Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2007 Issue

My “I have a dream” speech

Sony.reader.2

The book store comes to you...


Okay, you're thinking that the market for geezers is limited. Let me remind you that my generation is thinking about surfing [the net if not the waves] until they are a hundred. Then we'll make a fresh decision. Actually the technology you develop to appeal to me is going to be very effective for millions if not billions of others. Let's talk about college students because this better mousetrap is going to be uniquely attractive to them and their professors.

As Mike Stillman noted this past month in his article "What is more expensive than a collectible book...?" college text books now often cost absurd amounts of money. eBook looks like a spectacular way to reduce these costs while dramatically increasing their utility. When we read the serious tomes of professors we are often struck by the dis-connect between their various degrees and their communications skills. Of course, professors who have written texts or other scholarly material are going to assign their material as required reading. Who else is going to buy their books? Well, okay but I want more efficient ways of harvesting the nuggets of wisdom from the weedy fields of prose that stand between the student who is paying tens of thousands of dollars to go to college and the professor who is determined to be a published author, have generations tote his weighty volumes and memorize his immortal words.

So I want the text to be electronic and I want access to the professor's annotations of the text as well. I require his annual revisions as well. From Sony I want to be able to easily mark the text in the equivalent of the yellow under-liner generations have employed so that what I find to be entertaining, interesting or important can be captured in a chapter or article print out – all notes embedded or attached in a single, self-organized document. With these capabilities all students will have the opportunity to learn more efficiently. I expect to pay but I also expect to pay less.

So Sony, think of your self as Columbus. Not the city mind you, the person. Your eBook has brought you to Hispaniola. I'd like you to push on to Chicago. Like Martin Luther King I have been to the mountain top and seen the other side. I may not get there with you unless you hurry. The eBook is a great start. Now, pick up the phone and call Google. Get their material and get started on the next generations of an exceptional idea. I'm ready to buy!

"Hello Google, this is Sony. I have an idea."

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
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  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
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