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Burning the Page: The eBook Revolution and the Future of Reading [Kindle Edition]

Jason Merkoski
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A groundbreaking vision on the future of reading, from an early innovator on Amazon's Kindle team.

  • Is digital the death knell for print?
  • Or will it reinvigorate the written word?
  • What will happen to bookstores, book browsing, libraries, even autographs?
  • Will they die out—or evolve into something new?

In Burning the Page, digital pioneer Jason Merkoski charts the ebook revolution's striking impact on the ways in which we create, discover, and share ideas. From the sleek halls of Silicon Valley to the jungles of Southeast Asia, Merkoski explores how ebooks came to be and predicts innovative and interactive ways digital content will shape our lives. Throughout, you are invited to continue the conversation online and help shape this exciting new world of "Reading 2.0."

For those who love books, collect books, own an e-reader, vow never to own one, or simply want to know where books are headed, this is a crucial guide to both the future of reading and to our digital culture as a whole.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In this collection of 22 essays, Merkoski, former senior Kindle program manager at Amazon, shares his version of the history of e-books and his thoughts on the future of reading. Each section concludes with a “Bookmark,” a short piece that takes a look at a particular aspect of the print world (such as covers, indexing, bookstores, and browsing) and how it has evolved in the world of e-books. These pieces each feature a distinct URL directing the user to Facebook or Twitter to continue the “conversation,” offering bonus essays and more. More of a personal narrative than a history or a manifesto, this offering won’t supply readers with salacious details about the inner workings and trade secrets of Amazon. Librarians will enjoy his waxing poetic about how lovely books are and how valuable reading is to our culture, but they will likely be disappointed in the fact that the brief essay “Libraries” spends more time talking about print books than it does e-books. That aside, there’s no question that e-books are certainly a hot topic and readers will be interested to know what an industry insider has to say about them. --Rebecca Vnuk


"A mixture of an insider's tale, quirky analysis and informed speculation about our onrushing digital destiny, told with an appealing ambivalence that should give it a wide readership" - The New York Times

"I could review Burning the Page for another thousand words, and still have more to say. This book is incredibly valuable. We've not had much exposure to the minds of those driving the e-book revolution, and to have something to engage and in places disagree with strongly is rather novel." - Futurebook

"Merkoski envisions some specific innovations that are interesting and imaginative." - paidContent

"A provocative book." - Kirkus

Product Details

  • File Size: 1353 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1402288832
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks (August 6, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BEXP52K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #416,467 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read! Just buy will like it. April 9, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Okay, first I'm a book lover and also a fanatical reader. The two do not always go hand in hand. It's entirely possible to love books but do little reading and vice versa. I also teach at the college level and do a lot of writing. The issue of where books are heading has been somewhat of a crazed passion for decades...ever since one of the professors on my phd committee told me about his work digitizing content for the long term preservation of knowledge. It was long before ebooks started to come out and the very first time I became aware of the fleeting nature of digitized some modern day library of alexandria. So, when I happened to stumble on an excerpt of this book, it was only natural it would be a "must read". The ability to hear the history of someone working on ereaders...fascinating stuff. Where the book is heading...even more fascinating. The tantilizing little examples of "extras" scattered throughout the reading experience are fun (bonus chapters, signed autographs etc). The author has a knack for writing, a delightful style that is both charming and personable.

So, who would read this book? Anyone interested in the future of writing. Anyone interested in the future of books. Anyone interested in the history of books. Anyone interested in publishing, ebooks, get the gist. It's a fast read, filled with interesting tidbits and thought provoking ideas. The book links directly with the author's Facebook page to continue the discussion. As the reader progresses through the book, it will send additional information your direction and encourage interaction/feedback etc... it's a fun glimpse into things to come.

I wish the book was longer, more detailed, a bit more willing to share deeper insights but still immensely interesting and fun to read. Not to be missed. You will NOT be disappointed!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a comprehensive story about the history of books, the development of ebooks and the future of reading itself. Mr. Merkoski shares his experiences as one of the founding members of Amazon's Kindle team, a small group of people with the goal to make all books downloadable in less than sixty seconds.

