I was on the bus late last night, coming back from an evening swim at one of the public pools in Singapore1 and I was looking for a book to read from my Kindle cloud2 when I noticed a young lady further up the bus take a near new paperback from her bag and start reading.

The book itself, physically, was appealing and it occurred to me that since I have been reading books and magazines almost exclusively on my phone and tablet3 I may have lost something. I remember posting  back on 15 February 2006, whilst I was still working in Mongolia, that I enjoyed writing, not so much stringing words together on a page to communicate an idea but the physical action of writing words with a good pen that just felt right into a notebook that similarly felt good.

Reading a physical book gave me the same pleasure, a pleasure that I have sacrificed to technology and the future.

I still have physical books and some of them I would not trade for electronic versions. These are books like reference works on uniforms and such. To use them electronically would require a whole rethink by the publishers on how to present them, something that has not happened yet.

So, have e-books and magazines taken something away from me? Yes, they have.

On the plus side however, on the bus after finishing my book, I did have the choice of reading one of about 5 pieces of Scandinavian crime fiction that I had parked in the cloud. I also did not have to worry about whether or not I would finish the book I was reading before going out as I could always select another from my cloud based bookshelf!

Technology giveth and technology taketh away!

Really Intelligent Comments

1. $1 entry, $2.60 in bus fares … winner for those of us with absolutely no bloody income whatsoever
2. Yes, like the physical bookshelf, I have purchased books in the past on my Amazon Kindle accoiunt on the grounds that I will get around to reading them in the future
3. I have even given up using my Kindle now!

Why Aussie Retailing is Dying

borders OK, you don’t need to be an intellectual genius to work this one out – and this is even worse than the usual issues as this is electronic. The image above is from Borders Australia, for the supply of an eBook (for those of you not familiar with the technology, it is a book in electronic form so its production, storage and delivery costs are negligible at best). OK, Borders Aussie is selling the electronic book for $10.95.

Sony, who I purchased an eBook reader from, sent me their regular note this week and I went and had a look at what was on offer. The screenshot below is from their website.

sony The price for this book, $2.99, was a price set by the publisher, not the bookstore.

OK, so maybe I am being a little unfair here as it is the price charged to Americans and you need a US address ((for the record it is not that hard to get a US address, there are a number of services offering that, including my own bank for that matter)) – however, it is a publisher set price and I for one cannot see why the electronic version in Australia is $8.00 more. Anyway, as a final test and to be totally fair, I went to Amazon dot com and checked the Kindle version. The screenshot below is from Amazon dot com.

amazon I’ll let you draw your own conclusion about this!