Steve Jobs, when asked by the New York Times for his opinion of the Amazon Kindle
, was apparently dismissive:
“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” he said. “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”
Media observer Simon Dumenco had a pretty funny and pointed take on this in Advertising Age
(disclosure - I write on occassion for the magazine):
By all rights I shouldn't be writing this -- and for God's sake, you certainly shouldn't be reading it! Because reading is, officially, dead.
My own reaction is simpler: 40 percent of the country read one book or less a year? Simple arithmetic suggests that the remaining 60 percent must read at least
one book a year, to say nothing of magazines, newspapers, and the occasional amusing product packaging. Sounds like a good sized market to me - maybe even more than the number of people who would buy a Mac.
Labels: Amazon.com, Apple, Jobs, reading