Jason Merkoski was at the helm of the ebook revolution. The Amazon Kindle (and other ereaders) has changed the way we live, think and perceive the world around us. The author provides "insider" details about how the first ebooks and ereaders were designed and how they functioned.

This book offers some fascinating thoughts and ideas about the future of reading, writing and publishing. Reading will no longer be a solitary activity. Ereaders provide readers many avenues to share thoughts with authors and other readers on the world-wide web.

The author discusses the use of ebooks with children in great depth. The following quotation is an excerpt from the chapter, "Education: Print or Digital?"

"Children are highly adaptable by nature, and with the exception of the almost blind, I've never met a child of reading age who couldn't get into an ebook. As adults we may prefer to cling like Socrates to the old way. But trust me, we can all "get into" an ebook. There's no barrier in the brain to reading once you're engaged with a book. Children who are brought into ebooks now have the golden opportunity to start fresh without any preconceptions."

Mr. Merkoski states that "fewer people are developing the reading habit every year". What does the future hold for readers, writers and publishers?

I accepted my first job as a school librarian in 1975. I worked as a librarian for 30 whole life revolved around books.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Being in the e-moment April 18, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is a fascinating read with a lot to think about as to how we ended up with the ebook revolution, where it is going next, and what it all means for readers. One concept traced is the advent of self-publishing mostly pioneered by Amazon that empowers authors. Yet Merkoski notes that Amazon and other ebook reader corporations will ultimately control the reading experience through Nook, phone, or Kindle innovations. Features that were left out of early ebook readers will ultimately surface. Will we have more interactive books, international real time book clubs, dialog with the author, updates and changes, or as Merkoski projects the Facebook of Books. There will be one giant book that has links to all books and so you keep reading and linking, and reading and linking.... That's a little scary.
There are quite a few historical and geographic references sprinkled throughout the book and at times the references seem to wander a little downstream (how books and other types of information got lost) but then the references come full circle and make perfect sense, and add to the overall history and perspective of books, reading and writing. Intriguing features are the interactive bookmarks at the end of each chapter that add to the reading experience and also encourage the reader to share personal experiences and thoughts.
As an educator I have no idea where ebooks and children or schools will go? But there is a positive view of that future in this book - and of course our children are already at ease with electronic devices and their potential.
A great read. A thoughtful read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good invitation to new book world.
Published 6 months ago by Yoshiyuki Takeda
5.0 out of 5 stars Ebook revolution is here. Long live books!
Very insightful read into the origins of the ebook revolution but also a love letter to reading and books as well!
Published 10 months ago by Chad: Amazon Fan
4.0 out of 5 stars Read it before it's no longer predictions
A horror story or an exciting peak in to a sci-fi future. Merkoski entertains as he recounts creating the Kindle and changing the world of books and reading. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Amber Polo
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Thought provoking, interesting and well written. The future of reading in the digital age is discussed by one of the team who brought us the Kindle.
Published 11 months ago by G. T. Goodman
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite Interesting
Some of the history of e-book development and a number of Merkoski's ideas of what the future might hold for e-books & reading. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars The book itself OK, author's marketing tactics abhorrent
I read most of the book and some of it was OK, much of it was pretty shallow and easy to disagree with. Read more
Published 14 months ago by R. J. McCabe
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read
As someone who loves to read and prefers to read using an e-ink reader (currently a Paperwhite 2), I found Burning the Page fascinating. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Karen
2.0 out of 5 stars "What do you know that I don't?"
I'm a software-engineer-turned-publisher. The writing is no better than his resume, however enthusiastic. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Great read. Really let's a person see the past, present, and future of ebooks. I enjoyed the ease of read as well.
Published 14 months ago by Matthew
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book on Past, Present, and Future of Ebooks ad Print Books
Very good summary of the history of the ebook, how publishing, reading and writing are changing for the worse and the better. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
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