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Kindle Rates

In relation to this entry, here's an article from The Atlantic that takes a "shocking" look at ebook readers.

The article gives a surface-level analysis of data on regions with the highest percentage of Kindle sales, and the author began with the assumption that ereader adoption would of course align with the properly forward-thinking metro centers.  My oh-so-favorite line: "If the self-appointed 'elite' members of society avidly read, then the 'elite of the elite' must avidly e-read, right?"

Surprise!  The most "culturally-reputed" cities are way down on the list, beat out by places like Anchorage, Des Moines, Omaha, and Oklahoma City.  Washington D.C. is beat by Greenville, SC.  Cleveland beats Santa Barbara.  Indianapolis beats Chicago.  All of those beat Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The author congratulates the "nerds" of the Midwest--completely unaware that his stated personal reasons for adopting an ereader (elitism) doesn't apply to the cities he's congratulating.  It is about access. In Santa Barbara, if you want to buy a book in February, it's no more difficult than it is in June.  There are fewer places to buy books in Indianapolis than in San Francisco or Chicago.

For most folks, using an ereader has nothing to do with being cool, an "early adopter," or part of the elite.  It isn't about the technology, or what all the cool kids are doing.  It's a way to read books.  A way that didn't exist before.  It's about access.

Why is this so hard for some folks to understand?   


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 20th, 2012 03:18 pm (UTC)
I suspect the people in the cities with bookstores and convenient shipping and good library systems don't get it because it doesn't occur to them that real books could be hard to come by. It's rather like the people who are astonished by the ubiquity of cell phones in places that don't have universal plumbing or treated drinking water; it has to be pointed out to them that the former is not actually the bigger luxury.
Apr. 20th, 2012 08:05 pm (UTC)
Good point re: the cell phones. I guess I've just been surprised--repeatedly--by the assumption ereaders are nothing but a tech toy for tech people who like to be ahead of the game. It's the stereotype that's been attached to the device that I confounds me.

Apr. 22nd, 2012 03:16 pm (UTC)
I think it's one of those ongoing trends with technology-- a lot of the people making it do so mainly because they think it's cool, and then once it's out there other people will snap it up and use it for things that never would have occurred to the original inventors & marketters. It just takes a while to shake out the actual utility of the device from people's preconceived ideas about it.
Apr. 20th, 2012 03:40 pm (UTC)
What Thanate said. Because frankly, most people are stupid -- not necessarily incapable of thinking, but prone to not think, all the same. They assume that their experience is normal, and quite possibly universal, and it takes a good hard push to nudge them out of that rut.

Apr. 20th, 2012 08:07 pm (UTC)
Not only prone to not think, but incapable of applying past experience to present situations.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


Blair MacGregor

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