Pirms kāda laiciņa Kursors.lv publiskoju aicinājumu apmeklēt grāmatu apgāda Zvaigzne ABC e-grāmatām veltīto pasākumu. Raksta komentāros izvērsās sagaidāmi asas diskusijas par to, ka e-grāmatas Latvijā maksā pārlieku dārgi un grāmatu izdevēji dzīvo kā nieres taukos. Tās, protams, ir klajas muļķības un īpaši mazā tirgus apstākļos gan papīra, gan digitālo grāmatu izdošana Latvijā ir gana sarežģīts darbs. Komentāros Kursors.lv autore Sintija pieminēja grāmatu “Burning The Page“, un, iepazinies ar tās aprakstu, nolēmu izlasīt šo grāmatu.

Kopumā man tā patika un pamudināja aizsākt jaunu “Kursors.lv lasa” kategoriju. Savā visnotaļ aizņemtajā ikdienā cenšos rast laiku, lai lasītu grāmatas par tehnoloģijām un to ietekmi uz sabiedrību un vēlos par šīm grāmatām informēt arī Kursora lasītājus. Tā kā grāmatu recenziju rakstīšanā savu roku vēl īsti neesmu piešāvis, tad esmu nolēmis par tām vēstīt mazliet savādākā formā. Ceru, ka tā noderīga šķitīs arī jums. Pēdējos gados grāmatas es lasu digitālā formātā un aktīvi atzīmēju interesantākās vietas, ko pēc tam pārlasīt, apdomāt un analizēt. Savulaik, kad pārsvarā lasīju papīra grāmatas, interesantākās vietas pārrakstīju savā piezīmju blociņā. Par katru izlasīto grāmatu īsumā pastāstīšu savas domas un publicēšu arī izrāvumus no tās, lai varat iepazīties ar tajā paustajām idejām, diskutēt par tām un saprast vai konkrētā grāmata ir izlasīšanas vērta. Ilgi domāju par to vai izrāvumus tulkot uz latviešu valodu, tomēr izlēmu tos atstāt oriģinālvalodā, lai tulkojumā nepazaudētu autora valodu un dažkārt pat izteikuma domu. Ceru, ka jums ar svešvalodām viss kārtībā.

Kā jau minēju iepriekš, grāmata man tīri labi patika. Tās autors Džeisons Merkoski ir piedalījies Amazon Kindle e-lasītāja izstrādes procesā un šī ierīce, lai arī tehniski ne pirmais e-lasītājs, tomēr pilnībā mainīja lasīšanas jomu. Tāpēc bija interesanti lasīt tās nodaļas, kurās viņš stāsta par Kindle tapšanu un  “cīņu” ar grāmatu izdevējiem. Kopumā grāmata ir pilna ar lasīšanas nākotnes pareģojumiem un daļai no tiem es piekrītu, daļai ne pārāk. Man simpatizē ideja, ka lasīšana reiz kļūs kā ar sociālā tīkla elementiem papildināts pakalpojums (kā elektrība, ūdensapgāde, mūzikas noma). Maksājot abonentmaksu, varēsim piekļūt grāmatām un lasot sazināties ar citiem lasītājiem un pat autoru. Papīra grāmatas vēl labu laiku neizzudīs tāpat kā vinila plates joprojām nav izzudušas. Ja vēlies gūt lielāku priekšstatu par to, kāda varētu būt lasīšana pēc pieciem vai desmit gadiem, tad šī grāmata tev var sniegt šādu skatījumu.

