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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From Steve Jobs, around 2008, I think: "It doesn't matter how good or bad the product [Kindle] is, the fact is that people don't read anymore," he said. "Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don't read anymore."

I love this quote because it illustrates a number of concepts:

1. Facts are always open to interpretation. If what Jobs says is true, and "Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year," that means that 60% read two or more books. Glass half full or half empty?

2. Jobs apparently has a pretty narrow view of "people" when the term applies to 40% of less of the population.

3. How easy it is to totally misjudge a market you are not immersed in and obviously don't understand.

4. Even very bright people can say stupid things.
 

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Of course he only said that because the Kindle wasn't an Apple product. If people don't read, why are so many books being sold? An industry where 60% of the population uses that product looks like a pretty good industry. It is my experience that non-readers are likely to insist that "no one reads", probably because the people they associate with don't read. I'm a lot less likely to associate with non-readers, I'm less likely to even meet them in the first place, and I find them dull anyway.
 

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People that didn't read that much are now reading a lot more due to the availability of the books and the lower price.    So the Kindle is actually encouraging people to read.  The Kindle is much easier to read than a regular book so people enjoy reading more.

So he was wrong since he didn't understand what Kindle was or the way it worked. Had he had some experience with Kindle, he would have had a different opinion.
 

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Keep in mind that the quote from Mr. Jobs was made when the Kindle was less than a year old.  If you search the forum here you'll probably find threads from the fall of 2008 discussing it more contemporaneously. :)
 

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Here's what I took from that quote: Steve Jobs is just really competitive.

Obviously Apple's been locked in this 25-year war with Microsoft. Jobs' master plan is to have Apple become the dominant operating system on the next generation of devices -- like mp3 players and smartphones. The iPad is the culminate of this strategy, and he can't be happy that Amazon's already started selling their own line of tablet-sized reading devices.

Plus, he's basically using those meetings to say "Apple is great, and everyone else isn't." So my only real question is whether he believed what he said at the time -- or whether he knew he was putting his own specific spin on the statistic to serve his own purposes.

Anyways, I think everyone can agree now that lots of people like lots of reading. Even Steve Jobs. :)
 

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Since Jobs made the remark, the iPad has been released and updated.  Even then, many speculated that he was intentionally trying to divert attention to the tablet Apple was rumored to have had in development. . .and he did take some flak for it when one of the primary things they touted with the iPad was the ability to read books.

Still. . . .at this point it's water under the bridge.  Heck, the stream is completely dry! :D
 

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history_lover said:
True but seeing where Kindle is now just proves how stupid his statement was. Eat your words, Jobs.
When he said that three years ago, I just rolled my eyes and went back to reading my K1, which I loved. Seeing that quote today makes me smile and now I'll go back to reading my K3 which I love. :D
 

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Shetlander said:
When he said that three years ago, I just rolled my eyes and went back to reading my K1, which I loved. Seeing that quote today makes me smile and now I'll go back to reading my K3 which I love. :D
I didn't roll my eyes, because I think there's a lot of truth in the statement. I don't personally know of anyone who is not family who reads regularly. But then I hang out with engineers and programmers. ;D

Mike
 

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jmiked said:
I didn't roll my eyes, because I think there's a lot of truth in the statement. I don't personally know of anyone who is not family who reads regularly.
I rolled my eyes because Jobs (and lots of other techie folks at that time) didn't see the niche market and couldn't get that while lots of people don't read, there are many who still do.
 

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If nothing else, I think I read MORE now that I own a Kindle 3.
I'm not sure why, but I feel more motivated to read since the K3 makes the actual activity of reading more convenient (ie: ability to resume, research, etc) and less burdensome.
 

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soyfrank said:
1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
And yet ereaders are doing quite well in their niche.
 

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For sure. They are defiitely doing well. But imagine if people downloaded books the way they download music. I saw one stat that said nearly 14 trillion songs are downloaded each year, leagally and illegally. If we loved reading in the same way we seem to love music, books sales would be phenomenal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
soyfrank said:
For sure. They are defiitely doing well. But imagine if people downloaded books the way they download music. I saw one stat that said nearly 14 trillion songs are downloaded each year, leagally and illegally. If we loved reading in the same way we seem to love music, books sales would be phenomenal.
But that's comparing an activity you can do while you do other things with something that's pretty darned immersive. You can listen to music all day long, but how much time does a working person have to read?
 

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I laughed at the statement as I for years have been one of the quiet readers that do not borrow books from the library or buy books (on- or offline). But I did read up to 4 hours a day on websites where people put their own stories. So even though they were no "real" books and I would have been one of the "did not read/buy 1 book a year", unofficially I read a LOT of "books" (stories longer than 70k words).
Now with the kindle I have gone back to reading "real books" (published however you want). I have already read about 15 books since I got my kindle in Februari and I am not reading a lot more than before.

My boyfriend loves my kindle, he thinks it's awesome. The only reason he doesn't have one is because he doesn't read. I think there might be a large group of people like that. they love the kindle but simply have no use for it. (just like I think of his DSi/3DS)
 
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