Young and beautiful, but someday your looks will be gone

October 23, 2009
It's apple green!

It's apple green!

I finally realized what I think is the proper metaphor for all the new ebook readers coming out (approximately one every nanosecond, not that I’m complaining) whose PR focuses not on the big issues, like format, functionality, etc., but rather on the fact that the readers will be available with seventy bajillion different color covers or cases.

Last year for Christmas, my mother was adamant that the gift she most desperately desired was an iPod shuffle — and not just any iPod shuffle, but specifically an “apple green” one. Being the good daughter that I am, I went out and bought her an apple green shuffle, and also got her the case and better headphones, and set it up for her and showed her how to use and recharge it. Now, coming up on a year later, want to know how much use my mom gets out of her apple green iPod shuffle? SHE’S NEVER USED IT. Not once. I’m sure the apple green color is still beautiful, however, not being marred by anyone’s dirty finger smudges at all.

If the biggest thing you care about in choosing an e-reader is what color the device is, do other considerations matter?

And makers of the e-readers: isn’t it pretty easy to change the color of the skin of these devices? Is that all you’ve got to give us?


Earth: fallen off

May 14, 2009

No, I didn’t fall off the face of the earth, contrary to popular belief. 2009 has just been a crazy whirlwind of a year, and Twitter-length updates are easier to coordinate in such times. Time to start putting other things (like blogging) back on the table.

Ereaders: seemingly a new one every day, though I’m still upset that the Readius device which looks so cool is apparently “stalled.” A colleague suggested that I organize a bake sale or a car wash to help out Polymer Vision. Who’s with me?

Other ereaders, such as the Kindle 2, the Kindle DX, the COOL-ER, etc. are increasingly in the news — it’s a fun time to be involved in digital publishing. I was thrilled when the MLA recently announced it no longer privileged print as the default medium for published works. This marks a big cultural shift in scholarship and publishing, and I’m hopeful that publishers will catch up with this idea and prioritize the development of media-rich, networked, open standards content.

Unrelated, but following up on my earlier post about those who denounce ebooks, claiming they could never surrender “the smell of books,” perhaps they should just investigate getting a good ereader and gallons of this?