On 19/10/2012 12:17, James Weinheimer wrote:
Here is a very interesting video about a possible/probable future of books. It is in French with English subtitles, and shows a couple on a trip to Bruges, a wonderful city in Belgium that I have also been fortunate enough to visit. The role of the bookstore is especially interesting.
The two parts I found most provocative in this video was that 1) it can almost all be done today with smartphones and a few tweaks with ebooks. For instance, scanning barcodes with a cellphone is already a notorious practice now with its own Wikipedia page, under a strange word “Showrooming” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Showrooming. Most ebooks cannot yet embed video and audio, but they should be able to pretty soon. (Actually, I discovered that they can be added now, but the audio/video just works only on the Ipad at the moment and not on Android machines. I am sure this will be updated very quickly)
2) the relationship of the bookstore to everyone is what bookstore owners would like it to be today. What is different is that the bookstore owner doesn’t seem to care if people download the book or get a hard copy. That isn’t explained in the video but I think I figured it out. I stopped the video when the fellow buys his books. He was buying 6 books costing from 12,80 euros to 21,00 euros, adding up to 100.30 euro. One of them was “Uglies” by Scott Westerfeld for 12.80 euros but I found it for 5.56 euro on Amazon.fr. He also buys “Pig Island” by Mo Hayder for 14,50 euros while on Amazon.fr, it is 6,01 euro. Most outrageous was L’Attentat by Yasmina Khadra where he paid 21,00 euro in the bookstore but on Amazon.fr, he could have picked it up for 3,99 euro. No wonder the bookstore owner is so happy! The guy buying the books needs to read the Wikipedia article on “Showrooming” and download a better app!
Nevertheless, the video does provide a nice, idealized view of the future, but how could the library fit into it? There does seem to be a place in that future for a rip-off bookstore owner, but I could imagine that after the guy installs a better app on his tablet, it could search not only amazon.fr, but his local library as well, so that if he could get a copy from the library for free, he would do so. That wouldn’t make the bookstore owner happy, nor would it make amazon.fr happy.