Some More Thoughts On Kindle and Reading On An iPad

I posted yesterday about highlighting and sharing quotes from books. I figured I'd make it a Kindle weekend here at AVC and talk about one other reason I love reading on an iPad and how Amazon could make it even better for me.

When I read, particularly biographies and other non-fiction, I love to hop out of the book and onto the web to get more details. I've been doing this a ton while reading Life, Keith Richard's biography.

When Keith talks about growing up in Dartford, riding bikes around the Heath, I hop out of the Kindle app and into Maps and find the map of Dartford and check out satellite views of the Heath. It's like taking a quick trip there to get some context.

When Keith talks about Andrew Loog Oldham, their first manager, I hop over to Wikipedia and get the lowdown on the guy. It makes the story more interesting to me.

When Keith talks about how beautiful Anita Pallenberg was when he met her, I hop over to Google Images and see what he's talking about. It turns a story into a movie in my mind.

Reading on an iPad via the Kindle app makes all of this pretty easy. I do it all the time. But imagine if, when you highlight something on the Kindle, you get a few more options, like Maps, Wikipedia, Images. Clicking on one of them takes you right to where you want to go. It would be killer. I hope Amazon adds this feature. I'd use it all the time.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Wells Baum

    In the age of distraction, you want even more distraction?  I think we should focus when we read, take notes, and attend to gathering further information later.  But everyone has his/her own style.  Seth Godin would be proud you’re reading any book.  

    1. fredwilson

      this is not distraction in any way. i am focused completely and totally on what i am reading and hungry for more. this is an insatiable curiosity and hunger for knowledge.

      1. barrkel

        They are a distraction from a linear narrative, which is what books are best at. The thing you describe is like reading Wikipedia; it’s great for a superficial understanding of a whole lot of not very related things. But narratives are important for deeper and bigger ideas.

        1. fredwilson

          i disagree. but it is possibel that you and i consume information differently. i always think that there are different strokes for different folks

        2. raycote

          Kurt Godel disagrees as well.A formal system(model/representation/book) can be either internally consistent and therefore incomplete in scope or it can be complete in scope and therefore internally inconsistent.Triangulated perpective is a more complete view of a topic despite the inconsistencies between it’s perspective view points.You must choose between a viewpoint that prioritizes consistency or scope. Different strokes an all that.

          1. barrkel

            The incompleteness theorem is all well and good in mathematics, but books are not formal systems…

          2. raycote

            Point well taken but I think the analogy still holds some water.

        3. ShanaC

          Not all novels are totally linear, a great example is Wind Up Bird Chronicle (Murkami) – it’s narrative isn’t completely linear at all.Even with linear narratives, there is definitely space to develop interactive content (see this example from slate:…And with some non-fiction I don’t think I want a completely narrative books.

          1. barrkel

            Oh totally, I was going to write about choose-your-own-adventure books too, but thought it was a distraction. That’s why I explicitly qualified my statement by talking about linear narratives, rather than narratives more generally.

      2. raycote

        One man’s distraction is another man’s expanded focus

    2. Robert Holtz

      On some level, I appreciate your contrarian stance but ultimately I have to disagree with you and support Fred’s point.A distraction is an interruption in the message that is against your will.  Like if a big animated marching band were to march across the web page right now and lock you out from reading this post. The hyperlinking Fred describes is anything but distraction.  It is helping him to immerse himself further into the content.  It is helping him to relive and contextualize the author’s words.  Because Fred controls when he dives in to cross reference and is free to return to the narrative at his complete will and command, it is not an distraction. When you Google something you’re interested in and drill down to get to an answer, is that a distraction?  Answer: No.  Same thing here.  People have been reading books with dictionaries and encyclopedias on their desks for eons.  The difference is we have that online now — with quicker access and automatic comprehensive updates.  That’s the only part that has changed and that is a change for the better.

      1. barrkel

        You write as if you are in control of your own attention, that your will is the master of your eye. I hate to break your illusion, but you aren’t. If you were, ads would never work. For most guys, even a pretty girl smiling at them is enough to break their attention. And that’s why we have to play tricks on ourselves to concentrate. We do things like work in offices instead of at home; the change in context removes distractions. Likewise for the Kindle; the focus helps prevent us from getting waylaid.(I’m not arguing against dictionaries and encyclopedias. Such strawmen should be beneath you.)

  2. Jan Schultink

    You need some sort of “Evernote”, that allows you to attach stuff to text you are reading that then is visible to other readersI am currently reading Hemmingway’s moveable feast and would like a good Paris map handy.Crazy idea: build an app on top of Google maps/Street view that creates a movie of you walking the street (or driving) between 2 points. This could be a killer app when coupled to a treadmill 🙂 “Going to run up the Champs Elyssee and back”

  3. William Mougayar

    But here lies another opportunity for innovation. Instead of hoping out of the app to quench your thirst for more info, shouldn’t e-books be totally interactive natively? You should be able to turn Hyperlinks on/off and click straight from the reading….Even more…what if Amazon gave real-time stats to the author like ChartBeat, e.g. 1200 users are reading your book now…here’s their geo. And let the user interact with the author online.

    1. William Montagu

      Oh jeez, if “let the user interact with the author online” becomes the new “every crappy band in the country has a myspace page and will inundate users with friend and event requests all of which the users will find completely annoying and thus ignore wholesale” i say let’s skip the “innovation.”  

      1. William Mougayar

        It could be done in a proper manner like comments on a blog.

  4. David Miller

    I love reading on my iPad for the same reasons you’ve mentioned. The only thing that bothers me is that it’s no longer possible to share books anymore, at least not easily. I used to keep a bookshelf at work and loan books out to the office – I was a mini-library – and I don’t see how I could do that if all my books are on my iPad. I’m not loaning that out. It’s not even possible at home, really, either.Do you have any thoughts on sharing? Has this been an issue for you? Amazon has a “lending” feature but I haven’t seen any publishers enable it yet on any of the books I’ve purchased. I wish they would.

    1. fredwilson

      we need models for libraries in ebooks, for suremy wife and our kids share books because we share one kindle account across six devicesthat is awesome

      1. Fernando Gutierrez

        Sharing with six devices is great, but I think that’s the limit Amazon allows. I’m just one person and I use three devices (Kindle, Android and PC), so six is way too low in my opinion.Related, I’ve just seen that library lending is scheduled for this year:…I would also like to be able to move a book from one accout to another one permanently. The lending feature @dmilleravid:disqus refers only passes the book for a couple of weeks and you can only do it a number of times.Having a way to buy a Kindle edition in Amazon and having it sent to another person’s account would be great too.

