Andy Rooney Rants About eBooks

Andy Rooney Rants About eBooks

Apparently, Andy Rooney is not a fan of Kindles and NOOKs. His 60 Minutes rant this past week was all about ebooks. I really hate to say this about Andy Rooney, but he really missed the mark big time. He expressed surprise that paperbacks are being outsold by ebooks, and seemed wholly perplexed by the concept that an eBook reader holds 3,000+ titles. At one point he touches upon one of his books being free, though he doesn’t explain if he’s mad about piracy, or if it was some sort of “freebie” deal organized by his publisher. Sadly, the germ of that one good thought gets lost in the rest of his rant, which boils down to “it’s just not a book if it’s not paper”.

I don’t mean to be hard on Andy Rooney or 60 Minutes, but it’s not like the show’s demographic is unfamiliar with eBooks. In fact, supposedly the average age of a “60 Minutes” viewer is around 60. There’s also a great deal of mounting evidence that baby boomers are a major age group for eBook readers. So in ending the show ranting in a fairly rambling and uneducated fashion about eBook readers, 60 Minutes is just advertising how wildly out of touch they are with their viewers, many of whom probably went to bed and curled up with a Kindle or a NOOK.

Admittedly, I don’t watch 60 Minutes, so if you did, and think I’m way off in my assessment, please share in the comments!

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About the Author

Zek has been a gadget fiend for a long time, going back to their first PDA (a Palm M100). They quickly went from researching what PDA to buy to following tech news closely and keeping up with the latest and greatest stuff. They love writing about ebooks because they combine their two favorite activities; reading anything and everything, and talking about fun new tech toys. What could be better?

4 Comments on "Andy Rooney Rants About eBooks"

  1. Andy has been out of touch with reality for awhile. I have 2 big concerns with ebooks

    1.What happens when the format gets updated? Say they come out with ePub+ which means you have to update all your books to that format. You don’t have to do that with the books on the shelf. Will an ebook on a kindle/nook/ipad/whatever be able to read 100 years from now?

    2.You have to be diligent about backing up your books. If you have 2,000 books on your kindle and it dies, you better be able to either re-download them (which you can) or retrieve them from somewhere.

  2. The experience of reading an e-book is different from reading a physical book.

    When I was a kid, I used to have a habit of tearing a small triangle out of the lower corner of the right page, sort of marking my territory. I didn’t do it on every page…just once in a while. I expect the librarian hated me.

    Needless to say, I stopped that as I got older. I don’t do near as much reading now as I did when I was a kid growing up with no television set and books were my only escape. I read Shakespeare’s plays from my mother’s college text books when I was in the sixth grade or so.

    I have a Zune with several thousand songs on it. I like to put it on shuffle so there’s an element of randomness, though the songs are all what I’ve selected. The same doesn’t carry over to books. We consume songs in 3-4 minutes each, but we don’t consume books that fast. I don’t need access to a whole library of books at all times (unless I’m doing research). I would have to read a complete book every week for 67 YEARS to read 3500 books.

    That’s why I’ve only bought a few e-books, and then it’s just been for reading on my PC. I realize I’m in the minority, but I just can’t really see the advantage to buying a special device for reading books electronically when I can already do that on my PC…audiobooks, yes, but not for reading to myself.

  3. GD Quickie: Andy Rooney Rants About eBooks #GearDiary

  4. dbmurray: it looks to me as if you have not used an ereader like the Kindle. You do ebook reading on a PC and that is very different, as the device is bigger and heavier and has a backlit screen. Nor is it a matter of carrying around 1000’s of books which neither I nor anyone I know with an ereader does (people claim to do this but to me it’s just silly). It’s that reading on an ereader is convenient, as it is portable and compact, and it allows me to add on an easily accessible dictionary (even for foreign languages, if I am reading in, say, French or Russian). And because it is maneuverable I am not locked into awkward positions as I would be in front of a PC. BTW, do you read in bed on your PC?

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