First of all, I am interviewed by Scarlett Rugers at 1001 First Lines today, so come on over and say hello.
I also interviewed Scarlett on my blog last month, just in case you didn’t see it.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg Businessweek claims to have discovered the secret behind Germany’s scant e-book sales. The headline initially made me whince, “Oh dear, not another American article trying to psychoanalyze Germans for not doing something the way Americans are doing it! And then they’ll likely start rambling on about the fixed book price agreement and the VAT without understanding either.”
But the article and the arguments given are actually sound. E-books are growing only very slowly in Germany, because Germans actually value books as physical objects (while some Americans seem to view books as clutter) and there are plenty of places to buy them. There are some very specific factors present in the US that facilitated the rapid rise of e-books that simply don’t exist in Germany or elsewhere in Europe, so e-book growth is slower here.
The Spiegel Online article that Businessweek draw on can be found here, by the way. Am I the only one who finds it amusing that the comparative study on e-reading versus print reading was carried out by the Johannes Gutenberg university?
Manager Magazin, also has an article about e-readers in Germany, which paints a more positive picture.