      2. ShanaC

        How do we kill digital signaturing in the long term for libraries – one of the few places where finding any sort of information should be safe?What if I want to read about nuclear physics – do I want everyone to know that?

  5. Bobby Davis

    I think that this kind of easy access to specific information on the internet would be useful to any very interested reader of non-fiction. I also think that this would be especially helpful for textbooks and primary sources. In many classes, especially when I am reading a long journal entry or primary source, I’m always hopping from my kindle or iBooks app to the internet to google terms or ideas. I think a lot of genuinely interested students do this.It makes learning/reading a deeper experience and you learn more about the topic you’re reading about. Apple and/or Amazon could do a lot quickly to make the internet-aided learning experience more accessible and more appealing.

  6. bijan

    Keith’s book is a blast to read. i’m nearing the end. it’s fascinating. i wish more of my favorite artists wrote about their life with this much honesty and detail. it’s almost like a blog!I bought a Kindle the other week thinking i would get more use out of it on the beach. I like how light it is and the screen. but my 12 year old basically snagged it, so I’m back to the iPad. i’m gonna start highlighting more now. 

    1. fredwilson

      i’m 80% through. i’m into the 80s, when the stones started sucking

      1. matjen

        IT’s right about there when the book starts to get noticeably worse as well.  Great overall read however.  

        1. fredwilson

          i think the stones stopped writing great songs when mick and keith stopped being great friends. the magic of their songs is keith would start them and mick would flesh them out and then the band would finish them. once keith and mick stopped working well together, it was all over but the touring

          1. tomwatson

            Good point – I’ve enjoyed the “Keith” solo songs more in the last 20 years than most of the highly produced stuff. Though I will say their last record was the best of the late period….Re: Kindle – I value the isolation and readability of the basic device, though I sometimes will read via the Android app (great the way they sync). But I like sharing highlights and will do more of it…the Tumblr connections seems like the right channel.

      2. aweissman

        other than Chonicles, Vol 1, it’s my favorite music memoir.  But I’m hardly objective when it comes to Keef.   I did lots of underlining in that book – I think this is my Kindle public page for it:

        1. fredwilson

          I’ve only shared a small numbers of my highlights. We should merge our highlight pages!

          1. Iyinoluwa E Aboyeji

            That should soon be possible for every document, not just the kindle. 

      3. matthughes

        They did start sucking in the 80’s – they’ve ‘been sucking’ for a long time now.It’s a testament to how great they were before the 80’s.

  7. Tom Labus

    Books are an untapped area for the web.The Kindle and Kindle app for iPad are just beginning to get it right.  There’s more out of a book sometimes than in it.  How to capture that?

    1. Robert Thuston

      I think books are an untapped area too.  what do you mean by more out of a book than in it?

      1. Tom Labus

        When I read I think of the historical context and that takes me all sorts of places.

        1. Robert Thuston


  8. kirklove

    It’s limited right now, though the folks at The Atavist are doing exactly what you want. It is indeed killer. I wish all stories/books/etc came with this context. Once you read a story like on Atavist you crave that type of context.

    1. fredwilson

      steven johnson, who tipped me off to the trick i blogged about yesterday, also told me about atavist. i’m going to check it out

      1. Richard MacManus

        I discovered The Atavist in NYC on my last trip. If you’re interested, here’s my write-up:…btw keen to hear other tips that Steven had! 

    2. Robert Thuston

      Good stuff… “Original Nonfiction Storytelling”…

    3. raycote

      Thanks!One of the great things about AVC, even for a non-developer interloper like myself, is the array of great links suggested on this blog.

  9. JimHirshfield

    Basically you’re saying, “Dear book publishers, meet hypertext, it’s this new fangled thing a ma jig from 20 years ago. Don’t fear the future.”

    1. fredwilson


      1. digitalwaveride

        But there is even a lot more potential to digital text than just “highlighting” and “quoting” and hypertext:Imagine the possibilities how you could analyse this data and provide complete new ways to filter the content of books. Books could evolve from a static to an interactive platform of knowledge.We are working on this with .

    2. Biz Dev @ Deus, x-machina

      E-readers have seemingly only gained sustainability in the marketplace as they’ve come closer and closer to replicating the experience of handling a book.  So your comment could be flipped to say “Dear e-reader biz dev people, meet books, they’re these new fangled thingamajigs from thousands of years ago.  Don’t fear the future.”

      1. ShanaC

        Books hold a special quality to them…

    3. Guest

      And if 90% of the hypertext is linked to advertisements that would be SOOOOO awesome

      1. joe


    4. Tmurphy

      Publishers are trying to raise prices of ebooks and getting backlash from readers upset (rightly so) that they will be paying more without receiving anything of additional value.  Publishers need to view ebooks as an opportunity to serve their content in a new, more valuable and more engaging manner.  1) Instead of the reading app allowing hypertext or search, publishers should tag content with relevant follow up similar to the maps/photos/etc Fred mentioned – make it effortless.2) Bundle the audio book to give the user the option of switching back and forth between the two – no additional cost to the publisher, but an additional benefit to the consumer.3) Citations and references to other books/articles become an opportunity for upsell of related material instead of an often ignored footnote.4) Heck, even just steal the DVD recipe and throw in some “Deleted Content”There are so many ways to leverage the connected platform to enhance value to your customer but publishers (like the music and movie industries) are slow to realize the potential to improve their product and are just looking at digital as a new way to milk their cash cow.  Injecting ads tied to product placement are more likely to become their means of leveraging this new platform, diluting the consumer experience while trying to rake in a few extra bucks rather than enhancing the experience to justify an increase in price.

  10. matthughes

    The future of footnotes…(More robust, interactive & shareable.)

  11. Steven Livingstone

    What about the future of magazines and newspapers (particularly of the tabloid type)? I presume your above discussion is around novels.

    1. Robert Thuston

      Good point… I could see the tabloids really taking advantage of the indulgent nature of their material.

  12. Peter Mullen

    Technologies like Apture will allow ‘rich footnoting’ without having to leave the page.  I like the idea of books or other semi-long reads coming to life with additional context.  Nice post!

  13. testtest

    This will never happen on the Kindle. Its aim is to be transparent, allowing you to be transported to the world of the author — The author creates the experience.A more likely roadmap: reduction in weight, improvement in screen, greater catalogue of books.

