Just wondering what you think of Amazon's new Kindle? Do you have one? Would you use one? Is it here to stay? What do the big wigs at the big houses have to say? Are they nervous?I have used a Sony Reader, and it looks handy for reading submissions (especially longer ones) when the goal is a 'yes' or a 'no'. You can't make notes on them, though, so they won't work for editing. I haven't tried the Kindle yet, but I hear you can make notes. Has anyone else tried one? Thoughts?
Reactions in the book industry are mixed, I think. On the one hand, we've seen tremendous changes in the way music and video reach people in the last fifty years. And while there are still people with players for vinyl records and tapes, there are more and more people (like me) who no longer even own CDs.
On the other hand, the way books reach people has changed very little in the last half-century, or, in fact, in the last 500 years. And you've got to remember that most people in the book industry are hard-core book enthusiasts, and that means they are deeply attached to the physical idea of a book.
So imagining an itunes-like change for the book industry is both difficult and painful for many insiders. I think there's a little bit of denial going around.
I also think that realistically, it's going to happen--one day, most bookstores and libraries will be online, and most books bought will be digital. We'll still need writers and illustrators and editors and designers and publishers and librarians and booksellers... but there will be adjustments to be made.
What I don't think is that this change is right around the corner, so there's no need for hyperventilation. The companies (and individuals) who watch for change and embrace it do just fine. The thing that has book people nervous right now is that it's not clear what the change is going to be; just how it's going to work. It's going to be ok, though. We'll figure it out.