The Things We Learn

August 13th, 2004 · No Comments
by Booksquare

Over lunch yesterday, we had an interesting discussion about ebooks (and received another view on the Random House ebook royalty changes — not sure it moved our mind, but it was an interesting take). Mostly we talked about how the market is growing — this lead to a comparison with videos in the late seventies, early eighties. So we were interested in Wired’s story on the subject…until we got to the lead. Did anyone else know that Irish Emigrant is the longest running newsletter on the Internet? How absolutely cool is that?

What fascinates us about the article is not that Adam Engst has finally found a business model that is working — what is fascinating is that not everyone is doing it. The husband, a voracious consumer of computer tomes (and if ever a book deserved the epithet, it is a book that weighs in at ten pound), has long subscribed to O’Reilly’s Safari service — as he points out, why kill the trees when the information changes at the speed of light. Pretty much by the time he has the book shipped, there’s something new out there.

We have long argued that, despite some who love, love, love the feel of books (that would include us), there are markets where electronic books can make huge inroads: technology, text, and cookbooks. O’Reilly is entering the textbook world…now if someone could just help us prototype the kitchen-proof monitor with the splatter-proof keyboard, we could rule the world.

File Under: Books/Mags/Blogs