Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ebooks by Subscription

I recently upgraded phones. I now, as you might have guessed from my last micropost, have a smartphone. I noticed that this phone, had I not signed a contract with my wireless provider, would have cost in the neighborhood of $600. Yep, so far I think Windows Phone 7 is pretty freakin' awesome.
Instead, I paid next to nothing because they know they will recoup all costs over the course of the next couple of years of our relationship. That's great for me and it works for them. (I'm assuming it works for them because they keep on doing it!)

This isn't new. Anyone remember when ISPs did this? I do. Don't worry, my credit recovered and is GREAT now.
I got a Compaq with a DVDRom and a good chunk of memory for a great discount because I promised to pay Prodigy $25 a month for dial up internet back in the very late 90s. I also dropped Prodigy after a few months and went to Netzero because I was a poor teenager with no concept of credit. It didn't work for them.

However, this got me thinking. Why doesn't some company, such as Amazon with their Kindle, do something like this? Why don't they offer a free Kindle with the agreement to purchase so many e-books/magazines a month from Amazon.com? I mean, is that too much like Columbia House Records giving you a free MP3 player with you purchase 2 albums a month at regular club prices?Yep, pretty sure my brother and I got a few No, I don't think so. This could be a boon to (e)readership everywhere. Things would get purchased and read that wouldn't be otherwise. The provider would benefit just as much as the phone companies do. I wonder if they just don't need to. I mean, sure THESE GUYS do (or do they still- update your site people) it, but their catalog is limited and suspect (read: crappy). Amazon, Barnes and Noble, I'm looking at you kids to take this to the next level.

What does this have to do with libraries? Well, with better ereaders, people can check out our digital collection more. There.

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