Is the iPhone dead? (No, and neither is reading)
“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is. The fact is that people don’t read anymore. Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year.” -Steve Jobs on the Amazon Kindle
In his NYTimes ‘Outposts’ blog, Timothy Egan takes aim at Jobs’ assessment, suggesting that any reports on the death of reading are greatly exaggerated.
Reading is … an engagement of the imagination with life experience. It’s fad-resistant, precisely because human beings are hard-wired for story, and intrinsically curious. Reading is not about product…
This year, about 400 million books will be sold in the United States…[H]alf the population bought nearly 6 books a year. If only Apple were so lucky. The latest Harry Potter book sold 9 million copies in its first 24 hours – in English… Apple reported selling a piddling 3.7 million of the much-hyped iPhones through 2007. Is the iPhone dead? Of course not. But what should be dead are foolish statements about how human nature itself has changed because of some new diversion for our thumbs.
Egan’s post is spot on and a fun read. Go check it out at: http://egan.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/20/book-lust/index.html