Round up #241: messy bookstores, color screens
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Just around the corner: a color non-tablet Kindle?
pdurrant made this interesting
It has to do with noticing new job openings at
a company Amazon bought from Samsung in May of last year.
Why does that matter?
Liquavista makes color screens…for non-backlit devices. I prefer the term “reflective screen”, but I know that confuses some people. You read a reflective screen by the light reflecting off it…the same way you read a p-book (paperbook).
There have been a lot of challenges to bringing a color reflective screen to market. They are likely to cost more, refresh the screen more slowly, and use more battery charge.
The real question is, do people want one?
I think the answer is yes…I believe there would be a market for it.
The trick would be to make that the choice for a reflective screen device at the moderate price level.
Let’s think of it like the frontlighting on a Kindle Paperwhite.
You can get the least expensive Kindle, or you can move up one step and get a frontlit device.
The market is supporting frontlighting.
If you had another device which was the equivalent of the Paperwhite, but didn’t have a frontlight, and was, say, $20 cheaper, which one would be more popular?
I think that’s harder to say.
If Amazon brings out a color reflective screen device, not as a more expensive upgrade, but as the next generation of device, I think that would be attractive to people.
It wouldn’t replace a tablet…it’s not going to do animation, most likely.
Many people, though, want both: a largely dedicated e-book reader, and a tablet.
I don’t think the vast majority of people would reject color for their EBR…if the costs for it (money, efficiency, and so on) were low.
Color can be useful for textbooks, and especially for magazines…which just aren’t an optimal experience on EBRs now.
We’ll see what happens, but that could really make a splash (which might not be an inappropriate term for “electrowetting” technology).
“Why libraries deserve to be hip”
the author makes an argument that libraries should be more “fashionable”…
One of the points is that the author likes having the sense that a book has passed through many hands, contrasting that with a Kindle (about which the author says, “…I’m sure someday I’ll get around to getting a Kindle or an iPad”).
My adult kid at one point mentioned the same thing.
It’s an interesting perspective, and one that many people share…but many don’t.
I love that people at another time read the same book…but for me, I don’t need it to be that they read the copy in my hands.
I don’t like finding marginalia, or dog-eared pages, or broken spines.
When I read a hundred year old e-book, I can imagine how it impacted someone a hundred years ago.
However, for me, it’s a bit like Shakespeare. People forget that audiences in Shakespeare’s day weren’t hearing archaic language (to them). If you wanted to experience Shakespeare the way those audiences did, it should be written in your contemporary language…with all the slang, double entendres, and dialectical humor that would be the equivalent of what they understood.
That doesn’t mean I think you shouldn’t read Shakespeare in the original! Absolutely not…I loved getting some education in Shakespeare, so that I could recognize what six “feet” in a line instead of five meant, for example.
It’s just that…revering the object on which the play (or book) is written is not the same experience as people had when it was new. For them, it was like watching television is for us today (well, Shakespeare often was more exclusive than that, especially what were essentially commissioned works, but you get the idea).
Public libraries are great, and p-books are great…but should they be fashionable? I think that might go against their special status. Libraries do not equal reading…there is a lot more to them than that, and reading a current book for pleasure may be best done for many people on an e-book. Libraries serve in part as a place of honor for books…and it makes sense to me that history there is more important than fashion.
“In praise of neat and tidy bookshops”
In a related case of variant perceptions, this
criticizes messy bookstores (including used bookstores).
For myself, I like my bookshelves in my floor-to-ceiling library (in my home) to be very organized…but I do have books stacked horizontally on top of other books. The shelves of mass market paperbacks may also be two or three books deep, when possible.
They are, though, in alphabetical order and organized by category, typically.
I like order…people see that as an indicator of certain psychological conditions, and I don’t dispute that. I don’t have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)…it doesn’t interfere with my life, but I do like things in order.
For example, I was once in a videostore for, oh, a good forty-five minutes or so. Finally, one of the employees trepidatiously approached me, and asked me what I was doing.
Me: “I’m alphabetizing the shelves.”
Videostore employee: “They’re already alphabetized.”
Me: “Well, all the “A”s are on the same shelf, but they aren’t alphabetical within A.”
Yep…I was going through the whole store, putting the shelves in order…and having the best time!
What makes it not compulsive is that I could stop any time (they didn’t ask me to stop, by the way). It’s just fun!
That said, you might imagine I, like Peter Damien, would disdain disorganized bookstores.
Not at all…
It’s one of the attractions for me of a used bookstore (this is not the same for me in a new bookstore, by the way).
I want it to feel like I’ve made an archaeological discovery…a lost city in the middle of the Fawcettian jungles…and I might stumble on a treasure no one has seen in decades.
Yes, I guess that’s sort of weird…but I do like it like that, and my guess is that some other people do.
I mean, some people like the dusty-musty smell in a used bookstore. Due to allergies, I’m really not one of those, but I want a sense of adventure and serendipity.
What do you think? Should your bookstores be neat? Should your libraries by trendy? Would you want a color reflective screen device, if performance and cost were roughly equivalent to a grayscale one? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.
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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.