iWant to hate the iPad because iAm inclined to believe that it will destroy the traditional book model, which iLove so deeply. The iPad is wrangling publisher after publisher into its den of digital suck. Otherwise known as iBooks, the literary equivalent of iTunes.
This scares a lot of people. This delights a lot of people.
Fairly, we can’t really say for sure whether the iPad will hurt or benefit publishing houses and authors. Although I think my associate, Sharlene Martin, said it best in her GalleyCat interview, “I don’t feel that the royalty structures to authors for virtually no reproduction costs for ebooks has been fairly worked out yet. Especially given that the ebooks are less than half the sales price of the physical books…”
However, concerning the iPad’s effect on my beloved traditional book model…well…it’s pretty obvious what the effect will be. Complete obliteration.
Here to comment, is an email from my brother (otherwise known as: e-reader champion):
“I know we disagree on this but I fantasize about the day when my entire music/movie/television/recipe and book collection resides on a 100 terabyte server neatly tucked away in the corner of my basement. So, you have your macbook. Sure you can take it almost anywhere but it isn’t that comfortable to use unless you have a solid surface to place it on. Your iPhone or iPod Touch will gladly curl up with you on the couch but that screen is just too small to really enjoy the experience. Along comes the iPad to solve your dilemma. Maybe it doesn’t do anything new but it looks pretty and it’s a lot more fun to hop into bed with than the other options…”
Of course, I did my best to convince him otherwise.
I wrote things like:
“Why can’t you just hop into bed with a book?”
“If the traditional book model dies I will be so so sad. There is nothing better than going into a book store and spending hours just flipping through books deciding what to buy…it is the greatest feeling. I want my kids to be able to do that as well. As for right now, anything that threatens the future of bookstores, is an epic fail in my mind.”
But then a few weeks later, I read this. Is this worth losing the traditional book model? Devil…maybe?
…the jury in my head is still out.
“In the end, whether books come on clay or wrapped in vellum, whether they are as ornately illustrated as “The Book of Kells,” or as plain as a city directory, I have to place my trust in readers. Tactile readers, e-readers: Save us all! Never give up on the power of the written word, no matter the form, and hold its gatekeepers accountable.” -Timothy Egan from his article in the NYTimes.