  14. Visual0ne

    Try using the iBook Store instead. It has the built-in search feature you desire.

    1. Andrew

      Both iBooks and the nook reader app have built in search (both giving you a choice of Google or Wikipedia). I’m surprised Kindle doesn’t yet, it’s probably on their roadmap.

  15. Cghart

    Amazon should give the user freedom to configure their own links within the kindle app. This would address the “store” issue Apple force upon Amazon.

  16. carribeiro

    A day after Web’s 20th anniversary it’s fitting to ask for more hypertext. After all, that’s why the web was originally created. Over the past 20 years some of this purpose seems to have been lost, and today’s “hyperlinking” is mostly concerning the navigation of organizational structures – grouping of objects or actions – than with knowlegde and informational relationships. One reason is that linking is hard; not the mechanical act of making a link, but selecting what and where to link. There’s a lot of opportunity here for innovation.

    1. fredwilson

      This is what most concerns me about the move to apps on mobile devices. I’ve blogged about this issue a few times. Links are the atomic unit of the web

      1. Imran Ali

        Digital books should be native to the web.ePub, mobi, Kindle & iBooks are kinda like open prisons for words.I should be able to Greasemonkey any annotations and popup links I see fit, rather than waiting for consent from a publisher or platform owner.A digital edition should be as remixable as a piece of HTML. There’s no technical or creative reason for these book formats to exist, they exist only points of control that benefit platform owners, not readers.Roll on the era of the web-native book 🙂

  17. maverickny

    It’s kind of weird, but I wonder if I’m the only regular AVC reader who’s from Dartford and the same Temple Hill council estate as Richards and Jagger? Quite amusing! Only 5 mins ago I was chatting with childhood friends on Facebook (they’re still in Dartford) and we all went to Grammar schools on the opposite side of the Heath. I clicked on the map link you kindly provided and a quick scroll round on my iPad took me down memory lane – you can see the schools and the Heath where we played on and cycled by to school every day is clearly visible. I haven’t been back to that area in years as an expat. Amazing technology.Hyperlinked text a la Wikipedia in iBooks or the Kindle would certainly make for a more interesting and richer user experience.

    1. fredwilson

      You should read Life, at least the first couple chapters. I’m quite sure you’d love it

    2. Phillip Baker

      I’m from Dartford so there is at least one other. Nice to meet you! I grew up close to the Heath and spent a lot of time riding my bike there as a kid.

      1. fredwilson

        i love it. a dartford reunion here on AVC

  18. Rickshaw

    I do a lot of the same – looking up info about people as I’m reading or watching television. I imagine there’s a tremendous opportunity for Amazon here if they execute this correctly on their upcoming tablet. I’m a big fan of iOS devices, but I’ve held off on the iPad because I’m curious to see what Amazon will have to offer. 

  19. Rohit Mishra

    On the web, Apture does a great job with highlighting. I hope Amazon opens up Kindle to outside apps rather than trying to make everything itself. 

  20. LE

    I find the same thing happening while I am watching netflix on the laptop at night. Constantly going off searching about something just like you did with the book and then back to the movie.One suggestion similar for disqus comments.If for example in a comment someone mentions “Edmodo” or “Json” and you can get a little popup that gives you the 140 character summary on what it is so you don’t have to leave your place. And links etc if you do. All done by disqus with bids for the links in the 140 characters. And maybe an ad in the bottom 1/8 of the popup.When this is done on web pages (vibrant comes to mind) it’s normally an irrelevant ad. The pop up could have an ad in addition to the summary and link but it would be at the bottom portion.(By the way your disqus comments aren’t configured to be SEO friendly the comments can’t be found in search.)

  21. Bill Davenport

    Love this idea, sounds a bit like Flipboard for books

    1. raycote

      Love that idea of crowd sourced, transparently automated, context expansion and amplification all at the readers finger tips.A pop-up crowd sourced contextual landscape all presented to you flipboard-style pivoting around whatever you have highlighted.Users could easily vote flipboard context panels up or down, create new context panel threads, curate the generic array of crowd sourced context panels into a personal subset that is bookmark-able and share those personalized flipoboard context-maps with others.This all reminds me of an early computer game called “Mind Mirror” put out by Timothy Leary in the early 80s with the packaging slogan “TUNE IN, TURN ON, BOOTUP”.It was very rudimentary.  One thing it did was allow you to flesh out your personal interpretation of any abstract nouns with a cluster of concrete attributes and then like holding up two transparencies compare your semantic interpretation of that abstraction against anyone else’s semantic interpretation in order to amplify your appreciation of both your conceptual similarities and differences.Being presented with a visual comparison of your personalized flipoboard-style context-map generated around the shared highlighting of words, phrases, concepts in any book against the personalized flipoboard-style context-map generated by other individuals or attributal groupings of individuals could be both fun and insightful.If cultural precepts(not percepts) constitute our cognitive operating systems this approach could serves up a fascinating cultural third eye experience!ORMaybe we should just settle for Facebook and Google+

      1. raycote

        1985 – Mind Mirror ApplicationCommodore Application Liner Notes”I see the computer as an electronic mirror of the mind. This wonderful mirror is the ultimate tool for tracking, measuring and reflecting thought. It is interactive, it allows you to take any thought or concept and slice it, microscope it, magnify it, plot it or change it”- Timothy Leary…

      2. raycote

        And here is a video of Leary promoting his MIND MIRROR software on a TV interview.It is all a little sad and lame but still historically amusing in it’s 60s overtones and antique computing perspective.Still it may have some retrieve and extend social networking value?

  22. Charlie Crystle

    I read more and with better comprehension on the Kindle. The highlights feature is basis for the next killer social network–one that forms around ideas commonly highlighted. It’s as powerful as search in direct, realtime expression of interest. And yes, Amazon could make kindle publications more like Wikipedia, with supportive media around key concepts, people, etc. Should be in a ‘companion’ pane, even on another device. 