Izrāvumi no Jason Merkoski grāmatas “Burning The Page (The Ebook Revolution and the Future of Reading)”:

  • At night, though, when you’re trying to sleep, using LCD screens or backlit e-readers can actually zap the production of melatonin in your body, keeping you awake longer and degrading the quality of the sleep you do eventually get.
  • In Amazon’s deep-dive culture, facts are preferred to opinions. Deep dives are like science experiments, and you approach them with a hypothesis you want to prove. If your hypothesis is disproven, then you come up with a new hypothesis, run tests to gather data, and analyze data to prove or disprove the new hypothesis.
  • Digital books, like television and other media, are best meant for those Pandoras who’ve already opened their boxes and know what demons to expect inside.
  • First and foremost, e-readers don’t hold a melted candle to print books in terms of how crisp and textured their ebooks can be. Moreover, the sense of touch—of pages that are perhaps rough or smooth or crisp or corrugated—gives readers an anchor, continually re-establishes a link between the book and the reading experience, and prevents the mind from wandering while reading. The physicality of a book anchors you to it, unlike the denuded, sterile sensation of sheer plastic or numb glass on an e-reader.
  • There’s no cognitive difference in reading a sentence in a print book versus a digital book. But physical sensations—the texture of the paper, the smell of the ink, the raised or recessed letters on the book cover, a peeling price tag on the spine—all help center you in the reading experience and help distinguish one book from the next in your mind’s mental map.
  • Readers will camp out on a paragraph or sentence in an author’s book, staking it out as their turf and defending it when rivals want to squat on that turf with alternative interpretations. I can see people chatting with one another and coming together in conversations that are centered not just around the book, but around a given chapter or section of a book. Also, as you’re reading, you’ll see who else is reading, where they’re from, and what e-readers they’re using. You might decide to reach out to them and chat about this book or this section. The book might prompt you with some starter questions or conversational topics related to it, much like discussion questions in a book club. The chats can be private or public.
  • A digital book will become like a chat room with a community around it. It could come to resemble an online video game, with readers all over the country having an intense online discussion or playing out the plot at the same time, wearing headphones and talking to one another over the internet in real time. Authors will move into the role of directors and orchestrators, and the audience will move into the role of the musicians. The readers will actually write many of the words. The author will choose the venue and shape the narrative in the same way that an Xbox game designer creates the playing field and core graphics that everyone else in the game gets to manipulate and use.
  • Perhaps a time period from the original date of a book’s publication will have to pass, maybe a year or two, after which the book will be available as a used ebook sale.
  • Statistically speaking, the first 2.5 percent of the population to adopt a new technology are called innovators. The next 13.5 percent are early adopters, and the next 34 percent are the early majority. If you add up these three groups of people, you get 50 percent, half the population. The remaining two groups are the late majority, which represents the next 34 percent and, finally, the laggards, with the final 16 percent.
  • This, after all, is how TV shows have historically worked. You just watch what comes over the airwaves. This is also how Netflix works. And it’s how music services like Spotify and Pandora work. Even the Google Book product works this way. It simply isn’t an option to save a local copy of a song or movie. It’s in the cloud, and all you’re able to do is rent the content. The same may soon be true with ebooks. All you may own are the rights to read a book but not to own a copy of the actual content.
  • But now, we’re at the threshold of Reading 2.0, a seismic shift, because with this development, reading is no longer linear, no longer static. Although the idea of nonlinear, weblike reading was discussed as early as 1945 by Vannevar Bush, a computer theorist at MIT, it wasn’t until the advent of hypertext and the web in the late 1980s and early 1990s that we saw the first glimmering of this new form, where we could jump around within a book or in a collection of them.
  • The reading experience could become more social too. Ebooks allow you to interact with other readers. You can’t look at a print book and see who else is reading it and then tap their names to tweet with them about your favorite plotlines or passages. But you could with ebooks.
