The link below is to an article that has something of an overview of ebook reading gadgets.
I thought I’d post a quick update on what is currently happening with me and posts to my Blog. It is a short story really. I live in a town which is a massive tourist destination during the holiday season – especially at this time of year. What this means for me – being reliant on wireless access to the Internet – is real difficulty gaining Internet access. There are so many people in the area, using so many gadgets and the like, that the Internet is locked into a constant traffic jam. It is practically impossible to get Internet access most of the time. You do get the odd time where you can get access, but it is so slow that it is pointless to try and use it. For example – it takes minutes and minutes just for one page of the Blog to load.
I’ll keep trying to access the Net every so often, but it is likely I’ll be unable to post much for the next couple of weeks. There is good news – the number of tourists in the shopping centre here have diminished, which probably means we are heading back to some form of normality.
A new survey from USA Today and book discovery website Bookish finds that U.S. adults who own a tablet or e-reader read more books than the device-less. The survey also found differences in reading habits between adults under 40 and adults over 40.
The survey polled 1,000 adults nationwide and an additional 819 adults who own an e-reader or tablet. Overall, it found that 40 percent of adults — and 46 percent of those between 18 and 39 — owned a tablet or e-reader, “doubling the numbers from less than two years ago.”
Thirty-five percent of those who owned a device said they read more since getting it. Of the device owners, those ages 18-39 had read an average of 21 books in the past year, while respondents ages 40 and over had read an average of 16 books in the past year.
Those who didn’t own a device read…
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I have been reading ‘Print is Dead – Books in our Digital Age,’ by Jeff Gomez. I have now completed the fourth chapter ‘Generation Download.’ In this chapter, Gomez begins by comparing what has happened with the music industry with what has begun to happen with books and reading. A generation that has embraced a digital way of life, along with the gadgets that go with it, is out-growing the traditional book and craving digital technology and digital forms of entertainment. Music itself did not die with the coming of the digital world, only the form in which it was presented. The same resistance that the music industry applied to digital technology before it embraced it, is now being witnessed in the book industry – though I would argue that ebooks are taking a little longer to take off. Gomez argues that it is only a matter of time before an acceptable digital format is found that will have ebooks off and running, along with some form or forms of digital devices on which ebooks will be accessed. Perhaps the growing boom in Tablets and Ebook Readers is an indication that that time is now upon us.
Certainly I am a convert, having been previously a doubter of ebooks and the way they were accessed. More mobile forms of accessing ebooks, such as the Kindle, iPad and even Notebooks, have enabled me to transform my thinking, from one in opposition to being one who has fully embraced the technology. Being able to carry vast libraries on mobile devices is simply breathtaking to me and incredibly appealing. Not having to have huge spaces devoted to a large library and actually having the space to store a huge library is simply brilliant – I had long ago ran out of room for my books and needed to cull quite a number, which I did reluctantly. Now I am able to recall those dismissed books via the digital medium and not loose them again. Old friends are again welcome.
In the following chapter, ‘Generation Upload,’ the focus is on the savvy Internet user (which is generally most connected folk these days) who not only downloads material but also uploads modified material, uniquely created material and so on. This has been so with music and video, with the various play lists, mash ups, parodies and the like, as well as comments, contributions, etc. Will the same happen with books is the question raised by Gomez and predicted. Just how far consumer interaction will be with ebooks is yet to be seen, as also the form it will take. There are opportunities already existing for commenting and reviewing, with developments being made in the way of sharing quotes (Pinterest interaction, Quotista, etc), and likely many more ways yet to be invented or passed on convincingly to the masses.
‘On Demand Everything,’ the next chapter in the book, brings the attention of the reader to what we already know – we expect to be able to get pretty much everything whenever we want it and that better be soon. No longer do we need to wait for our media to arrive at given timeslots on the television, our CD music to arrive in the mail, etc. We now have the ability to access it all as soon as we want it and then to keep it in mobile gadgets that we can take with us and access whenever we wish. This then is surely the future of books. Gomez believes we will want to be able to divide large books into bits and pieces that we can access and use in whatever way we like – which would certainly be true of some forms of literature. However, it is unlikely that we would want to divide up novels for example, into little pieces. The ability to bookmark, highlight and clip pieces of text (among other possibilities) for various uses, is certainly increasing the appeal of ebooks and bringing them a more familiar feel, which will I think increase their usefulness considerably. Being able to find quotes, parcels of text and the like via search capabilities, cataloguing, etc, will all be very valuable tools that will bring ebooks into the realm of what is now possible with music, videos, etc.
In the next chapter, ‘Ebooks and the Revolution that Didn’t Happen,’ Gomez examines the reasons why Ebooks didn’t take off when they first appeared – which doesn’t mean they won’t take off at some point (which I do believe will happen at some point). His arguments certainly capture some of my own thoughts at the time of their first appearance, so if I was typical of people (at least of my age) at that time he may very well have hit the nail on the head. Some of the original issues still exist, such as the number of file types and matching them with the various readers and access to the files across a variety of devices. Perhaps when these issues are thought through with a bit more commonsense ebooks will become more popular sooner rather than later.
I have just started reading ‘Print is Dead – Books in our Digital Age,’ by Jeff Gomez. This book explores the future of books, with Gomez being an advocate of ebooks. I think it is fair to say that Gomez sees a future where the traditional book is little more than a relic of the past. This is certainly a view I would agree with for a number of reasons, though I do believe the traditional book will hold on for some time to come (how long I cannot say). I believe Gomez would hold to the same view from what I have read thus far (to the end of chapter 1).
In the first chapter, ‘byte flight,’ Gomez accurately sums up the situation in the traditional book vs ebook debate. There are certainly plenty of people (I was once one) who cannot see the ebook winning the battle (if we can call it a battle) and who hold a romantic attachment of sorts to the traditional book. I think this will continue to be the case among older generations for some time yet, with many older people reluctant to ‘move with the times (such a my mother and her husband).’ There are a number of reasons for this and Gomez describes some of these reluctant views in the first chapter. Overall, opposition to the dominance of the ebook is termed as ‘byte flight,’ and is probably as good a term as any to use.
Gomez believes that the younger generations will lead the way for the dominance of the ebook and in this I think he is largely correct. The digital generations are more likely to read digital books and use digital gadgets and as this grows more and more the norm, ebooks will become more and more dominant at the expense of traditional books.