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Whither the book?

I started reading ebooks on my Palm III in 1998. Now that I have a tablet, paper books seem quaint and even annoying some times.

(C) 2011 Rick Smith, Creative Commons Attribution

Two households in our family own hardcover copies of Clavell's Noble House , an alarmingly thick novel from 1981. It weighs over 3.5 pounds. It makes good travel reading. I've read chapters out of different copies while on visits, but never managed to finish it. And I wasn't going to carry it on a plane. I finally bought the Kindle edition. It lives weightlessly alongside a few hundred other books on my 1.4 pound iPad.

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A 21st Century Family Library

Over the years, our family has bought three copies of the Crosby, Stills & Nash album. My wife and I each bought a vinyl copy back in the '70s. Recently we bought a "clean" (not copy protected) copy from the iTunes music store. I expect that's the last time anyone in our family will have to buy a copy of that album, including all our descendants.

I believe that music sharing is "fair use" within a family. I'm inclined to feel that way about video, and no doubt I'll feel the same way about digitized books. Cousin Jon sent me a couple of links describing "do it yourself" book scanners. I need to get myself one of those. But a family library of digitized books has an interesting implication for publishers: it will decimate the reprint market. My (not-yet-existing) great grandson won't ever have to purchase a copy of Pride and Prejudice and should never have to buy any other books I collect in digital form.

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