Day: June 16, 2006

The value of Book 1.5

It seems I am being taken to task very often the last little while which is good, this blog has always been about learning and interacting and getting to grips with my own thoughts.

The comment I am talking about is Nate’s from the other day:

Should the focus be placed on changing the delivery mechanism itself as opposed to reconsidering how accessible and flexible we make the knowledge and ideas contained within. Reduced to their essence, paper-and-ink books are simply vessels for the knowledge and ideas that they deliver to a reader. Further, it could be argued that a copy of a book without a reader is essentially useless. The simple existence of a printed copy of a book has little value unless the knowledge and ideas within its pages is being imprinted upon a human mind. I don’t mean to imply that books are useless and they do seem to find readers. It does raise the question, “are books with a co-existing digital presence only really moderately more valuable”?

I do think books are more valuable with an accompanying digital/online presence. In fact considerably more valuable, especially non-fiction titles. The question of whether they have value without readers might also be asked of the digital content accompanying them but that is splitting hairs.

The questions that remain unanswered are firstly: do the bulk of consumers see the value and wish to have it and secondly if fiction will be part of the change when it comes?

I remain unconvinced (though wavering) that the audience is searching for alternatives to books, which suggests that the drive is from companies and others who stand to benefit and I remain unconvinced (not so wavering)that fiction will follow non-fiction to a digital future.