Sunday, February 21, 2010

Could higher e-book prices spark book burnings?

At least two SF/F fans who own Kindle e-book readers and are following the growing conflagration over e-book pricing say that an increase in overall prices could ignite old-fashion book burnings. Lisa, a forty-something slacker who lives with her parents in the Connecticut River Valley, hates her job as a teacher’s aide, and wishes she had more time to read fantasy novels on her Kindle, says: “The big publishing companies have been gouging us for years. In high school, my parents paid hundreds of dollars to buy me English Lit. books because neither the school nor public library had enough copies. In college, I had to pay thousands of dollars for overpriced textbooks. Now, publishers are trying to make us pay more for e-books? Bullshit! If they’re going to do that, I might be tossing a few books on the hibachi this summer.” Asked to name a few titles, Lisa replied: “Whatever will get people’s attention. Bestsellers, probably. My mother reads all that crap.”

Bruce, a fifty-something, over-educated technology geek and science fiction fan who lives in an apartment in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago and drives a taxi for a living, says: “In this day and age, there is no reason why the cost of an e-book should be going up. People say, ‘Oh, you can afford to buy a Kindle, so you must be able to pay $15 for an e-book.’ I say, ‘Oh, you can afford to buy a car, so you must be able to pay $6 for a gallon of gas!’ I’m old enough to remember the riots of 1968 and the Disco Demolition gag in the late 70s. Maybe that’s what we need. An old-fashion book burning down at Comiskey Park. That ought to get the attention of those greedy bastards who run the publishing houses.” Asked to name a few titles worth burning, Bruce said: “Mike Royko’s biography of Mayor Daley is on the top of my list."

No comments: