April 12th’s Publisher’s Lunch Deluxe reported on the energy/anxiety at the London Book Fair concerning the Print/Digital sea-change.

Li Pengyi from the China Education Publishing and Media Group provided a fascinating perspective. In the article, he was quoted as saying, “Google can be compared to a library, while publishers can be compared to experienced librarians.” That quote alone is fodder enough for a whole series of blog posts (any writer aware of the market has been thinking about Print/Digital issues, especially as they pertain to distribution), but, moving along…

He went on to say that “written materials have faithfully preserved the cultures of many nations,” and then speak of his concern regarding with the long term preservation of digital text.


I don’t think I’ve considered digital in terms of long term preservation. While I’m sure Mr. Pengyi was speaking in terms of centuries, his comment inspired thoughts on ‘long term’ as it pertains to my reading list. Those of you who have an e-reader–do you think about this problem?

Background: I have always managed my digital music library with an eye toward long-term preservation. I don’t buy from itunes for that reason. I download, but I download from Rhapsody and burn to a CD or external hard drive before transferring the mp3 to my ipod. Why? Because I want to maintain physical access to my music & don’t want my access determined by the Apple Corporation.

Yet, since purchasing my Nook, I have ignored the questions surrounding preservation of my digital book library.

When deciding between the Nook, The Kindle & a Sony e-reader, I did take into consideration both the Nook’s support of a non proprietary format (.epub) and its option to add external memory, so I suppose preservation and control were somewhere in my consciousness. On the other hand, since purchasing, I’ve been happy enough to allow Barnes and Noble to host my library.

Apparently, I’ve gotten lazy & accustomed to 3rd party storage since buying by 2nd gen Ipod. How dispiriting.

Perhaps purchasing books from a 3rd party vendor like All Romance would address this concern? Then again, I kind of like the idea buying from a Barnes and Nobel because they also have brick-and-mortar stores & have shown a long-term commitment to book distribution.

Choices, choices. (over-thinking, over-thinking?)

Anyone want to share their thoughts?

2 Responses to Thinking in terms of a "Digital Keeper Shelf"

  • Hi, Wendy. Nice blog. Great links. You are, obviously, much more tech-proficient than I! I’ll be adding you to my sidebar, if that’s okay.

    Thanks for stopping by Romancing History.

  • Thanks! I’d be honored to be in your sidebar & I added your blog to my sidebar too.

    I’m not so much tech-proficient as google-proficient & very stubborn 🙂

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