August 24, 2007

Maybe This Is Where Library Ebook Programs Are Going Wrong

CafeScribe Gives Ebook Readers Musty Smell of the Real Thing

“…ebook content provider CafeScribe is going pretty low-tech to give your laptop screen the same scent as a textbook: the company is shipping “musty-smelling” scratch-and-sniff stickers with every ebook order. The promotion comes in response to a survey showing that 43 percent of students identified smell as the thing they most liked about their favorite books….” [Engadget]


6:19 am Comments (5)

5 Comments

  1. It’s true! It is holding the book and feeling it in your hands, smelling the pages.

    There is a disconnect between book lovers and technology. I wrote about this problem here:
    http://gathernodust.blogspot.com/2007/04/book-is-not-piece-of-music-nor-is-it.html

    Comment by Jeff — August 24, 2007 @ 11:30 am

  2. It’s not about the smell or the feel of a text book, or a dictionary, or a phone book… We’re equating books with “entertaining books” here. Mostly novels or books of short stories and poetry, occasionally others as well. Yes, SOMETIMES the physical attributes of a book adds to my reading enjoyment but there’s so much more. In fact, thinking back to great books I’ve read, too often has it been a cheap crappy paperback that held the words that I loved so much. I liked reading it despite the fact that it was falling apart, that it smelled like whatever, that it was awkward to keep open at the page I wanted, etc… not because of it. And as for non-fiction, although there are certainly advantages to have it in print, most of the time the advantages of the digital version far outweigh them.

    My first thought when I read the title and a few of the words from this entry in my bloglines was, “Yes, us librarians are too focused on the romantic aspect of books and librarianship…” I think there are too many of us stuck back in the “love of books” part of librarianship, and not enough working in the “love of info” part.

    (And there’s my rant for the day… LOL)

    Comment by Matthew Thomas — August 27, 2007 @ 1:35 pm

  3. Being a bibliophile, a not-so-secret smeller of books and having working in textbook publishing in a former life, I must agree that while easier to recreate the smell of a new text book in a scratch-n-sniff format, the real love/inspiration comes from the old copy of ‘White Fang’ or ‘Tender is the Night’ found in the literature section of your local library or used bookstore. Textbooks smell like industrial glue and glossy paper (which certainly has it’s place, but doesn’t often inspire love…

    Deb

    Comment by Deb Levheim — August 29, 2007 @ 8:02 am

  4. Yes, a book is more than just the smell and I love the “feel” of a book in my hands, the turning of the pages, the use of my favorite “real” bookmarks. And even being a big computer user and lover of the internet-ebooks just are NOT the same and never will be. But even though smell isn’t the only wonderful thing about a book-it is a huge part for me. And a scratch-n-sniff sticker will never come close to the wonderful smell of a book’s pages. My husband thinks I’m so odd because I get a new book and just open it and inhale-it’s an “aaahhh” moment for me. LOL.

    Comment by Cynthia — September 6, 2007 @ 10:04 am

  5. […] Maybe This Is Where Library Ebook Programs Are Going Wrong […]

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