eBook Clubbing – Not eBook Borrowing

The promise of ebooks is their inexpensiveness. Their portability. Their ability to make perfect copies of themselves so, you and your friends can read and enjoy the same text simultaneously. If ebook retailers wanted to develop a technology based on the social aspect of books – they’d make it easy to share the text I’m currently reading with my favorite book club, with all our collective annotations and highlights.

Developing a technology that treats bit like atoms (i.e. can only occupy 1 place at 1 time) is worse than ridiculous – it’s disingenuous and asocial. Assuming an individual has the wherewithall to purchase a Kindle – or other ebook reading gadget (laptop, etc), they can find a couple bucks to purchase their own version, digital or not.

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2 Replies to “eBook Clubbing – Not eBook Borrowing”

  1. It sounds like you’re looking for ebook functionality that falls under the assumption that book club members actually read the books that the club picks. And maybe even at a similar rate to other club members. While there may be a market for that, it sounds like something that probably isn’t on the short list among major ebook technology providers today.

    I’m not sure that sharing is part of the promise of ebooks. It’s not part of the promise of Netflix, but people seem to be satisfied with what’s being promised. And Kindle users seem satisfied with what they’re getting for their money.

  2. Ed, ebook reader vendors seems to be under pressure to develop ‘borrowing’ technology. From my perspective, ebook reader vendors have a very different, and not always comfortable, roadmap of the technology than I do – maybe other readers as well.

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