Saturday, July 14, 2012

Still many books not digitized

I just heard a comment from Len on the Kindle Chronicles about how many important books from the past are not yet available in ebook form. And as it happened, I had just noticed the same thing: yesterday I stumbled over an interesting episode of the US version of Top Gear (I didn't even know they had a US version). They tested and trashed (well, what are we watching for?) three of the most notoriously dangerous cars in history, including the explosive Ford Pinto*. Well, in the introduction they mentioned Ralp Nader's classic and important book "Unsafe At Any Speed", which had a big impact on the car industry. But though I googled and inkmesh'd with all my might, I could not only not find a Kindle version of this book, but not even any ebook version at all!

Of course the ebook revolution is still young, every conversion costs money, and the back catalogue is not exactly small... But it'll be interesting to see how this develops, if Amazon will ever come even within shouting distance of their stated goal: every book ever published being available within sixty seconds.

*"The Pinto is at the end of one of autodom's most notorious paper trails, the Ford Pinto memo , which ruthlessly calculates the cost of reinforcing the rear end ($121 million) versus the potential payout to victims ($50 million). Conclusion? Let 'em burn."

No comments: