"Beyond treating individual letters as physical objects, the human brain may also perceive a text in its entirety as a kind of physical landscape. When we read, we construct a mental representation of the text in which meaning is anchored to structure. The exact nature of such representations remains unclear, but they are likely similar to the mental maps we create of terrain—such as mountains and trails—and of man-made physical spaces, such as apartments and offices. Both anecdotally and in published studies, people report that when trying to locate a particular piece of written information they often remember where in the text it appeared. We might recall that we passed the red farmhouse near the start of the trail before we started climbing uphill through the forest; in a similar way, we remember that we read about Mr. Darcy rebuffing Elizabeth Bennett on the bottom of the left-hand page in one of the earlier chapters."
Boundless just launched the public beta version of its brand new site. What is Boundless? It’s a way to easily turn all of the open source information that exists in the world into a simple easy-to-use digital textbook. And it’s free.
This looks really promising! Click through to learn more.
According to the company, customers borrowed nearly 300,000 (295,000 to be exact) KDP Select titles in December alone, and KDP Select has helped grow the total library selection. With the $500,000 December fund, KDP authors have earned $1.70 per borrow. In response to strong customer adoption of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, Amazon says it has added a $200,000 bonus to the January KDP Select fund, raising the total pool from $500,000 to $700,000 for authors.
Kindle users can now check out e-books from 11,000 community libraries across the country, Amazon announced today. The process is a simple one: Navigate to the website of your local library, enter your library card number, select a title, click “Send to Kindle,” and plug in your Amazon.com information. Your book can then be transmitted wirelessly or via USB – any gadget with Amazon software will do, including an iPhone or Android handset.
The availability of the e-books will vary from library to library, but most titles should be available on your Kindle for about two weeks. After that, they’ll disappear. In a press release, Amazon exec Jay Marine called libraries a “critical part of our communities,” and framed the initiative as the natural next step for library lending.
“We’re even doing a little extra here – normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no,” Marine said. “But we’re fixing this by extending our Whispersync technology to library books, so your notes, highlights and bookmarks are always backed up and available the next time you check out the book or if you decide to buy the book.”
This is a pretty exceptional turn of events. Back in March I had shared this article about a library that was lending out Kindles on-site. It’s almost weird to see where things are going when it comes to books and libraries. (relevant picture):
“About 90 percent of the time, the cheapest option is still to buy a used book and then resell that book,” says Jonathan Robinson, founder of FreeTextbooks.com, an online retailer of discount books. “That is really an obstacle for widespread adoption [of e-textbooks], because smarter consumers realize that and are not going to leap into the digital movement until the pricing evens out.”
I’ve mentioned the sheer lunacy of ereaders to folks before, but it’s true—until a compelling affordable option comes along, or is built into a device students already have or want, it’s not going to take off in the way we expect.
After all, many readers don’t want to have to pay for a device that gives them the privilege of paying for books.
The HTML5 Kindle site appears to be optimized for the iPad. It’s accessed from the Safari browser in the iPad, so it routes around Apple’s App Store. That means Amazon doesn’t need to give Apple 30% of an eBook sale. Because the HTML5 site is very close to the functionality of the iPad Kindle app, this is going to have huge ramifications for Apple. Yes, Apple’s walled garden has just been structurally weakened. I’d go as far as to say that it’s a matter of months, not years, before Amazon pulls its iOS Kindle app from the App Store.
I find articles like this interesting because they take the perspective that it’s Apple, and not Amazon, that’s somehow the villain here.
For the record:
A) Amazon deliberately sold books at a loss to push their “walled garden” of an ereader into the market leadership position. It worked.
B) Apple’s been very consistent about their position, and if publishers don’t want to use it, they don’t have to. The reason they’re choosing to, is because they can actually make a profit publishing their works on an iOS platform.
C) Amazon’s Kindle prices were nice, but they weren’t good business. You can’t sell content at a loss and expect the providers to sit around being happy. This cutthroat, deliberate business “practice” move significantly contributed to many brick-and-mortar bookstores going out of business (not just the big players; the small mom-and-pop shops too). Amazon has openly gloated about this, and is even running ads on sites like Hulu.com mocking people who would carry physical books.
I swear. Some people just look for open opportunities to criticize a company they don’t like.