Friday, February 15, 2013

Book News from Sheppard's Newsletter No. 301

image from The New Yorker

International: Amazon to sell used e-books?
Amazon has a patent to sell used e-books. When I first scanned the headline, I thought it must be some Onion-esque gag, and I'm sure I wasn't alone. Used e-books? As in, rumpled up, dog-eared pdfs? Faded black-and-white kindle cover art, Calibri notes typed in the margins that you can't erase?
  Barely-amusing image aside, used e-books are for real. Or at least have a very real potential to become real. See, Amazon just cleared a patent for technology that would allow it to create an online marketplace for used e-books--essentially, if you own an e-book, you would theoretically be able to put it up for sale on a secondary market. Read more

USA: Longfellow Books, Maine
While many bookstores in the Northeast closed early and opened late after the Friday night blizzard and lost power for a time, sadly Longfellow Books, Portland, Maine, suffered disastrous water damage. But the community turned out to help recover the stock and restore the bookshop. Read more

USA: Amazon patents scheduled recurring deliveries
Chris Meadows writing in Teleread has highlighted not only the latest patent for reselling 'used' digital content but another one concerning recurring delivery of products'. It would appear that if someone buys a consumable product, Amazon will be able to send the purchaser another delivery without that repeat order being placed.
  Obviously it is too soon to see the wording on the purchase screens, but if it is not made clear that, when the original order is placed it is (a) a one-off, or (b) a repeating order, the company will be inviting some strife. Read more

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