Amazon has opened a new physical, brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle. E-book sales are either flat or declining as a percentage of the market. What is going on?
From a June 1996 opinion column in MIT’s The Tech newspaper (“…the first newspaper published on the web”):
“I know people can currently take pictures of public things and public people and use them as they please. But usually there is some courtesy attached to photography…if someone asks me to leave them out of a picture, I oblige. Also, when someone else is using a camera, you can gingerly avoid the field of view…..I’m not suggesting Web cameras should be banned from public places. Not yet. I do think we should establish a norm of courtesy whereby people would, out of deference to others, keep these cameras to themselves.”
Lessons? Among them would seem to be that standards of behavior and etiquette evolve quickly with technological advances—and not necessarily for the better.
If you are wondering, the very first camera phone was introduced in 1996, according to Wikipedia at least, which was of course launched in 2001.
After suffering a small drop in 2013, e-book sales are declining again in 2015.
In “The Future of Digital Reading,” Eric Appleby discusses the continuing relevance of and need for print in many circumstances. One comment to the post alludes to some of the research on the human brain and Gary P. Rodrigues adds a worthwhile comment on the importance of careful (i.e. print-based) reading in legal thought and practice.