I digitized my CD’s about 5 years ago. In doing so, I had a physical copy that I sold / got rid of…. but still retain the copy in high quality sound format for my ears. I am still able to share a mix tape or lend an album to a friend*. This is why digital music took off… you could still have the art without a tangible medium. You could transfer and maintain your music collection that existed in a different medium in an efficient, simple way. If it wasn’t easy, it really wouldn’t have become as ubiquitous as it did, so quickly. As for materialism…. Sure you have an ipod, but you can have the entire works of Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, etc on ONE. Digitizing music is incredible – it helped me transcend the material connection to the object, while creating greater access to the music. To some extent, in many ways, ownership is ending. It was a sea change moment for me. I am sure that sounds ridiculous. If it doesn’t, I go on about music here: autonomous information an organic, memetic process.
If nothing else, there are some lovely quotes.
SO LET’S MOVE ON TO BOOKS: As I have moved into the realm of Kindle, I love the concept of being “enlightened” or at least being “lightened” of my material connection to books. I enjoy the creases, the folds, and will likely keep the study of favorites I have been building up. But what of classics, favorites, reference books that I constantly enjoy, look back on, search for data, etc? I own these books, and just as I could lend them out or put them on my shelves, I am compelled to want them on the kindle without having to repurchase the book. I am sort of wondering if a dialogue exists about the nature of these digital books… can we trade them? Can I lend it to someone else? Â I am excited about being able to efficiently search and have greater access to my books… like being able to find a quote in seconds, not half hour increments. Â In fact, short of keeping my vinyl, the music sell off was encouraging in that it made my world of music much richer and more accessible than ever before. I imagine this to be the case with a e-reader, as well. Â I could envision losing my wall of books… I need to warm to the idea, but it isn’t absurd. Â I will have some keepers, to be sure…
But this isn’t the state of affairs, at the moment.. is it? Â Print media is trying it’s damndest to get in and control this, but I still have a feeling that books like To Kill a Mockingbird or A Separate Peace to be considered, by most laymen, some form of public domain. Â There is a certain moment when a book takes on a life of it’s own, becomes a classic, enters into a public arena of sharing… it’s basically a meme. Â So why can’t I find a way to get my classics, my Shakespeare, and even some of my science and philosophy texts on to this thing?
I assume, at some point, bundled packages of books by genre or year, etc will become available, and people into sci-fi, or harlequin romance, etc will be able to get a bundled sets of e-books for a discount?
But this is all so new to me! Â I just hope the technological advancement, in this situation, isn’t stunted by the industry’sÂ unwillingnessÂ to loosen up on the community that is around books. Â Sharing a book is a rite of passage… it can be a bond between new friends, it can build community around similar interests, and it can even be a subtle way of saying you love someone else. Â We have all done it through our years, and it seems to me there is a culture around it that is being ignored. Â IÂ am curious to see where it goes while I am on the train. I promise to do everything I can to help people realize the myopic approach the industry is taking to these readers.
My father and I would like to share a book once in awhile. Â In fact, I subscribe to the Economist because he would share his used copies with me after he was done. Â That sharing allowed me to connect to the brand and I subscribed. Â Sharing created ROI.
So for the time being, I am giddy about building a collection on my new Kindle. Â But until the industry realizes they need to grow their approach, all they will be doing is keeping the ereader growth slow, as well as damaging their long term sales.
COME ON GUYS.
I want my bundled Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy now! Â If I own something, and want it in a different medium… shouldn’t I be paying for conversion, and not the full price of a new book? Â Figure this out. I am annoyed. Â I don’t even know how to end this po…….
* – I have noted a trend that happens quite often among my friends… we will lend each other an album we believe the other might like. Â After weeks or months, it ends up deleted. Â I don’t keep any, but it’s nice to listen to other music. Â My friends, to my knowledge, don’t really keep them.. probably because they don’t like what I give them. Â But assuming “lending” digital music doesn’t exist is presumptuous. Â If an album is given and deleted, it is basically the same action.