  23. Victor Baranov

    When being considered for a developer job, they sometimes give you a test. Some give you a PC with a developer studio, some a whiteboard, and some – just a piece of paper. The paper doesn’t let making much changes – unlike PC and whiteboard, it’s not forgiving, doesn’t let you erase and insert. Similarly, any thinking, or in this case active reading, is rarely linear. A book is like a, ahem, chicken broth :), which fires up little satisfaction neurones here and there. Those neurones fire up other neurones, and so on, and then suddenly you start thinking about something else, and then return to the “source”, and repeat. Active reading is never linear – the reader is supposed to get “distracted” to gather his own thoughts, to contemplate. Every reader is different though, has different context and experiences. Every reader will want a set of such hyperlinks (or, more generally speaking – services, whether local or remote) to be personalized for him. On top of the plain text of the book, which forms the skeleton of the thinking, as envisioned and brought to you by the author, there appears  a structure individual to each reader; this structure can appear without touching the book itself. There are means to bring on and build this generic but “individualizeable” structure. All necessary base technologies for that already exist, including on mobiles – they are mostly standard and proven. What’s left to do is to unite these technologies, a sound business model, and the power of abstraction, into a vision that will deliver. As a few noticed here, this kind of perception is not much different from the web in general. I think, we’re starting to witness unfolding of the new web, and new book in particular. If interested, let me know, we’re working on it.

  24. sigmaalgebra

    Cute and interesting.So, broadly the idea is to take some Internet content, especially text, in particular a ‘book’ on Kindle, and find other Internet content with related ‘meaning’ as humans commonly understand meaning.So, the idea is a generalization of what we used to call ‘references’ and of the intention of HTML URL ‘links’.  So, the idea is to have some more general ‘links’.  Interesting goal.Net, we are after more in ‘meaning’; having software work effectively with ‘meaning’ is a challenge!  AI, ‘semantic nets’, the ‘semantic web’, natural language processing, singular value decomposition, ‘machine learning’, ‘recommendations’ from browsing behavior or a ‘social graph’ or ‘interest graph’ — talking some really low quality links so f’get about it!Let’s see:  We start with a sigma algebra and make a measurable space, move to the usual topology for the real line and take the Borel sets, define some ‘measurable’ functions, …!  Yes, there’s more in Royden’s ‘Real Analysis’ long important at Stanford.  Let’s don’t follow such things here!Still, work with ‘meaning’ has both some attractions and some challenges.  So, one approach is to pick a few, important Web sites, e.g., for maps or images and Wikipedia, and somehow get to the desired ‘meaning’ by somehow ‘connecting’ to those.Okay.But I see at least two problems:First, the ‘connecting’ is not quite as simple as just an HTML link with a URL.  That is, the syntax of the URL was simple; selecting a good and relevant URL needed human work with ‘meaning’ and was not simple to automate!So, instead, for making the connections, typically the human reader needs to use their ability to work with the ‘meaning’ of content.  For example, what would work for a reader of English doesn’t have to work for a reader of Russian.  Relevant?  Well there is a recent claim that now Google is getting more revenue from outside the US than inside.  For another example, for most topics on Wikipedia, there are several possibly relevant articles, and picking the article of interest would require the reader to look at the articles and evaluate their ‘meaning’. So, we’re back to a lot of manual work with ‘meaning’ by humans in the loop doing all the real work.  That is, we’re asking for more manual work and not automating.Second, there is a ‘timing’ issue:  If what are some good links are clear and stable, then just have the author put those links into the original text in the Kindle.  Alas, commonly ‘good links’ are not very clear or stable.  E.g., again, for Wikipedia, there can be several relevant articles, and what is most relevant can depend heavily on the user, their interests in general and at the moment, their background, etc.; yes, we are seeing that pursuing ‘content’ for an ‘interest’ of a person needs some ‘personalization’, something we’ve heard of before!Still, there is a cute point here:  Simplify working with meaning by selecting ‘a priori’ some more narrow categories of content such as maps, images, and Wikipedia articles.Easier than finding desired ‘meaning’ from all of the Internet?  Yes.  Effective enough to become popular?  I’m not a good judge, at least with so little information.  Part of a good change for Kindle authors?  I’m concerned about the issues of the meaning the reader has to contribute, language, timing, and the need for ‘personalization’.  A business idea more generally?  I’d see lack of a good Buffett “moat”.But automating work with ‘meaning’?  Sure!  Let’s see:  Start with a sigma algebra ….  Ah, back to seeing if Windows Communications Foundation (WCF) will handle the asynchronous ‘remote procedure call’ needs to connect the main pieces of my software architecture in my server farm!  If WCF doesn’t work, then I could just write a TCP/IP sockets application! 

    1. Victor Baranov

      Something like that, but this consideration covers only one side of it – semantic automation. This is not the major point. The reader (or web user) should not be completely excluded from the loop, otherwise active content turns out to be passive, and then the reason is largely lost. What’s more important is, via rich augmented services, selected by each user individually, and moreover – as specific for various pages or books, to bring out his personal semantic context – the context that exists mostly in his brain alone (shared to some degree by family and friends), in a generic form – into the web. His context, which to some degree is already being shared through disparate set of services covering his interests (Facebook, Twitter, and so on), can be united and projected to the world, while still keeping privacy (via similar to LinkedIn notion of “connection”, which is private to the user and his friends). So, yes, the notion of the hyperlink, which was conceived 20 years ago, gains a new meaning – it’s not just an actionable “button” that the user can click – it on one hand gets extrapolated, and on the other hand acquires automation capability, something like that. But this is also not the major point. The point is in segmentation and “orthogonalization” of the content and user-specific services that can be superimposed on top of that content. This decoupling is necessary to make the entire system realizable, and to approach it in a staged manner.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        You make a lot of good points.We are agreeing in several important respects.But I didn’t use ‘semantics’ and instead used ‘meaning’.I don’t think what can be done with the usual usage of ‘semantics’ in computing is powerful enough to be interesting for the purposes of this thread. Instead, we need much more, e.g., to get at, ‘honor’, ‘meaning’ as humans see it.”The reader (or web user) should not be completely excluded from the loop, otherwise active content turns out to be passive, and then the reason is largely lost.”Right: So, a big question is how to include the reader in “the loop”. One reason is to handle the issue of ‘personalization’ or, your “to bring out his personal semantic context – the context that exists mostly in his brain alone”. In contrast, Fred’s way is quite manual and still is weak on user “in the loop” as needed for ‘personalization’. So, due to the manual part, we will want some better automation of the work.Others have explained on this thread, something like I tried to do, that the computer syntax and computer semantics of a URL link are simple but the human work with ‘meaning’ that selected that URL as important was not simple. So, we want to make progress on this “not simple” part.For your:”But this is also not the major point. The point is in segmentation and ‘orthogonalization’ of the content and user-specific services that can be superimposed on top of that content. This decoupling is necessary to make the entire system realizable, and to approach it in a staged manner.”I don’t see this as “the major point”: Instead, and as I see it, much more important, there is a very serious question on just how to do such a thing. As I indicated, some of the challenges are handling ‘meaning’ of the content with personalization. There, close to what Fred did, is also a ‘timing’ issue.As we have been dancing around, there are issues of user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). E.g., Fred wants such things to be quite ‘immediate’, one click as he is reading Kindle, but some approaches would be quite separate applications, Web services, or Web sites, or as you put it, “decoupling”. Good UI/UX demands more ‘coupling’!You wrote:”His context, which to some degree is already being shared through disparate set of services covering his interests (Facebook, Twitter, and so on), can be united and projected to the world”.I know that many people are assuming so, but I flatly don’t believe “united and projected”, say, from “Facebook, Twitter, and so on”, will work. As I tried to explain,”AI, ‘semantic nets’, the ‘semantic web’, natural language processing, singular value decomposition, ‘machine learning’, ‘recommendations’ from browsing behavior or a ‘social graph’ or ‘interest graph’ — talking some really low quality links so f’get about it!”I’m fully serious: I believe that the quality of the information from such approaches is too low to be worthwhile. I can’t go into all the reasons, some quite fundamental, here.Some people are dreaming that they can take a sketch of an animal with four legs and in reality jump on and ride to victory in the Triple Crown.Part of my response to Fred’s remarks was that by some ‘a priori’ selections for just maps, images, and Wikipedia articles, he was enormously simplifying the larger problem of getting the relevant content from all the Internet. So, some problems, including some that are big, get solved with this simplification. But the simplification brings some costs in user in the loop, personalization, timing, and more.Just how we are having software handle ‘meaning’ of Internet content is not easy to explain and should not be explained here. That it is even possible to have software work with ‘meaning’ as we have done is alone from surprising up to, from my old background in AI, astounding.