  • In the future, there’s going to be just one book, a vast book that includes all the others inside it, which I call the Facebook for Books. You’ll be able to start reading from any book and naturally segue into a different one, just by following a link. It could be a bibliographic link or just a link to a book that influenced the author and that’s been annotated as such by a reader like you or me. You will be able to link forward or double-back and keep reading. It’s social networking, if you will, for books.
  • Not only are all books connected, but so also is all culture. It should be possible to create a link from this book into a related Battlestar Galactica episode—or at least to a clip from it to show its relationship to the current content you’re reading. There should be a hypertextual overlay across all media that lets a consumer flip from book to movie to comic book and back again, as often as the reader pleases, because there is only one book, the book of all human culture. And let me tell you, it’s a great book. But it’s so long that you’ll never finish reading it in your lifetime.
  • The shift in taste away from print to digital will mirror the shift from handwritten to print.
  • Most of the captchas you see on the internet are from Google. They’re how Google fixes conversion errors in their ebook content. Every time you verify yourself on a website, you’re helping Google to decipher one or two words in one of millions of their books.
  • Much of the searchable ebook content is culturally irrelevant, and that which is relevant is hidden.
  • By preventing ebook content from showing up in the results of internet searches, we’re missing out on some great information. This is most true for nonfiction. Even newspaper and magazine publishers are smart enough to put their content online where it’s relevant—but not book publishers. It will take a tidal shift, a sea-change in opinion about ebook pricing models, before this happens. That is sad and short-sighted, in my opinion, because it means that instead of getting expert facts from within books written by professionals, we’re getting misinformation and novice opinions when we perform certain kinds of web searches.
  • Ebooks never get lost or defaced. Schools no longer need to replace books if they’re the casualties in a food fight or if the proverbial dog ate them along with a child’s homework. It’s going to be a lot harder to blame a dog for eating your ebook or hard drive.
  • Socrates felt that act of questioning was of supreme importance to personal growth.
  • With digital books, though, you won’t be able to catch a glimpse of the book that the airplane passenger sitting next to you is reading, so you won’t be able to strike up a conversation quite as quickly
  • This information isn’t yet being used to target your personal reading habits, but the reading patterns across multiple people for a given book could be used by the retailers—and sold back to publishers—to improve the quality of a given ebook
  • In truth, ebooks and e-readers are part of the flywheel for any ebook retailer. You can’t sell content without a reader, and you can’t sell readers without content, so you need both.
  • The digital mode of creation immortalizes us; the analog mode humbles us.
  • But let me tell you something about the ebook revolution: this is a revolution of the publishers, for the readers, by the retailers.
  • The author will need to use this data in making revisions for a second or third edition of the book. Or perhaps this data will be available to the author as he or she plans a new book—to see what content engaged readers most and what sections were too difficult for the target audience to read. Editors may not even be part of the process. Authorship may be a direct relationship between readers and authors, mediated by these web pages of statistics culled from the thousands of readers and their reactions to the content.
  • The future of writing is changing and requires authors to be part engineer, part marketer, part statistician, and oh yes, part writer too.
  • I’m thinking in particular about sheet music scores, old pamphlets, or postcards. There’s a wealth of material to scan in and digitize, and books are just one part of this. Newspapers and magazines are part of this gold rush, although frankly—and I’m completely unbiased here—books are sexier than anything else.
  • Right now, when you buy an ebook, you’re making a one-time transaction. But in the utility model, you would pay one monthly or yearly lump sum to get unlimited downloads.
  • I think that in a few years, you’ll be able to mail boxes of your print books to conversion facilities that will manage the print-to-digital conversion and send you back files in the format of your choice. Or maybe you’ll see larger versions of the ebook toasters at the mall.
  • It will be a lot like going to the mechanic to get the tires on your car changed, except that now you will have newer, better tires. And yes, you’ll still have to pay a handling fee to dispose of the old tires or, in this case, your print books.
