Saturday, August 28, 2010

We're buying lots of eBooks, but are we reading them?

I just read a very funny blog entry about television procedurals written by Josh Friedman (and no, we're not related--I'm Feldman and he's Friedman, and further, no two Feldmans, not even mother and child, are related to each other, but I digress.) In his posting, he writes the following about the television show "Lost":
I'm not the first to say this, but Lost is a freak show that will never be repeated. It's the Michael Jackson of television. No one should try to deconstruct the Lost phenomenon ever again. There is nothing to be gained from studying Lost's success. It's a Black Swan, or an Outlier, or one of many other books on my Kindle I'll never read now because, let's be honest, it's on my Kindle.
He's picked up on a behavior that I've noticed in myself. I've bought five eBooks from Amazon to read in the Kindle app on my iPad, and I haven't read a single one of them. With a physical book, it's visibly sitting somewhere, and every time I see it, I'm reminded that I haven't read it yet, or I haven't finished it. If I'm done with it, I've stored it on my bookshelf. Unless I bother to open up my Kindle app, there are absolutely no reminders that I've got the books. "Out of sight, out of mind." I call it Kindle Amnesia Syndrome, or KAS.

There are copious statistics on how many more eBooks than print books that Kindle owners purchase after they buy a Kindle, but I wonder how many of those eBooks actually get read, and how long that purchasing pattern will continue. My suspicion is that after a few months, a Kindle owner's eBook purchases will go down to about the same rate as print.
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