        1. Victor Baranov

          Great analysis!. Yes, I think we agree much more than disagree. My point of view is perhaps more practical (because I need to solve immediate problems and approach this solution in steps). Certainly the automation of meaning (thanks for correcting me in mixing the terms) can be still decades away. It’s interesting who will get to it first – Japanese (who have a few walking robots made by major corporations already) or Americans – like with cars, this will decide which country will be the leader in delivering a $10k personal robot to each household for many years to come 🙂 So, I was thinking more about short-term semantic needs, like for instance – when I read the “Three Musketeers”, perhaps having some relevant links (e.g. perhaps to a few pictures of medieval Paris) automatically appearing “on a side”, like the ads in Gmail, would be interesting, as I’d appreciate help of a professional artist who made these works of art available to text-minded people like myself 🙂 Or perhaps the links on a side would show me who else is reading this stuff nearby, or where to buy this book (in case I read a trial version of it), or a picture of how some medieval food, or cannons, or some other items would actually look like. Etc. A lot can be served “on a side”, or “beneath”, or in “see-through” mode, or around, and so on. Speaking of which, I disagree with another commenter here that reading a book must be linear (perhaps as the author wanted you to perceive it, no deviations) – this way it rather reminds me of a movie, which is perhaps the most passive form of art “consumption” (along with a gallon of coke and popcorn) – it is linear, yes, and you can’t deviate, unless you want to get from the couch and check IMDB. As well, there are many reasons for non-linear reading – textbooks (with multiple choice questions), children books (active books can encourage the kids to read rather than throw angry birds for weeks), and even novels (speaking of maps – wouldn’t it be interesting what particular place Stephen King had in mind when he killed some monster?), etc. I think, we should embrace it, and being capable doing it technologically, we should help to get reading to the “next level”. Thanks.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            “Certainly the automation of meaning (thanks for correcting me in mixing the terms) can be still decades away.”Yes.  Definitely.Now for a surprise:  There is a middle ground.  No one yet knows how to “automate meaning”.  But it’s possible now to have software ‘manipulate meaning’. So, the software can be given some meaning and, then, do some manipulations to get more, and more important, meaning.Or we can’t make steel from nothing, and we can’t make iron or carbon, but we can ‘manipulate’ iron and carbon to make steel.So, yes, in part humans are “in the loop”, if you will, the source of the iron and carbon, but, then, after the ‘manipulations’, get some new ‘meaning’, the steel, that they desire.There’s some math involved, some original and some advanced and quite abstract.  When I first studied the math, I was offended that the material looked so general it was ‘abstract nonsense’ without any practical applications.  I was wrong:  The generality is enough so that the manipulations in the math can manipulate meaning to the ends desired.  Surprisingly, the data needed for the manipulations is available, but just barely!  Some of the data is ‘new’, powerful, and crucial, especially for ‘personalization’.But the UI/UX in my current software is a bit far from the ‘immediacy’ Fred was describing and closer to your “decoupling”.At one point I was pleased with some .NET software for letting my server farm be ‘distributed’.  So, I developed the software, right, with the manipulations of ‘meaning’, with just simple call-return within one program.  As I move to going live, I want, and really should have, some version of asynchronous, old ‘remote procedure call’ (RPC) in place of call-return.  So, now that I’m ready to type in that RPC code, what I found was Windows Communications Framework (WCF) which looks like using a 747 Air Force One to cross a mountain stream three feet wide.  It looks like I might have to work through over 100 MSDN pages of really obscure documentation just to ship “Hello World”.But now I’ve found the old…with”Building an application that uses .NET Framework remoting to communicate across application domain boundaries is very straightforward.”I really like the “very straightforward” part!I could just use TCP/IP sockets, but .NET has ‘serialization’ of instances of classes; that’s nice functionality, and I don’t want to reinvent that wheel.Maybe with that last URL and its links, I’ll get RPC “Hello World” working this evening!Back to it!The math went very quickly; working through 2500 pages of MSDN documentation took longer! 

          2. Victor Baranov

            Interesting. I guess what you do could be useful to us too (or vice versa, who knows). I understand your remote call needs – perhaps you’re right, and basic RPC (or custom IP-based implementation) is what you need. This depends on the specifics though – what kind of data you keep, how much of it, how many links exist between the nodes of data, how they are distributed, where do you physically store the data (SQL DB or just “load-once” files + RAM), etc. Depending on these, you could be better off with some form of “sharding”, plus perhaps dynamic optimization of data clusters (automatic relocation of nodes from one host to another) depending on the number and “structure” of the calls being made, etc.By the way, I don’t know how technically-oriented this blog discussions usually are (I read articles from time to time though), but it feels that we’ve crossed the border of technicality of this discussion, so perhaps we should take this conversation off topic. You can contact me through LinkedIn associated with my profile (or via e-mail, not sure if it’s visible though). Regards, Victor.P.S.: Fred, thank you for engaging us all into conversations with potentially actionable consequences.