  • Only one thing is certain: content was, and is, still king.
  • You’re going to see a lot more used book sales in the next ten years than ever before. People are going to start dumping their print books to get whatever prices they can from them, simply because it’s more convenient to go digital.
  • There’s actually a thriving subculture of people armed with laptops who go to used bookstores, scan in the bar codes with their video cameras, and see if any of the books are worth enough to buy used from the bookstore. If so, they resell the book online at a higher price. You’ll see more of this in the years ahead, as well as better tools on smartphones to allow non-experts to make a living at this.
  • If there are 119 million readers in the United States, and every reader has an average of one hundred books, and half of these will be eliminated over the next ten years as people go digital, about six billion books will need to be disposed of in some way or another. That’s around four billion tons, or the equivalent of ten years of trash. It all has to end up somewhere.
  • Readers inhabit a book. They burrow into Frodo’s hobbit hole and curl up with him for a pot of tea. In contrast, the only way to “read” a video game or movie is when you are not participating in it.
  • In the book Hamlet’s BlackBerry, author William Powers describes a technique that works for him. He calls it a “Walden Zone.” It’s a room without electronics. A room in your house where you can think, like Thoreau on Walden Pond. A place where you can meditate and contemplate—and ideally, you’re not contemplating what your next game of Angry Birds will be like or how you’ll beat your former score. It’s a technique I use in my own life. There’s always a room in my house with no gadgetry, and I try every year to take a vacation for a few weeks somewhere without electricity. I try to reconnect with myself. Even if you don’t suffer from ADHD, this might work for you too.
  • The reading I do on my iPad is more like snacking than eating a full meal.
  • Now, this flittering has the side benefit that if we can channel ourselves properly while reading, we’ll be able to use other applications as adjuncts to look up words or to go online and find out the hidden meanings or subtexts. But ideally all this functionality would be seamlessly present in the reading experience itself, so we wouldn’t run the risk of losing our place in the reading or our train of thought.
  • So we either need better applications that keep us rooted to what we’re reading, or we need to police ourselves—perhaps with lockouts that we apply to ourselves that prohibit us from wandering out of the book to check our email or surf the web or only allow us to do this once an hour while reading. Perhaps future software updates for the iPad will allow teachers to lock devices down into ebook-only mode or give students intermittent access to the non-ebook parts of the device. Lockdown controls like this would probably be useful for a lot of adults I know too.
  • Our children need to concentrate when they learn to read to become good readers—and from that, good thinkers. But our hypermediated environment is one of constant distraction, so our kids are often learning to read—and through that, to think—in a rather shallow and careless way.
  • It might take a hundred years before the heirs of Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs figure out how to digitize human brains and make them available for purchase and download. But once that happens, it would be an amazing experience to download the personality of your deceased grandmother and to speak to her for a few hours. Or perhaps you could have a conversation with yourself as you once were. Or speak with any of the great minds of history and have a dialogue with them or argue with them.
  • I said earlier that, to the brain, there’s no difference between the words in a book and the words in an ebook, but ebooks introduce us to more than just words. They introduce us to other people and let us talk to our friends and family, right in the margins of an ebook.
  • Sintija Buhanovska

    Un te arī mans apskats par “Burning the Page: the eBook Revolution and the Future of Reading”, kas, tiesa, rakstīts jau pagājušā gada augustā, kad tikko iznāca šis darbs: http://www.trolejbuss.lv/2013/08/tiltu-un-gramatu-dedzinasana.html
    Tā tiešām ir vērtīga grāmata, ko izlasīt ikvienam, kas vēlas saprast kaut daļu no e-grāmatu biznesa pirmssākumiem un problēmām kā tādām. Ne viss ir zelts, kas spīd :)

  • Rem

    Ja kādam interesē, tad epub:
    [nevairosim_te_pirātismu]

  • Iedvesmojos no šī raksta un uzreiz aizskrēju nopirkt grāmatu.
    Bija ļoti interesanti, brīžiem biedējoši un kaitinoši, bet autora idejas ir aizraujošas un samērā lielu dalu no tam es labprāt redzētu savā dzīvē.

    Blogā gari un plaši izplūdu savās spekulācijās par autora idejām un nākotnes redzējumu:
    http://spigana.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/burning-the-page-jason-merkoski/