the eBook, another end times rant
So there I am in a hotel bar in Cleveland — and it’s a nice hotel, complete with a George H. Bush meeting room where once Bush I hisself met with some delegation from Ireland or something — talking to a charming and technologically sophisticated book rep. A guy who sells books to bookstores for a living.
He’s showing me all three aps he has on his iPhone which permit him to read books on the road.
It’s a very nice hotel, where the Cincinnati Bengals will commandeer the elevators for twenty minutes the night before defeating the hometown Browns.
They are very large men, most of them. The Samoan players wear dress skirts to the game-day bus, as we try to pack up our books and leave town.
We were sequestered in this hotel, but for a quick jaunt to the Great Lakes Brewing Company’s brewpub a trainstop away, for the Great Lakes independent Booksellers’ Association’s annual meeting. During which the charming rep from the American Booksellers’ Association, who once ran away from college to tour in a band whose van broke down in Athens, GA, so Peter Buck produced their first single, talked seriously and at length about the need for independent booksellers’ to embrace the eBook.
But not the Kindle, because embracing the Kindle cedes all to Amazon.
And, as they have learned from the iPod, that would be bad.
All of which is, y’know, interesting. Having lived through this on the music side, and all.
So I asked this nice book rep how the eBook impacted his business.
“Oh, I’m fucked,” he said cheerfully. And then he set down his glass and went off to bed.