and it may mean one participates in a collapse of the bookstore industry.
What’s going on? Well, there’s a kindle application now for the iphone, and it is free. What that means is that one now almost instant access to all the books that can be read on Amazon.com’s kindle, a book size electronic reader. Further, one can order a sample of the book without buying the book.
Now it has to be said that not many philosophy books seem to be on the kindle yet, though in another field of mine most seem to be. Further, kindle versions of the books are about $20 less. And lots of novels are. What that means is that those difficult times when you are caught in the airport waiting 4 hours for a delayed flight and too tired to read the texts you have with you, you can just order a nice $7 or so novel to read. And if you are not sure you really want the latest Laura Lippman, despite Janet Maslin’s intriguing review of it, you can get the first chapter and see.
The downside. Well, plenty, if you need to be thrifty. Of course, one can ignore the world financial crisis, but… And then there’s the book industry and bookstores. I’ve pretty much vowed not to buy anything from Amazon that I can find in my city’s wonderful independent murder mystery store, I wonder about the other independent stores and, of course, Borders, which apparently is sort of financially borderline (couldn’t resist).
In fact, I don’t find reading books on the iphone all that pleasant, so it will be limited to various somewhat emergency situations. Such as unexpected hours stranded somewhere, or a lost textbook one needs to talk about in 5 hours and so on. But it’s probably a great introduction to the kindle itself, and getting one of them is expensive.
Do you have any experience with reading on an iphone? Or the kindle itself? Or another electronic reader? And what about bookstores, independent or not?