  25. William Mougayar

    Great list on this same topic, The Next 10 eBooks Trends to Watchhttp://www.onlinecolleges.n…

    1. aclements

      Very thought provoking ideas here, great link. I disagree with the uncreased royalties from ebook sales though. As publishers offer more and more progressive services on the digital platforms to authors (such as the one mentioned in Fred’s post), they’ll likely remain just as relevant and maintain current industry revenue share norms.

  26. andyidsinga

    i cant stand reading on ipad when my kindle is nearby because the kindle screen is so nice ..but i find myself doing similar things, but grabbing the ipad to do them.i hope, when they bring out the color kindle they put a decent browser so i dont have to leave the device. The trick for amazon is to avoid becoming a generic device ..and stay focused on the reading experience and the extras around that. ( i really love the dictionary feature ).

  27. jwikert

    I’m writing a blog post about how dumb the current e-reader apps are and laying out some thoughts on making them smarter. This map functionality is part of my list…glad to see I’m not the only one looking for this feature!I think it’s important that this be implemented by the reader apps though and not something the publishers have to encode in the ebooks. So anytime the Kindle app for iPad detects a location (e.g., New York, London, Yankee Stadium, etc.), a link is added to that location in the book taking you to a pop-up frame of whatever mapping app you prefer.Here’s another one from my list: Be more aware of what else is on my device. So as you’re reading that Keith Richards book and he mentions a Stones tune, if the song is also on your iPad the app should know it and add a link to the title so you can touch it and listen to it in the background.

    1. fredwilson

      music linking would be huge. not just to itunes, but to all the subscription music services. i was listening to the stones on rdio on the ipad throughout the entire book

      1. JamesHRH

        This is a different strokes – I would find that distracting.

        1. fredwilson

          it’s one of the many reasons i love to read on an ipadi agree about different strokes for different folksone of the reasons i hate orthodoxy

          1. JamesHRH

            That’s limited to ideological orthodoxy, right? 😉 what’s the web without tech standards!

  28. The Heasman

    Hey Fred great blog you got here, first time commenter, long time reader. (MBA Mondays have been an eye opener for a student who thinks he wants to be an entrepreneur).If Amazon added those features to their kindle, I would buy a tablet right away and ditch e-reading on my phone, and your reading routine is in my opinion better advertising than what apple and amazon have done.

  29. MarilynCraig

    In case you haven’t seen it, I’m a huge fan of the NYPL’s Biblion. It’s a wonderful multi-aspect look at the 1939-40 World’s Fair. I hope they do more. I found it in the iStore.We definitely need to figure out a lending/library scheme for eBooks. My mom is a former librarian – I still think twice every time I buy a book (offline or online) instead of going to the library.

  30. jason wright

    I’m waiting for the first ‘book’ started (but not necessarily finished) by an author who maps content to these functions for a whole new reader experience, a social networking kindle kaleidoscope. Possibly one where the book evolves as the readers network, a living socially engineered book.    

  31. Ben Watson

    Books, whether physical or digital, always gain value when there is more context available and/or ways to delve deeper as a book is always written against a backdrop, whether it is a time, place or person. This ability to explore, tailored to your preferences, is what makes ebooks potentially appealing.Likewise ebooks certainly have the potential to make the reading experience much more interactive by enabling you to further explore further but using the book as the backdrop / an anchor to return to as you explore elsewhere: the book’s category(s) (other books on music, biographies, other books written by the author etc); gain more context (usually some sort of rich media compared to the source static text: video, audio, animations, maps); dive deeper into a certain topic etc. Since the purchaser of an ebook is usually known, the ability to share/track ‘curated’ notes, links etc becomes much more interesting as each reader creates his own map through the book (which in the past has been linear but now can be dynamic).A good book always takes you a journey that hopefully never ends as you jump from one experience to another. Ebooks can enable these connections.

  32. Ben Watson

    Books, whether physical or digital, always gain value when there is more context available and/or ways to delve deeper as a book is always written against a backdrop, whether it is a time, place or person. This ability to explore, tailored to your preferences, is what makes ebooks potentially appealing.Likewise ebooks certainly have the potential to make the reading experience much more interactive by enabling you to further explore further but using the book as the backdrop / an anchor to return to as you explore elsewhere: the book’s category(s) (other books on music, biographies, other books written by the author etc); gain more context (usually some sort of rich media compared to the source static text: video, audio, animations, maps); dive deeper into a certain topic etc.Since the purchaser of an ebook is usually known, the ability to share/track ‘curated’ notes, links etc becomes much more interesting as each reader creates his own map through the book (which in the past has been linear but now can be dynamic).A good book always takes you on a journey that hopefully never ends as you jump from one experience/interaction to another. Ebooks can enable these connections and resulting interactions far more easily than ever before.

  33. barrkel

    If you’re reading a book that purports to be an artistic endeavour, you should treat the text with more respect than wandering off to some website to look up photos when it describes a location. There’s purpose in visual descriptions in good writing; “hopping over to Google Images” cheapens things immensely. What is chosen to be described has purpose; the way it is described has purpose. If you really need visual help to form a visual image in your mind, it it doesn’t say good things about your imagination; but worse than that, it harms your reading of the book. In the imagery in good writing, it’s not the real that’s important, but the impression.To make that concrete, consider this song lyric: “your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm”; that conjures up an image, yes? But would a picture of hair on pillow improve it? A picture of a storm, much less a golden one? Of course not. It’s the conjunction of two mundane things (hair on pillows, storms) that makes the image special. And you can’t find a photo of that; such a photo cannot exist, because the conjunction happens in your mind, never in the world.(FWIW, I think your idea is terrible, and would deeply harm Amazon’s platform. I prefer to read on the Kindle rather than on the iPad for reasons strongly related to this; precisely *because* a decent browser isn’t available.)

    1. Robert Thuston

      I agree with your points made above in regards to concentration and the fact that we have much less control over it than we often believe.Fred’s use of getting information outside the book added to the story, not detracted from it.  Hyperlinking in terms of plot, setting, and characters for nonfictional books can be useful.  “your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm” is different.

    2. fredwilson

      that is about the silliest thing i’ve ever read

      1. barrkel

        The fact that you find it silly is most revealing; because seriously giving yourself over to someone else’s narrative (including flow state etc. so easily disrupted by any distraction, even a footnote, never mind a hyperlink) is at the heart of the best reading experiences, IMO. But you find the idea silly; so I suspect you have not had the best of reading experiences.

