New Amazon Kindle with Ads?
My first reaction to this news was pure irritation. Our society is constantly being bombarded with ads, everywhere we turn. The one escape we’ve had from ads, for the most part, has been in our novels. Aside from brief lists of reviews (which in themselves advertise their company or magazine or what say you), the name of the book’s publisher, and the author’s name itself, books provide an alternative reality away from ads. Some novels may drop lines about certain products, sure, but not at the same level as ads we see each day. And now the Kindle is being reduced in price by what, a measly $25, all with the pesky advertisements on the home screen and screen-saver of our Kindles? Is it really worth it?
Some argue that this isn’t anything new, which may be right. I’ll give them that. Apparently at one point there were ads in books, which I’ll admit, I’m not surprised. Magazines are plastered with ads, why wouldn’t advertising industries have tried doing so in books? Jennifer Schuessler’s posted about the history of ads in books on her Arts Beat blog:
“Authors and readers alike assailed the ads, with one columnist lamenting, ‘We will see the day when we turn a page of Hemingway or Wolfe … and the next page will say Are Your Underarms Really With It?’ The ads began to fade away in the early 1980s, thanks in part to new author contracts forbidding unauthorized ads.”
I can imagine how odd it would be to flip over a page in my book to see “Are Your Underarms Really With It?” I can say, I’m glad to see people took action to eliminate this addition to book publishing. To see it potentially coming back, with minor ads showing up in our readers, or when we step away from our book for a few minutes to come back to an advertisement on our screensaver, saddens me. I hope this new trend doesn’t inflate back into the ads we were seeing in novels decades ago.
I can understand that including advertisements reduces costs on publishing. But the fact that they’re doing so in the ebook field doesn’t make nearly that much sense to me. Ebook publishing is so cost efficient right now. It doesn’t involve any printing whatsoever. The only requirements needed are space on the interwebs, a web address, and servers for those publishing sites. So now I’m asking, are these ads necessary? All to reduce the cost of the Kindle by $25?
Let’s keep our books clean of advertisements. Our brains are pummeled enough with constant pushes to purchase. That’s the beauty of reading, engulfing our brains with stories of different societies and people. Not reliving our own society by facing advertisements in each book we read.