Me neither, but just for the sake of moving this post along, let me show you ReadZap.
This recently launched service wants to enable users to “get new book recommendations, and comment and share your observations with your friends, all without leaving the comfort of your inbox”. It sends out ebooks in short text installments to users’ cell phones and other mobile devices, letting them read with whatever connected device they have at hand.
I personally can’t see the value of this service, but I do know that the developers believe that the time is rip for a device and platform independent service that keeps users from being “tied to entities that control how and when you can access the content you’ve paid for”.
That sounds good, and while I am all for readers choosing whatever works for them I would point out that this idea has been tried before at least once, with little visible success.
In 2006, way back in the dark ages of the ebook era, there was an ebook startup called Daily Lit. That company got its start in emailing chunks of public domain works to subscribers, and later expanded into selling ebooks which were delivered in chunks to your inbox. After passing through a couple incarnations, Daily Lit was sold off and used to build Rooster, an iPhone app with a similar idea.
Daily Lit was a novel idea – in 2006. And since it solved the delivery/discovery problem it also wasn’t a bad idea for that era, but the same cannot be said for 2014. While Daily Lit served a purpose in 2006 (and solved a problem for at least some users), in 2014 no one really has any trouble finding new ebooks or getting those ebooks on to their mobile device.
Thanks to the plethora of book promotion sites, the average reader can find more ebooks in a day than they can read in a decade. And given the storage capacities of your average mobile device, you can now store more ebooks on a device than you can read in a year.
And that is why I don’t see the use of a service like ReadZap. Would you use it?
I really would like to hear a contrary opinion, and the comments are open.