More than a decade ago, while working in the computer hardware industry, I saw some data on the trajectory of screen resolution and capacities for the future.
Many pundits were saying that screens as good as paper were coming very soon, but one smart futurist showed us a graph of memory and processor capacities, the number of pixels and resolutions of display materials and just what it would take to have screens that weren’t a strain on eyes and cheap enough to be ubiquitously available.
The DATE for his chart where all of this came together was 2010.
Recent announcement of Apple’s iPad, improvements in Amazon Kindle devices and a multitude of other readers confirm what we’ve known is coming… That feeling that books are a better way to read is going to start fading away.
You may be like the hundreds of authors and readers I’ve talked to over the past decade who claim that they will never enjoy reading on a computer as much as holding a book. Culturally, that makes sense. We’ve had decades of lousy screens and centuries of wonderful books.
Book aren’t going away anytime soon. However, every author should get ready for a much more rapid growth in eBook and alternative electronic distribution.
We’ve been advising clients to get an eBook reader, try out the technologies.. see where the clash among format, digital rights management, hardware vendors and publisher is moving. Feel for yourself where the market is going.
One of the last big hurdles has been the complaint that you don’t get to own a hard cover book when you purchase an eBook.. and must rely on the storage system that too often breaks down.
That’s changing too.
Watch what Calibre Ebook Management Software has to offer.
I suggest downloading a copy to manage all those downloads you can’t find on your hard drive. You may still not ever read them, but just watching this video, I could see real progress from the tools I was using just a few years back.
Apple got us all using MP3 when they got the iPod right.. Maybe they will do this for books.. maybe not.
What do you think?