June 29, 2012 · 8:02 am
I love France…
But I struggle with this…
I also love my Amazon Kindle…
However, part of my issue with the Kindle is the pricing. It makes no sense to pay almost the same price for an electronic version of a Best Seller when the Publisher doesn’t have the costs associated with printing and sending a Hard back to a reader. Yet, the cost is frequently almost the same….and the publishers set the prices in the U.S.
Capitalism run amok! The Corporations do own all the information distribution channels in the US…..
I love the French people’s loyalty to the printed book, but it’s just not practical. I love the portability and convenience of my Kindle…
And, let’s be honest, these are the people who developed the Maginot Line….
And thought it would work…
I miss local bookstores, but….
Let’s be real….
From the Guardian (UK):
In contrast to the UK’s famous three-for-two deals, the French state fixes the prices of books and readers pay the same whether they buy online, at a high-street giant or a small bookseller. Discounting is banned. The government boasts that price controls have saved small independent bookshops from the ravages of free-market capitalism that were unleashed in the UK when it abandoned fixed prices in the 1990s. France has more than 3,000 independent local bookshops and 400 in Paris, compared with around 1,000 in the UK and only 130 in London. But online book giants are still eating into small bookshops, many of which struggle to stay afloat.
via Why France is shunning the ebook | Books | The Guardian.
April 9, 2012 · 10:21 am
It seems more people are reading books now than ever before…
This is some surprisingly good news from Alexis Madrigal in The Atlantic. I encourage you to click the link and read the full article.
My bet is this is due to e-readers, like the Amazon Kindle. I’ve always read a lot, but the Kindle has put me into overdrive due to the ease of carrying it around and the ability to instantly obtain new books related to one you have just finished.
My guilty pleasure is mysteries set in various time periods in England, but I also read a lot of history, biographies and popular/literary fiction. I go right from one book to another on my Kindle.
Of course, this doesn’t mention the quality of what people are reading, only the quantity….
Remember the good old days when everyone read really good books, like, maybe in the post-war years when everyone appreciated a good use of the semi-colon? Everyone’s favorite book was by Faulkner or Woolf or Roth. We were a civilized civilization. This was before the Internet and cable television, and so people had these, like, wholly different desires and attention spans. They just craved, craved, craved the erudition and cultivation of our literary kings and queens.
Well, that time never existed. Check out these stats from Gallup surveys. In 1957, not even a quarter of Americans were reading a book or novel. By 2005, that number had shot up to 47 percent. I couldn’t find a more recent number, but I think it’s fair to say that reading probably hasn’t declined to the horrific levels of the 1950s.
All this to say: our collective memory of past is astoundingly inaccurate. Not only has the number of people reading not declined precipitously, it’s actually gone up since the perceived golden age of American letters.
via The Next Time Someone Says the Internet Killed Reading Books, Show Them This Chart – Alexis Madrigal – Technology – The Atlantic.