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View Full Version : It's Official: People Don't Read. Steve Jobs Says So.


slackerbot
01-16-2008, 08:19 AM
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/15/the-passion-of-steve-jobs/index.html?ex=1358226000&en=dc35254b0fcd5490&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

Today he had a wide range of observations on the industry, including the Amazon Kindle book reader, which he said would go nowhere largely because Americans have stopped reading.

“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” he said. “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”

http://gizmodo.com/assets/resources/2008/01/sjchin.jpg

herrokitty
01-16-2008, 08:53 AM
forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year.
i'd believe it.

SDP
01-16-2008, 09:21 AM
a guy gets a beard, all of a sudden he thinks he's some sort of expert.

yamchild
01-16-2008, 09:31 AM
well that's thinking different.

premium
01-16-2008, 09:54 AM
most bots read more than that right?

i know i do...

i wish apple sold e-books, i'd buy them.

SDP
01-16-2008, 10:18 AM
I listen to a lot of audio books, but I still read plenty of the traditional model.

Jobs might be right on the market for the ebook reader. That doesn't mean he's not a pandering bastard, tho.

herrokitty
01-16-2008, 10:41 AM
pandering to who?

yamchild
01-16-2008, 10:43 AM
people who don't read.

and the investors who think people don't read.

SDP
01-16-2008, 10:44 AM
Originally posted by herrokitty
pandering to who?

To the non-readers!

edit: Oops, I see Yams got their first!

edit2: There, dammit.

joetron2030
01-16-2008, 11:06 AM
I think a recent National Institute for the Humanities study bore out the fact that the majority of Americans don't read.

I remember hearing a story about that a few months ago.

yamchild
01-16-2008, 11:19 AM
i think the people who are decrying the fact that people don't read nowadays are constructing this fantasy of a golden past where everyone read. kind of like how the old people of every generation complain about how awful young folks are nowadays. reading had its brief moment as the most common form of affordable entertainment for people, and that moment has passed. there are too many other media competing for people's attention, and unlike reading, it is possible to enjoy other media such as music with a minimum of mental concentration (not that i'm recommending that), which makes it more appealing to the majority of people. reading books, for most of history, was a marginal activity performed by a minority of people, and now it's going back to that.

that being said, i still think whoever finally comes up with a really well-made e-reader will be very successful, because there will always be a group of people who love to read books, and they are likely to be the type who will shill out a decent amount of money for such a thing. what job says about the kindle says more about his real priorities (products that are ubiquitous rather than products designed for people who "think different") than the actual chances of success in the e-books market.

SDP
01-16-2008, 11:37 AM
For people not reading, there sure are a lot of books being published.

superyang
01-16-2008, 11:47 AM
^ Cheap publishing rates due to economies of scale, that's all

Denstradamus
01-16-2008, 11:51 AM
My big hope for a future e-reader is that it will save shelf space. Lots of books can take up lots of space.

I think people will pay good money for an awesome e-reader that saves alot of space. I know I would.

nagasawa
01-16-2008, 11:58 AM
^Part of the charm? A library should be a repository of knowledge. My Danielle Steele library. My James Patterson library.

Remy
01-16-2008, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by yamchild
i think the people who are decrying the fact that people don't read nowadays are constructing this fantasy of a golden past where everyone read. kind of like how the old people of every generation complain about how awful young folks are nowadays. reading had its brief moment as the most common form of affordable entertainment for people, and that moment has passed. there are too many other media competing for people's attention, and unlike reading, it is possible to enjoy other media such as music with a minimum of mental concentration (not that i'm recommending that), which makes it more appealing to the majority of people. reading books, for most of history, was a marginal activity performed by a minority of people, and now it's going back to that.

that being said, i still think whoever finally comes up with a really well-made e-reader will be very successful, because there will always be a group of people who love to read books, and they are likely to be the type who will shill out a decent amount of money for such a thing. what job says about the kindle says more about his real priorities (products that are ubiquitous rather than products designed for people who "think different") than the actual chances of success in the e-books market.


well put yamchild.

I, for one, am one of those ppl that dont read many books. I dont have time for them. i read enough in college and i wished i had more time to read, but i dont.

Although it might be true we dont read as much as before, it's a bunch of hogwash to conclude that we're not as informed or intelligent as those that do read a lot.

