The increased rate of electronic books (eBooks) adoption made headlines around the world in 2010. As dozens of eBook devices and platforms continue to emerge, many different utilizations of interface and functionality have positioned the construct of “book” in differing modes in regards to the relationship between reader and text and the relationship between multiple readers. This article conducts a user-affordance analysis on Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes and Noble’s Nook, finding that the two devices encourage social reading in different ways. The Kindle utilizes an asynchronous, persistent social presence that focuses on contributions to text, while the Nook encourages a synchronous, ephemeral social presence that draws upon the social networking model. These two models promote competing construction of “book,” representing significantly different contexts of cultural exchange. The author concludes with a discussion of the cultural implications of the Kindle’s more privatized social reading experience versus the Nook’s more interpersonal social reading experience.
|Keywords:||Space, E-publishing, E-books, Media Consumption and Commerce|
Assistant Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Colorado-Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA
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