June 2nd, 2010

Apple iPad

And another thing . . .

. . . that I noticed at Balticon— eReaders! Specifically, two Kindles, one Nook, and three iPads. Now, of course, iPads aren't dedicated eReaders, but this being a con, all three of those iPad owners are a good bet to be using their shiny new devices to read books. The one guy I talked to had “shelves” full of iBooks already; he also used Kindle for iPad to buy and read ebooks, because the selection was so much greater.

Apple says they've sold a million units a month for the first two months. I wish all those folks were hot to read books on their iPads, but I suspect that, for most iPad owners, reading ebooks is a secondary or even a tertiary activity, after web browsing/emailing and watching videos. But even if only a quarter of them read even one ebook, a quarter of two million is half a million. That's a lot of new ebook readers, and that, I think is what is going to help drive the push to digital publishing, especially if sales continue at anything like that rate. Whether or not the publishing industry is ready for that push is another question. The answer seems to depend on whom you ask.

Whether publishers are ready or not, I'm hoping iPad owners share a key trait with Kindle owners. Once they have a more convenient way to read, they buy and read more books. I am all for that!





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books in a stack

Ghost story?

OK, there was a Hollywood movie company in a little German town shooting a movie in the local castle. The movie was about the ancestor of the Count of the castle (Graf in German) who had died a century or two before. I remember two guys show up and one of them auditions for a role in the movie sort of accidentally-- everyone says he would be perfect for the part of the Graf. Turns out he's the ghost of the Graf. The other guy is the ghost of his servant, who died with him when he jumped in the river trying to save the peasant girl he had secretly married. The Graf came back to set the record straight about his wife. There was a part where the servant discovers he's courting a girl whose grandmother or great-grandmother he also courted. Also, the first time the two of them see "moving pictures" they almost faint from the shock.

I think the book came out in the 1960's or so, but I cannot recall the author or the title to save my life.