Thursday, October 22, 2009


I am tentatively planning on buying a e-reader in the Spring, so I've been keeping an eye on the new product lines that are coming out, the latest being the Nook from Barnes and Noble. It is hard not to appreciate the way innovation has been the primary point of competition. My favorite examples from a Wired review:
One of the best things about hardcovers or paperbacks is that you can give them to family and friends. E-readers, so far, haven’t offered that to consumers. Instead, devices such as Kindle have locked down books and made it impossible for users to lend books that they have bought. Nook tries to change that with its LendMe feature. Nook users can loan books to friends for two weeks and those e-books can be accessed through PCs or smartphones such as the BlackBerry and the iPhone. Lending the book through Nook makes it unavailable to the original owner, but at the end of the two weeks, the book reverts back to its owner.
Most of us turn to Amazon when it comes to buying books, but there is something to be said for walking into a bookstore, sitting there with a cup of coffee and browsing. The Nook lets you do just that. In a neat trick that takes advantage of Barnes & Noble’s brick-and-mortar stores, the Nook lets users read entire e-books for free in-store.
Will future Barnes and Noble stores be replaced by coffee shops with wireless access to their books? How will libraries adapt to a world in which returns will be automatic, and hence no late fees?

There is also a relevant status signaling issue. When e-Reader's first started coming to the market, some critics remarked that it would not take hold because it would hide people's "intellectual trophy case i.e. the giant bookshelf of all the books I've read." I suppose now e-Readers create a mobile trophy case of unrevealed size, increasing the status of those who read at least enough to warrant the purchase of an e-Reader.

1 comment:

Will Luther said...

Very cool.