Amazon Kindle – ‘The Book Lives On’?

‘The Book Lives On’ – that’s the tag-line for the Amazon Kindle, perhaps the most popular e-book reader on the market.

I wrote an essay just before Christmas entitled The Impact of Electronic Publishing: Are The Book’s Page’s Numbered? After congratulating myself on the title, I spent around two thousand words debating the book’s unsure future. Is it on its way out? How can it compete with the glossy new e-book?

The ‘digitalisation’ of literature isn’t always a pretty process, though. For one thing, writers will arguably take a hit due to unfair royalties. Think of it this way: currently, writers don’t get a huge amount of their books’ profits, because their publishers are footing production costs, including printing. E-books, conversely, have next to no production or distribution costs, as customers can simply buy it on-line.

As a result, writers are looking for improved royalties to make up for the fact that the publishers have less legwork, but the publishers won’t budge. This is just one of several dilemmas, including a possible loss of ‘culture’, that have caused some public distrust towards electronic publishing.

It’s therefore interesting to see the Kindle sidestep this hullabaloo by calling itself the ‘new book’. But perhaps this is exactly right. After all, the original book as we know it didn’t just spring up out of the ground. Its predecessor was the manuscript, and there was no doubt a similar public outcry back then towards the book on its arrival.

Who knows, maybe in a hundred years time, what we know as e-books and Kindles will be called, simply, ‘books’.

Trying Out Google Body

So, I’ve been messing around with Google Body. It’s great.

If you haven’t already, head on down to Google to try it out. It’s basically a map of the body that you can explore, with scalers and toggles to hide or show different levels, e.g. the circulatory system or the skeleton. You can also use the search tool to highlight particular parts.

What I’m interested about is what this will mean for medical schools. I mean, all you need is a half decent PC and an internet connection and you’re away, connected to possibly one of the best pieces of anatomical software out there. Imagine how much of a difference this will make, accessible on near enough anything, even tablets. I’ll bet you that it’ll only be a couple of months before we see this taken up by universities and colleges up and down the country.

Let’s face it, they’d be daft not to. It’s free!

Setting Up

I’m pleased to say that my website is now up and running, thanks to the good people at WordPress.org. Right now, only the ‘About‘ page has any content, but I hope to populate the others soon, as well as start posting properly.

For now, thanks for visiting and be sure to bookmark.