        1. fredwilson

          i do that all the time. i just read a 600 page novel without jumping off but i don’t think there is one way to do anythingi let my mind do what it wantsit has served me incredibly well over the years

      2. JamesHRH

        Fred – what happened to different strokes for ……..;-)To be fair, the first sentence is where you got misaligned. I don’t think Life is ‘an artistic endeavor’. I am guessing you lean to non-fiction in your reading selections……Did you see Mark Suster’s pic of hips bedside reading backlog? Not too many summer time beach brain floss titles!

        1. fredwilson

          i mix it up. just finished a 600 page novel.

          1. JamesHRH

            I struggle to stretch my mind w pure fiction. John Sandford is my summer brain floss.

          2. fredwilson

            i love getting lost in a novelbut it has to be a good one

          3. JamesHRH

            I love that too, but can’t seem to get there anymore, with heavy lifting fiction. Too many real life mental or physical intrusions. So, power through brain floss!Just in a period of life focus.

      3. Prokofy

        Well, he’s being rather literal about it. But he’s also speaking to my issue, referenced above with the Vernor Vinge dystopia — a book should have integrity.You should stay with the author and his vision. Otherwise, you are just snacking and sampling — and as Jaron Lanier has pointed out to a hip-hop artist who thinks every tune should be able for his free sampling endlessly, how will you ever have integral works of art? And I would add — and how would you even have anything left from which to sample if you destroy the link between commerce and creativity and no artist can make a living? This assumption that everything should always be “out there” for everyone’s consumption misses the need to have the membranes of the created artifact intact to keep value and identity.This is why “media shifting” and the greed of media consumption that you exemplify is so destructive. It destroys the integrity of cultural works like books.Kindle also can’t “turn into the Internet”. The way it is keeping the book industry  alive is by being a silo where book is given to you that isn’t linked to the Internet so it isn’t copied and cut up to bits and shredded.Once you make Kindle attach to everything else and have people clipping and pasting as if this is “creativity” instead of vandalism, there will no longer be any value.

        1. fredwilson

          i disagree but it’s a good and healthy debatei think snacking allows you to cook up a stew of ideas instead of being stuck in a single person’s vision

  34. Alexander Ainslie (@AAinslie)

    Perhaps $AMZN could buy and integrate Apture? For those unfamiliar with the service, check them out: 

  35. Trevor McLeod

    The concept of using public annotation and the web to enrich the experience of reading a book or magazine is inspiring.  Imagine what people like William Kamkwamba or anyone with an “insatiable curiosity” could do, or learn, if they picked up a book and had access to the collective comments and knowledge of all those who had previously read the book.In my opinion – it would be doing to a book, what comments do to this blog.  Only make it better. 

  36. $3236

    This is what Bob Stein at Voyager Books was trying to do with expanded books on CDs in the mid-90s.…  It’s amazing is that hasn’t become standard yet.

  37. Tristan Harris

    Apture ( does exactly what you’re talking about, and has for the last three years 🙂 I’m surprised more folks here hadn’t mentioned it.The “Hotspots” feature we launched a few weeks ago takes it a step further than what you’re talking about, and crowd-sources the most frequently highlighted & searched topics and enhances the text for subsequent users…basically creating a network effect out of a single person’s curiosity. A lot of people have been pretty excited about it:… It would be great to do this for books, though. 🙂

  38. Dave Pinsen

    Part of the process of reading is using your imagination to paint pictures in your mind. I think you short-circuit that process by immediately looking everything up.

    1. fredwilson

      how do you imagine where dartford is and where the heath is?

      1. Dave Pinsen

        How do you imagine anything you’ve never seen? How do you imagine what the main character of a novel looks like? 

        1. The Heasman

          Why imagine something that already exists and is readily searchable?Don’t get me wrong there is a certain romance that one often comes across in classical literature of the librarian who has never visited a place but can talk so much about ancient Rome and Athens like they were there. But we’re in the future damnit. Im sure that librarian would jump at the chance to see a virtual recreation of the city he’s read about.

        2. fredwilson

          That’s different. When its fiction its fiction. But when I was reading Freedom, I wanted to know more about the neighborhood in St Paul where the novel starts

  39. ttunguz

    I remember looking at a pdf of a study on innovation and entrepreneurship that Vinod Khosla had marked up – both underlining important observations and filling the margins with his comments. It was a eye opening experience to see his reactions. I hope that in addition to improving the highlighting stream, the Kindle social network uses comments entered in the app and on Twitter to start conversations about passages in books.

  40. Nathan Lustig

    While I was learning Spanish, I started to read a bunch of books in Spanish on my kindle.  I always wanted the ability to highlight a word that I didn’t know and get the english translation right there on the page.  Instead, I’d have go online on my computer, use a paper dictionary, or yell at a friend across the room.A simple translation feature would be really useful for people learning languages.

  41. ShanaC

    You know, I was thinking of this post, in particular context of this one book I had read(“The Rest is Noise”).  It is a book where you want to search for every song mentioned. I thought it would be amazing to have the music packaged with the book.And then I realized that it would be more expensive than Nathan Myrvold’s cookbook.  We don’t have a licensing sceme developed to handle the idea of multiplicity of media in order to learn and understanding

  42. Mark Essel

    Readwrite web and many other sites have highlight and mouse hover context, which brings up a list of options – aka instant searches.It’s a handy option, and books will quickly grab the best of the web and integrate it into themselves, become full page bearing members when achieving a readable URL.

  43. Lidie Olesen

    …and you lose concentration. Understand me right here –  nothing against reading pauses, just I read different. But, hey – I have done that in 30 years and there is always room for changes.With Kindle, I rediscovered radio theater. My Kindle collection is mostly audio books, as our libraries in Denmark allow unlimited download of titles in wmp for 14 days. It is a calming way to  relax, draw, jog and not the least, learn. Great potential for the Generation Y, th enetworking kid who spends commuting about 40 minutes a day.

  44. Ken Greenwood

    Yes, I was thinking the same. I jump out and back in all the time and this would surely make the transitioning much smoother.

  45. Ciaran

    If you’re interest in Loog Oldham has been piqued, I’d suggest that his own autobiography (Stoned) is a must read. And, obviously, it’s on Kindle.…

    1. fredwilson


      1. Ciaran

        No worries. And I’ve just realised that because I changed my comment half-way through, I look illiterate. “your”, not “you’re”, obviously!

