Digitopoly is becoming my favorite blog as they seem to touch the very topics I am interested in. Future of libraries and books is something I think often. Let us say everytime I visit the local library. Here is there thinking on why reading book should be more like going to cinema rather than owning a physical artifact. You can always argue that there are folks who like to own discs/tapes but that would be minority compared to folks who see the movie.
“Here is the central fact about book publishing: lending is the natural state. Authors produce a book that is improved by others (including editors etc). Then people read the book and that is where it has primary value. Notice that there is no ‘then people buy the book’ stage in the middle or ‘then people place the book on their shelves forever more’ after these. Those are things people did because (a) they had to buy a physical copy and (b) they got used to keeping the physical copy. But for libraries, none of that was relevant.
The issue book publishers face — and so many have said it I really shouldn’t bother, but I will — is that they are wedded to a strategy whereby they sell owned copies rather than reading. That model did translate over to eBooks and, in many respects, eBooks are actually harder to share as owned copies than physical books. Amazon and others have tried to break those constraints but it is safe to say that sharing is hard. Although, when you have a family account things become simpler. But institutionalised lending of eBooks may be very attractive to readers.”
Digitopoly. About; Authors. Erik Brynjolfsson; Joshua Gans; Shane Greenstein. Posts by Author. Erik Brynjolfsson; Joshua Gans; Shane Greenstein. Blog Network. Core Economics; Economics of Information;…