Some interesting articles and blog posts these past couple weeks on e-books. The New Yorker article on the iPad, the Kindle and the future of e-books is particularly good.
Nicolas Baker, famous within libraries for Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper (2001), has written an article about the Kindle for the New Yorker. Not much surprising, general kvetching: the Kindle doesn’t work well with images, text to speach is not an audiobook, not every book is available, etc. but I think it is interesting to see ebooks capturing such a large part of the popular culture’s attention.
The only part I think Mr. Baker missed the mark was in the reader chat forum. A reader asks:
“Do you see e-readers, including the Kindle or even iPod, playing any role in libraries? Or perhaps can you foresee libraries having a role in providing content to such devices? Librarians have played a huge role in my reading life and I’m not ready to cede that role over to Amazon or bn.com at the moment.”
In his response, Mr. Baker mentions print on demand machines and then adds, “but if all books become electronic, the task of big research libraries remains the same—keep what’s published in the form in which it appeared.”
Library = warehouse