To say that I am in love with my new iPad really doesn’t do it justice. I think the fair thing to do, rather than using the same word to describe my feelings for this new friend that I use for my wife, family, friends, dogs, company and car, is to find a new word for my relationship with all of them.
Countless words have been sputtered recently on whether printed newspapers and books are an endangered species. Consider —
- 2.5 million Amazon Kindles have been sold.
- More than 600,000 iBooks have been downloaded since the launch of the iPad a couple months ago.
- The NY Times is switching to a “metered plan” or paid content model in 2011 because so many of its readers are turning online. Such a policy has worked for the Financial Times.
The old guard says nothing will ever replace touching paper and turning pages, etc. With only 5% market share, the new guard is still in the vast minority but e-books are projected to reach 12% penetration next year. You do the math after that.
I sure don’t envy Barnes & Noble and Borders with all those millions of square feet leased. Think I’m over-reacting to Apple and Amazon’s hype? It was only a few years ago that Blockbuster was in 25 countries and purchased by Viacom for $9.4 Billion. Now it is on the brink of bankruptcy. Netflix came along, consumers embraced flexible, digital delivery options for their entertainment faster than expected and the rest is history.
I would have loved to get Waldo Hunt’s take on this digital vs. analog reading topic. I can’t though because. Mr. Hunt died last year at 88. The son of a Unitarian Minister, Hunt grew up in Salt Lake City and Southern Cal, serving in the infantry during WW II.
His career ran the gamut from advertising/marketing executive, publisher and writer to international print broker. He was described by friends and colleagues as a “joyful man.”
His passion was educating and entertaining children and he worked with brands like Walt Disney, Sesame Street, and Babar, not to mention Andy Warhol. Wally was what most people called him, but the nickname that made him smile till the day he died?
The King of the Pop Up Book.
Wally didn’t invent the pop up. Its origins can be traced to Germany and England in the 19th Century. What he did was lead an American revival in the 60‘s. Previously developing magazine pop up inserts for Wrigley gum and Dodge pickups, Wally teamed with Random House to reinvigorate the genre.
He and his “paper engineers” from Singapore, Latin America, Japan and Czechoslovakia produced hundreds of stories. I played with dozens of them and probably so did you.
Were it not for Wally Hunt, generations of children would have never known the simple (developmental and educational) joy of the pull tab or pop up. Maybe Steve Jobs or Jim Cameron will develop a hologram application to simulate the experience but I’d like to think there will always be ANALOG pop up books.