My Dutch newspaper reports that Amazon is to launch a facility that allows us to buy separate pages from books. I found the news online also at The Seattle Times. Amazon Pages facilitates the purchase of only those pages that we really need from a book: they “unbundle” the book for you. If they could also tell me how I am supposed to know precisely which pages of the book contain the piece of the puzzle that I am looking for, this would speed up my research considerably, Pages or no Pages.
Their second program sounds interesting as well. My books are never where I want them to be. I use my office at the university as an overspill for my bookcases at home. Books can be in two places, therefore, and they always manage to be precisely where I am not. Now here is Amazon’s solution: with Amazon Upgrade you buy a physical copy of the book, and get perpetual access to the online version of that same book! The word “upgrade” even seems to suggest that you will have access to all future editions as well. I am more enthusiastic about this idea than about “unbundling” books — it has a sacrilegious feel to it.