I’ve had a Kindle for a few years now. I read a lot on it. And yet I observed something recently: I’ve stopped going to the library much. This is a big deal for me…probably since the age of 7 I’ve clocked in at least one visit to the public library per week in my life. I never turn books in past due because of the frequency with which I patronize the public or university libraries which I’ve had access to in life. Until recently. Now on occasion books go overdue, because I don’t go very often.
In the short term the Kindle has been a boon. But I’m not sure if it’s good for us in the long term. I’d rather pay more for a device which allowed for easier usage of different formats, as well as looser distribution policies.
Out of curiosity, how many readers are switching mostly to Kindle books? I myself find myself doing this. Not for any ideological or conscious reason. Rather, cost and portability are both major upsides of the Kindle. I also find that “impulse buys” are easier for me on the Kindle (purchased The Great Sea and Civilization: The West and the Rest, the latter mostly to see if Panjak Mishra actually did read the book). The Kindle has been around for a few years, but it looks like web traffic related to it is still increasing radically. I compare it o the iPad below.
I haven’t had time to read a book front to back in 2 months. Probably the longest period I’ve gone like this since I was 13. I plan to “binge” as much as I can over the Holidays. Is there anything interesting you’re reading? And yes, I already have The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined on my Kindle.
Fast Company has a write up of the survey, concluding:
What can we learn from this data? Smart gadgets are pervasive. They’re already changing long-held habits, and doing so very fast. If you’re a content creator on almost any platform, you’ll need to be aware of how your audience’s attention is changing, and if you’re a marketer then think of the plethora of new ways to appeal to the public through their emerging habits.
One thing I notice about reading on the Kindle is that I’m more likely to finish books I begin front-to-back, because the device keeps my place. Flipping through the “book” is actually not as fluid, so in some ways I guess the Kindle is enforcing a retro-traditional reading style on me.