E-book hater Nigel Farndale is at least nice enough to be amusing in his rant—both wittingly and unwittingly. Headline in the Telegraph is The next book after the e-book is the ex-book: E-books will kill books, just as the iPod has killed music… Let an anonymous editor step out and share the glory, if that’s appropriate!
Tactile Touch, Curling Up, the usual line on the piracy issue, etc.—you’ll meet all our old friends in Farndale’s actual article. Bunched together, his canards should be a hoot to the knowledgeable.
What’s next? E-books cause cancer and dandruff? At least that would be a chance for this prominent U.K. journalist to be more original.
Where Farndale is on the mark
Just the same, e-books are hardly flawless, and I’d certainly agree with Farndale that e-booking could be a much more social activity than it is now—and not just because of the limits of E Ink. Guess who’s to blame partly? Execs at major publishers, which haven’t given the IDPF sufficient encouragement and resources to develop a reliable standard for shared annotations.
The IDPF would do well to study annotations-related efforts at the Institute for the Future of the Book and companies such as BookGlutton. Check out this video, folks! You, too, Mr. Farndale, if you’re somehow tuning in.
The part where I laughed with Farndale: Where he said of a friend, "I once sent him a review copy of a novel I’d written and he sent me a letter by return of post thanking me for it and saying he was looking forward to reading it. Clever that, because then he didn’t actually have to read it. He could be about to start it in perpetuity."
(Via Tweet from book critic Sarah Weinman, who doesn’t own an iPod or e-book-reader, but seems open minded. Also see DearAuthor’s Jane on the "fear of free" angle.)