Why the ipad will change the book industry

Right now I’m in Nassau, the Bahamas, learning to scuba drive.  I have my laptop and ipad with me.  Scuba is pretty fun, and I was very intriuged when I learned about underwater photography.  I had an interesting conversation today with a guy on the boat who told me about Cathy Church, who runs one of  the top underwater photography schools in the Cayman Islands.  A trip to the Caymans in the future to learn underwater photography was sounding pretty interesting.

I wanted to learn more.  Yes, I can browse the web, but I wanted a basic beginners summary for a decent photographer on how to do underwater photography.  But I’m currently in the Bahamas and have no clue where a bookstore is, nor transportation to get to one.  So I got on my computer and looked around for some books online.  I was able to find a PDF book by doing some ninja searches. I put it on my ipad using Goodreader.  And suddenly I was reading a book about underwater photography on my ipad.

I was reading for a while in my hotel room, but I was hungry so I went out to eat.  Along came my ipad and I continued reading during dinner.

And my conclusion?  Underwater photography is not for me.  Its too complex and the price doesn’t make sense to me for the ability to shoot shots underwater.  There are technical issues with salt getting into your camera, different color adjustments underwater and needing to use lots of flashes because its dark in the ocean.  I’ve never been interested in shooting flowers or bees and most underwater photography is focused around shooting things close to you.

A quote from the "Dear Leader" of North Korea, taken in North Korea

So the ipad made it very easy for me to get a book while on the road, read it and learn what I needed to know in order to realise I don’t want to learn underwater photography.  This has saved me a massive amount of time of asking people about it on my trip and thinking about it as a future hobby to get involved with.  I was almost going to take a multiday class on it.  So this saved me a lot of time.

Yes, I can read books on my computer or iphone, but its not the same since its not a book sized screen.

Additionally to my ipad, I’m in the process of moving.  I have about 800 books, which cost me about $25,000 to buy over 8 years.  Its my braintrust.  But so many books is such a hassle to move.  I’m seriously considering switching everything over to digital because I just don’t want bookshelves anymore.  I’m really happy with the kindle app on the ipad, and a good PDF reader.

So book distributors, watch out.  Your future doesn’t look good.