Here's hoping we can get the guy from Information is Beautiful to design all those graphs and features. I would die from an overdose of prettiness.
musing about something mixing e-books + social media + virtual book clubs (+ a book-related dating feature, natch)
I don't think the eBooks have to be anything other than plain text that I can read on an electronic device to succeed. Would they be better with all the features listed by Paul? Maybe, but I think a tiny minority of folks would use them.

CD's would have been successful if all they'd been was little LP's that didn't immediately get scratched and dusty, and that allowed instant track skip. The "improvment" in audio quality was sort of nice, but it was the convenience factor that drove CD's success. I suspect eBooks will be the same.
Good stuff. In particular: "Currently, printed book typesetting is far more nuanced and elegant than any Kindle or iBooks edition." Please note that TYPESETTING IS TECHNOLOGY. Technology encompasses far more than electronics, and something isn't automatically more technological because it's electronic. In actual fact, comparing e-reader typsetting to printed book typesetting is like comparing a sledgehammer to a CAD/CAM laser cutter.

Now awaiting Will's usual "all your iPad are belong to us, you don't get it, morons don't care about anything except naked pictures" or whatever it is he likes to say. Fact is, bad typography will slow and possibly halt the spread of e-books.
You know, Gopher was a crappy way to use Internet too.

Hopefully, we'll see the same sort of rapid pioneering in e-readers as we did with web browsing during the half-decade I was in college.
@5, whaddya mean "was"? There's still plenty of Gopher out there, and plenty of Veronica and Jughead search engines for it, and plenty of enthusiasts plugging away.

No, I have no idea why.
I didn't say anything.

Remember, though, it has to both flip and blend.
Why can't I just read a book (on paper or on a screen)? Why do I have to keep plugging into The Hive? It seems like we're creating a world where no one can do anything solitary anymore. We have to rank things, see how other people ranked them, compare ourselves and our tastes to other people and theirs. "Which chapters should I absolutely not miss?" Do you want to read the book or not? Do you need hints about what interests you? Do you need permission to quit reading something that bores you?
I really like his aggregated comments idea; if you've ever played with the little flute app Ocarina on the iPhone, and seen the world-view of everyone in the world who is currently playing a song on the app feature, I can envision it a bit like that.

I think blaming Apple and Amazon here misses the mark if only slightly. They are fighting with a publishing industry who is kicking and dragging their way into the future.

If they allowed an unlocking of the DRM, then we'd see a rush of development in this arena, and I think it would be a tremendous shot-in-the-arm for books and publishing.
@9, read the description of the "kitsch" in iBooks in that link again. And see the comparison between the display -- a book page, nothing more -- with the horror of the iBook one, with the clock and the truly tragic fake fan of pages on both sides. From an aesthetic and experiential standpoint, Apple has blown it really bad. Which is surprising coming from Apple, who usually get aesthetics and usability right. I'm not talking about DRM, I'm talking about what it's LIKE.
@10 .... wow, you still are stuck in denial land, aren't you.
That vision of social features for e-books sounds awful to me and sounds like exactly the kind of thing that I'd switch off first thing. Like I was to know what the other dolts reading a book think is important, and I sure as hell don't want access to the abridged edition cut together by the internet's assorted mouthbreathers. If I wanted that kind of aggravation, I'd be dicking around with comments on a site and not reading a book. This guy is right about the fundamentals of text, but I sure hope that that social horseshit doesn't end up driving up my costs.
@11, you have an argument? Anything? No? Shut the fuck up then.
@10...yeah, I saw his points on that and agree some and disagree some. I'm reading my 4th book on the iPad now. 3 in iBooks and 1 in the kindle app. The faux book elements in iBook just don't bother me, and I actually like the chrome elements for iBooks better than the kindle version.

IBooks is a 1.0 app and I expect it to improve rapidly.

Also, per what you've mentioned previously, I actually prefer the pagination numeration on the iBook better than in the kindle app. I understand that neither are ideal and both are counter to what you've requested, but it doesn't bother me as much.
@14, how does pagination work in iBooks?
Look, Fnarf, this evening I was hanging out with a bunch of friends, some of whom hadn't seen/used an iPad. One of us had one, and the four who hadn't were all gaga over it.

You. Are. Not. The. Target. Market.

Get over yourself and convince yourself your Kindle is the bees knees, just like your Betamax was.
@15…iBooks has a row of small dots along the bottom that show how far you are through a book, it calculates number of 'pages' according to your font size and tells you what page you're on, and it tells you how many pages are left in the chapter you're currently reading.

Compare that to the Kindle app which gives you this totally bizarre "location" number that doesn't seem to relate to anything and the percentage of completion along with a sliding bar…I don't know, maybe it's just the implementation, but I don't like it. Apple's seems clean and just seems to make sense to me.
Irving @ 8 "Why can't I just read a book (on paper or on a screen)?"

Who's stopping you? Ideally any meta-data creation and use should be as visible (or invisible) as you want it to be.

Timothy @ 9 "If they allowed an unlocking of the DRM, then we'd see a rush of development in this arena, and I think it would be a tremendous shot-in-the-arm for books and publishing."

I had to laugh, sorry. Unlock DRM? This is madness!

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