  46. RacerRick

    I go back and forth between my Kindle and my iPad, depending on which has battery life.The problem with reading on the iPad is that it hurts a lot more if you fall asleep and it wacks you in the face.

  47. Tom Labus

    This was from one Steven Pressfield’s novels.      Chap venerated the novel.  To him fiction was not merely a medium of amusement or diversion (though he set considerable store by those) but a field upon which the experience of a single individual could be made accessible to others with a power and immediacy that no other medium could reproduce.  Chap saw in the novel a universality–a level pitch upon which disparate human beings, through entering via the imagination into the experiences and consciousnesses of others, could discover a commonality across the divisions of tribe, race, nation, even time.         Universality.  Empathy.  These were the qualities Chap worshipped.  These were his gods and, if I may declare it of him, he embodied their virtues in his own person in finer and fuller measure than any man I have ever known.How do you translate that to the web?

  48. andyparsons

    It figures I picked this weekend to go dark and miss all the excellent posting and commenting. This topic is near and dear to me, and I’m working with the team at Bookish ( to overcome some of the limitations of closed systems. The Web itself and HTML5 will play a major role in distribution of long-form content and enhancing books, and for those who wish to read with “distractions” I think there are a lot of great things in store regardless of reading hardware. You could think of the Atavist as one school of thought on how to enhance the reading experience: stunning UX, fantastic extra content. And think of Bookish and others as another approach- open write-once, read anywhere but going beyond what the basic EPUB standard supports. Stay tuned, and thanks Fred for shining a light on a much-neglected topic.

    1. fredwilson

      hi Andythe one thing that concerns me about this market is it seems the readers, apple, amazon, etc control the reading experience and they are “gatekeepers” of the creativity you and others want to unleash. is that right?

      1. andyparsons

        There is certainly an embrace and extend mentality among some of the incumbents, and Amazon of course has been proprietary from the start, co-opting the mobi format and layering their own DRM on top. It makes things challenging, no doubt. But if you tease apart the DRM layer (which can make even standards-based platforms effectively closed), there are opportunities to innovate on top of EPUB even though publishers are slow to upgrade systems to newer, multimedia-friendly output formats. So, there is a bit of a mess right now. Mess = opportunity. My thinking is there’s publishing format, and then there’s transport.  They are separate components of the reading system. If you consider formats to be fairly immutable, you can innovate on the transport layer (think of enhancing books over the course of time with new content, social, timely news, etc.) The book itself becomes the platform; I hope we see this happen more and more in the coming months.

        1. fredwilson

          i will be watching closelyit is one thing that makes me nervous about this entire sectorwe are about to close on an investment that does an end run around this whole messnot without its own challenges but at least there are no gatekeepers involved

  49. Riley Harrison

    You are preaching to the choir; I couldn’t agree with you more. Jeff are you paying attention.Riley

  50. CheetahDeals Blog

    You know what else would be cool? If I could read a book I bought from Google Books on my iPad. Or at all, since Adobe apparently dropped support for OS X starting with 10.7. 

  51. Erich Wood

    I recommend Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains” to see how reading a book is different than reading hypertext in more ways than we think. http://www.theshallowsbook….

  52. hypermark

    People like to create these false dichotomies of what a book “should be,” but what delights, inspires, extends and engages is an ever-evolving truth.In thinking about “rebooting” the book medium (and the publishing biz in general), I hearken back to ‘The Speed of Sound,’ an excellent book by Scott Eyman on the rise of the ‘talkie’ film in the second half of the 1920s. Then, the conventional wisdom was that a motion picture with characters talking was a gimmick at best, and an industry disaster at worst. For one thing, the cost to produce a talkie was more expensive than a silent film. Secondly, theaters needed to be retrofitted to support talkies, a chicken and egg. Thirdly, the acting talent had not been trained in any such way for delivering dialog in film. Finally, the economics were unknown and unproven.As a result, most incumbents sat the first wave out, but Warner Bros. bet big, and in a four year period went from upstart to gorilla.The moral of the story is instructive for thinking about today’s book business. Namely, that not only did the rise of the talkie change the economics of the business and HOW movies were made, but more telling, it changed what movies WERE.We are at a comparable moment in the book business, what with us just brushing the surface of the capabilities of the medium, the industry economics and channel delivery in disarray, and the talent struggling to transition to a new model.Everything old, is new again. If interested, here’s a piece that I wrote on the topic:Rebooting the Book:

    1. jj

      I’m not sure that it’s a legitimate comparison at all.  The entire movie industry essentially started in the 1900s. So even today it’s still a relatively new medium. Thus, to suggest that people in the 1920s were talking about “talkies” being considered a “disaster” in the late 1920s does not ring true simply because the medium was still so new and relatively unestablished at that point.Books, on the other hand, have been around for centuries. If technology can make the book reading experience better — great, I’m all for it.  But merely attempting to reinvent the wheel for the sake of reinvention isn’t going to fly — books have been around far too long.  And the form has survived not because people “fear the future,” but because the form is a winner and the market recognizes this.

  53. theschnaz

    Where else do you think this functionality would be useful?  I think apps like a browser, Instapaper, Flipboard, email, etc. could all benefit from this.Also, Kindles are awesome!

  54. Steve Poppe

    Great examples of fast twitch media — twitching from one media type to another.  Twitch Point Planning will be a new marketing tool – mark my words!

  55. Joseph Sunga

    I think there a ton of potential in making books more interactive whether its an app on an iPad or just improvements to the devices that are out there. I can’t wait to see what will happen next with the Kindle, especially with the tablet they’re coming out with. Will those tablets outsell the e-ink Kindle? I wonder…

  56. Elliekenon

    I am the exact same way which is why i prefer to read from my netbook and not a kindle that someone gave me.the ability to just hope online and get more information on whatever i am reading i find to make the experience much more educational and enjoyable for me

  57. rachelmercer

    Same applies to comics: you want that additional character information, backstory, etc.

  58. David

    It might be just me, but I enjoy reading on the iPad much more than the Kindle.  No real reason why.  I just do.

  59. Prokofy

    I have an idea. Let’s take all the books, shred them, throw them up in the air, and see where the little pieces come down, like Vernor Vinge says.

  60. Varun Bihani

    You should read “Reading in Four dimensions” (available in Kindle store for 2 bucks) .. it talks exactly what you referred above.. how publishing industry has to change and bring more interactivity and social reading into books! 

  61. Điều trị vô sinh hiếm muộn

    I agree with your comments.