posted on Jul, 1 2012 @ 11:32 AM
E-book technology is changing the way people shop for and read books. The brick and mortar bookstores are starting to go the way of the dinosaur and a
new generation is coming that may never know the feel of a book in their hands or what having a library of books in the home is all about.
Now, it seems that isn't the only thing E-books are changing in society; it seems that the E-books are able to collect data on readers and provide
that data back to the E-reader company so they can compile a database on their readers.
Your E-Book Is Reading You
It takes the average reader just seven hours to read the final book in Suzanne Collins's "Hunger Games" trilogy on the Kobo e-reader—about 57
pages an hour. Nearly 18,000 Kindle readers have highlighted the same line from the second book in the series: "Because sometimes things happen to
people and they're not equipped to deal with them." And on Barnes & Noble's Nook, the first thing that most readers do upon finishing the first
"Hunger Games" book is to download the next one.
In the past, publishers and authors had no way of knowing what happens when a reader sits down with a book. Does the reader quit after three pages, or
finish it in a single sitting? Do most readers skip over the introduction, or read it closely, underlining passages and scrawling notes in the
margins? Now, e-books are providing a glimpse into the story behind the sales figures, revealing not only how many people buy particular books, but
how intensely they read them.
For centuries, reading has largely been a solitary and private act, an intimate exchange between the reader and the words on the page. But the rise of
digital books has prompted a profound shift in the way we read, transforming the activity into something measurable and quasi-public.
Right now, they’re using this info to better predict which books will be successful so they can better cater books toward the market in the hopes of
boosting sales and predicting what books to put out in the future. Soon, new books will be put out using the same methods as they use to determine
what new TV shows to put on the air which has resulted in all those mindless reality shows that hypnotize the masses so effectively.
This can only lead to the lowering the quality of literature IMO. Now, instead of putting out books which inform the reader, make them think, or
inspire them in some way, they will instead find a “formula” for the successful book and will hesitate to put out anything that doesn’t fit that
guaranteed moneymaking formula. We can expect our books to be dumbed down as much as our TV.
Not only will this reduce the quality of literature, it has scary Big Brother possibilities as well. Now, the gubment can get stats on what type of
books you order, the search terms you use to find them and how you read the book as well, right down to what important parts you choose to highlight
or even the notes you choose to keep in the margins.
It used to be that had to physically invade your house to gather such data or stand over your shoulder watching you the whole time but, now the E-book
companies are gathering it for them. The alphabet agencies must be drooling at the surveillance possibilities presented by the new technology.
Welcome to the Brave New World!