it again with reference to where it appeared on a right- or left-hand page. You often can’t remember much at all. You can’t tell whether the end is really the end, or whether the end equals 93% followed by 7% of index and/or questions for book clubs. You can’t pass it on to a friend or post it through your neighbour’s door.

Let’s see… You can bookmark an ebook, search for anything you want, and you can see how far you are from the end of a book, though I agree that in books with lots of notes this percentage is deceptive. You can share books with your family using Kindle Family Library, but it’s true you cannot just give or lend a book to a friend.

Yes, ebook sales are slowing down, because publishers saw them eating away at print book sales and raised the prices of ebooks. But are they? This article, which is talking about the death of ebooks and the resurgence of print, says that, “Digital book sales overall are up 6%.”

Once upon a time, people bought books because they liked reading. Now they buy books because they like books.

No, I doubt it. People are still buying books because they like to read. It’s not like books have become some sort of fetish object.

Ebooks are very practical. If you travel, if you read long books, if you like reading books with a font that’s big enough, and for many other reasons, ebooks and great. I own thousands of books, and I read on my Kindle regularly; probably about one fourth of the books I read are ebooks.

They’re not dead, they’re not going away, but they were more popular when they were cheaper. But publishers decided they’d rather sell print books, so they raised the prices of ebooks to make them less attractive. Duh.

Source: How eBooks lost their shine: ‘Kindles now look clunky and unhip’ | Books | The Guardian

2 thoughts on “How eBooks lost their shine: ‘Kindles now look clunky and unhip’ – The Guardian

  1. I’m totally with you there, Kirk. One other problem i’ve encoutnered with ebooks is that they are (not always, but often, or at least sometimes) horribly formatted. It seems like publishers went the route of digitizing already printed books, rather than using the digital source file. Sure, when it comes to very old books, there often is no digial master copy, but running an OCR-software on top of a scan most of the time doesn’t cut it.

  2. I’m totally with you there, Kirk. One other problem i’ve encoutnered with ebooks is that they are (not always, but often, or at least sometimes) horribly formatted. It seems like publishers went the route of digitizing already printed books, rather than using the digital source file. Sure, when it comes to very old books, there often is no digial master copy, but running an OCR-software on top of a scan most of the time doesn’t cut it.

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