Google and Amazon Compete Over Shuffle Readers

As I’ve said many times, I love my Kindle. The device is a complete “game changer” for me in terms of how I think, and consume, the written (?) word.

What I’ve been discovering is that I read more efficiently when I “shuffle read” in a similar fashion to how I listen to music now. Rarely do I listen to just one album all the way through, and even more rarely do I listen to an album on a physical CD. Instead, everything I listen to is set up via playlists on iTunes and then transferred over to my iPod Touch.

In a similar fashion, what I’m discovering with the Kindle is that I get more reading done (and enjoy it more) when I’m given the freedom to read 50 pages from one book then quickly flip over to another for a few minutes and read there, then bounce back to the original book.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy getting wrapped up in a good story or even an in-depth academic book such as something from Brueggemann. However, when it comes to reading for pleasure, shuffle reading is the way to go for me.

it looks like Google and Amazon recognize this growing trend and are racing to grab market share and attention by offering more access to more books on more platforms:

Google and Amazon to Put More Books on Cellphones – “In a move that could bolster the growing popularity of e-books, Google said Thursday that the 1.5 million public domain books it had scanned and made available free on PCs were now accessible on mobile devices like the iPhone and the T-Mobile G1.

Also Thursday, Amazon said that it was working on making the titles for its popular e-book reader, the Kindle, available on a variety of mobile phones. The company, which is expected to unveil a new version of the Kindle next week, did not say when Kindle titles would be available on mobile phones.”

I’ve tried the Google eBook site on my Touch over the last few hours. Admittedly, it’s not as polished or enjoyable as the Kindle. However, it’s a start and it’s pointing to the future.

Will physical books ever go away? Of course not. However, as more people learn the benefits of the Kindle and eBooks (even in the academic sphere), there will be exponential growth in this market, especially when it comes to reading for pleasure.

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