Ebooks: No more peeking at what everyone else is reading on public transport

Posted: November 2, 2010 in Books and their issues, Digital Publishing
Tags: , , , ,
The back of the Amazon Kindle 2

Image via Wikipedia

Looking at literature-related posters today reminded me of an interesting comment made by one of my peers on my uni course the other day.

When you are on public transport and people are reading traditional print books, its a common thing to be nosy and peek at what they are reading, either because you are bored, or maybe for inspiration on what you could read next.

I for one do this to see what the consumer is reading, so i can tell what’s popular with the average person, instead of looking up the stats on Neilsen Bookscan or something. It is also useful because you can see what sort of person is buying what books, their age, sex, personal style, and so on.

The comment made by my peer stated that the bad thing about these E-reader devices is that E-reader devices (such as the Amazon Kindle) don’t have a cover like print books, so the whole sly peeking at your neighbour’s book has been reduced to seeing the blank side of the device ( see picture!).

Ok, so maybe me and my course peers are just nosy people, but i’m sure i’m not the only one to admit they have done this same thing!

My peers said they could put stickers of the cover of the book they are reading on the back of their Kindle, Ipad, what have you, but how messy does that look? Maybe this is a feature that E-reader developers have missed, and maybe they could find a way of putting this right for those of us who like showing off our latest purchase!

Of course, there are plenty of people who may read books they feel embarrassed about reading in public, and so the E-readers are a really good idea for those wanting to hide what they are reading, instead of hiding their book beneath a more acceptable and less embarrassing cover.

To be fair, this issue is probably not that big a deal, but i felt it was something that should be pointed out, as it can lead to an interesting discussion on the influence of digital technology.

What do you think? How many of you secretly like peeking at what everyone else is reading on the Tube, or bus and whatever?

  1. Amrei says:

    Hey Emma,
    just to clarify that whole sticker idea – you seem to have misunderstood me. It is something like a protective skin you can stick on the back/frame of your E-reader. I have seen them in various shapes and sizes and they do not look messy at all 🙂
    This is a nice example:
    Great to see our class inspires you so much…

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