Sunday, May 22, 2011

So, I walk into Barnes & Noble...

I'm sure you have had this experience if you have one of these stores around. Where you walk into the store and the first thing your hit with is some one trying to get you to buy one of their Nook E-Readers. I'm not sure if these poor saps get paid on commission or not.. but it would certainly explain why they dog you for 5-10 minutes to try and sell you a kitschy novelty.

I realize that Amazon is selling more Kindle Books than Paperbacks now. But They are skewing that market because they sell old, public domain books, for the kindle for Free, or .99cents all the time. So yeah with that kind of thing going for them its no wonder they are outselling. Why would you buy that 6.99$ copy of Last of the Mohicans for your school book report when you can get it for .99cents? Why indeed.. You can get it for free if you go to Project Gutenberg.. Which is all the people on Amazon are doing.

I had it hammered into me time and again when I was little, trying to convince my mom that Zelda on the gameboy was like a book because it required reading. If it takes batteries, it's not really reading. I've never shaken that way of thinking. Books can be made from Paper, Cotton, Hemp, thin bits of wood or even stamped metal. But the minute it has a circuit attached to it, and takes batteries.. I just can't think of it as a book any longer.

I've found it's always the S.U.V. driving set that winds up buying them. They are the sort who usually only read the Oprah's Book of the Month Club sort of books. They stare wistfully at the Romance novels in the Grocery store aisle.. Because they just "Never have time to read". Those are the sorts I've seen buying the E-Reader. I think what I'm trying to say is, it's always people who are spending some one elses money. The other big purchaser would be College kids, or worse, Townies who are pretending to be college kids to pick up tail. But then I live in a College Town. So seeing College kids do anything never really registers anymore.

If I was going to open a coffee shop in town, I'd call it Study Hall, and only have hard wooden chairs and tables. The Menu would be a Card Catalog. If you can't find what you want, you can't have it. A minimum purchase of 1 drink per hour would be required in order to stay. I've been told to quit loitering so many times I can't remember them all.. its only fair.

*Because there seems to be some misunderstanding, I felt I needed to amend this to explain I'm not having a go at people who own e-readers. Just the people I've observed buying the NOOK in my local Barnes & Noble.


christian said...

I'm not much of an e-reader myself. I prefer dead trees. I know that bookstores could make a lot of money and save on overhead by selling e-books exclusively. However, they can't use their new business model to convince me that paper books are outdated and stodgy.

Trey said...

I'd say you'd be wrong--but I have to admire how far out of your way you went to be insulting merely as a way to justify your dislike of digital media.

The people I know who have Kindles (I don't know anyone who has a nook, so I can't comment there) are actually by far heavier readers than the general populace--ths was include most of my family and a couple of physician colleagues.

I just got back from Hawaii. I complete two books previously started on the plane ride over (Mieville's Kraken and Erdelac's High Planes Drifter), and am and 70% done with a third (Gilman's The Half-Made World).

And all of the books we read on our respective Kindles--bought with money we earned. Well, except maybe my brother on disability--so you got one--but I'd put his reading habits against yours or anyone elses any day.

Lagomorph Rex said...

This wasn't about E-reader owners, but about the types of people who I notice tend to frequent bookstores/coffee shops in a college town.

I wasn't trying to insult everyone who owns an E-Reader.. just the people I've seen buying them.

Key word there "I". Your mileage will vary.

If you and your friends own them, and enjoy them, more power too you, you obviously actually use them, rather than buying it simply because its another gadget your being told you need.

M. D. Jackson said...

I know many people who are dedicated readers (and some who are writers) who embrace e-readers and have deeper interests that the latest SUV or Oprah's Book of the Month or spending someone else's money. I hear what you're saying about those kinds of people but I beg to differ that most people who use e-readers fall into that category. For some, true, it is merely another status symbol, but for many (and I have to point out that I am not one of them) they are merely embracing what they see as the natural evolution of reading.

(Point made without ad-hominem attack or snark)

Trey said...

I see what you're saying Lagomorph (though I'm not sure merely stating something as an opinion is ever really grounds for being insulting).

I just don'y know what purpose was served by suggesting this hypothetical class of ebook readers wasn't self-supporting. What does that prove exactly?

Lagomorph Rex said...

Well to me, it served the purpose of being funny. Humour though is entirely subjective, something I understand all to well. Obviously I fail at observational humour, since I thought that was the whole point.

"Hey, look at those *insert stereotype here*, they are doing *insert stereotypical actions here*, isn't that amusing"