With the net, the reality is, nowadays we gather information through so many other sources that previous generations never had access to(wiki, youtube, streaming video, blogs, etc).

I just did a wiki search yesterday for macau and got more information on that island that i would ever need--all accessed on demand, in milliseconds.

That is incredible.

puppy fields
01-16-2008, 01:16 PM
i wonder if more people want to write a book then read books.

premium
01-16-2008, 02:12 PM
doubtful

ocd
01-16-2008, 02:17 PM
Originally posted by puppy fields
i wonder if more people want to write a book then read books. I doubt it, most people don't think they have that much to say. An intarweb post, maybe, but not a whole book.

Sethius
01-16-2008, 03:03 PM
the thing with books is that they are no longer entertaining. when i start reading a book, i really don't care what's happening in the story even if i am understanding it. books seem to not provide any new innovative plots and interesting modern characters. books need to be more experimental and underground.

Booter
01-16-2008, 03:16 PM
- necco conversation hearts
- 3/4 power bar
- small salad
- 1/3 of a wrap
- orange
- two egg white with sausage patty
- cracker mix
- some sour patch kids

herrokitty
01-16-2008, 03:36 PM
Originally posted by ocd
I doubt it, most people don't think they have that much to say. An intarweb post, maybe, but not a whole book.
well it can't be harder than writing a movie... and that's just people talking.

FDM
01-16-2008, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by nagasawa
^Part of the charm? A library should be a repository of knowledge. My Danielle Steele library. My James Patterson library.

you forgot john grisham.

i don't know how i feel about the sony i-reader, or any e-book storage/viewing devices yet. true that it saves space, but with a book, you get that tactile feeling of turning a new page, making progress. it also offers a welcome break from staring at a monitor for hours on end.

how do e-books work? is it just like scrolling down a continuous all-text web page, or do they offer page breaks? i can't imagine looking at a monitor for any more time than i already do. especially when reading text.

wnoodle
01-16-2008, 05:22 PM
I read quite a lot, and certainly far more than 1 book a year although I can see Jobs' point of view, my bro and even my gf simply don't read books all too often.

All books are good for these days is fiction, the intertubes is a far more efficient manner of gathering information.

fmstlr
01-16-2008, 07:06 PM
reading "Stupid White Men" or "101 Bushisms" dont count as reading.

kamenriderv3
01-16-2008, 07:34 PM
i wish i didn't read this thread.

shibire
01-16-2008, 07:38 PM
This guy once told me "why read? when I can just watch the movie?" My response was that it's a totally different thing to actively read something vs. passively watch something.

In the long run I think we're just moving toward other forms of communication. Variety is the spice of life. I like having options to read books, listen to webcasts, surf the net, etc.

I like the tactile pleasure of turning pages and the visual stimulation of looking at a creative book.

35ft6
01-17-2008, 03:06 AM
I would buy a good e-book kind of thingee I thought to myself when i went to go take a crap at work. It would have to be relatively slim, but looking at the two versions of People's History I have, the super thick one from the library and the smaller paperback I got from my brother, I keep thinking "dammit, it can be even smaller." And not just smaller, but if I could have 1000 books in that thing, that would be awesome.

karmyk
01-21-2008, 06:37 PM
I like to read books, and I still do it, but books are getting pretty gosh darn expensive these days. Back in college, I used to go to the bookstore and buy a random paperback book to read for enjoyment on a whim for maybe $3.95 to $7.95... these days a simple paperback book often costs $10+.

Complications (by Atul Gawande) was only 269 pages but cost me $13.00 ($11.20 on Amazon... and apparently the price went up to $14.00 this year). China, Inc cost me $15.00 (some sellers will give it to you new through the Amazon.com marketplace for $11.00). Even A Feast for Crows runs $16.00 ($10.88 on Amazon.com). A lot of the other books I've ordered and read recently were about surfing, religion (I'm enjoying a lot of the literature by Dr. Gregory A. Boyd), or healthcare... and most of them were on the expensive side.

I'd love an e-book thingee... but I'd like it to have a screen that's at least paperback-sized, and I'd like to have the option to bookmark/underline/highlight/etc. parts... enter in and save notes... maybe even organize/link related files, making it more "useful" than a book could be in its basic form. Oh! And something that I could interface with my computer. And something affordable.