The Obligatory Kindle Post

I got a Kindle for Christmas, and now am obliged to write about how it looks like a real page, how cool it is to be able to carry my library with me and won’t it be great for travel, and how it will revolutionize reading, writing, printing, and life as we know it. And I will probably admit that while I love reading on my Kindle, I will never part with my dead-tree collection.

Consider all that said. I’ve read plenty about eBooks in general, and the Kindle in particular, and that pretty much says it all. If you want a reading list, I can refer you.

What I do have to say about it is this (and these observations are by no means unique, either):

I love to read — in theory. In reality, I have trouble seeing the page. I thought that going to bifocals would make it easier to read, but most of the time my arms aren’t long enough to hold the book where I can see it. And I don’t like holding books. If I can read with my book on the desk and plenty of light, it works, but reading in bed is tedious. Reading from my computer or iPhone hurts my eyes.

Kindle is allowing me to read more. Easy to hold, easy to turn pages, easy to adjust the size of the print. It keeps your page. You can write notes and underline without messing up your book. It’s like having an exercycle or a treadmill — now I have no excuse.

There are many people who love books as objects – the binding, the pages, the feel of a volume in their hands. I’m sure there were readers who didn’t want to give up their scrolls when the codex was becoming popular. But Amazon doesn’t sell a lot of scrolls these days. Eventually more ebooks will be sold than paper books.

I am quite ready to get rid of as many books as I can. More

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Who are you writing for?

book openThere are about half a million books (titles) published each year in the English speaking world. That may be a conservative figure. It’s hard to find numbers on how many books people actually buy. Why that should be a secret, I do not know. I think we can assume that it’s a big number.

Dax wonders, “How many of those books sold are actually read?”

It’s hard to get numbers on specific categories of books, but it appears that non-fiction titles sell better than fiction. The reason non-fiction books sell well is because they don’t make people feel guilty. If you buy a novel, it sits around waiting for a reading mood to strike you. Then you have to read it in order, from beginning to end. Why buy something that’s going to needle your conscious every time you see it?

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