Friday, May 31, 2013

The fluidity of e-books

This is cool.

One of the books on my Kindle is Battle Cry of Freedom, a wonderful history of the Civil War that Daniel recommended to me highly. I just got a notice from Amazon that that edition has been updated; the e-mail included instructions for getting the update on my Kindle.

No, the ending didn't change. The maps were updated. Those maps were the one thing that was poor about that e-book edition. I don't know if I'll ever reread the book, but if I do, or if I look into it for reference, I'll have the better maps.

Some people have said that this changeability is a drawback to e-books. To my mind, it’s one of their many strengths.

1 comment:

Gary S Sloan said...

Little doubt, those people back their criticism with the ideal that paper equates to higher editorial standards, and since eBooks avoid such a painstaking process, they must be inferior and unreliable. Of course, this is claptrap, because garbage has always found its way into print.

The ability to constantly improve a publication can only add to its dependability. No longer are the gatekeepers paragons of trustworthiness (providing they ever were). In the new world of eBooks, much of the responsibility has shifted to the reader.

The era has passed when readers are nothing more than yapping ankle biters begging for food. Readers have now been transformed from consumers into editors, with the power to demand more of the writer.

The gatekeepers will inevitably whine and seek protection to maintain their empire, because they no longer control the flow of information and entertainment. But in the quality of “changeability” lies the future of publishing.

That which is incorrect can be corrected –– and is no longer protected by inconvenience.