With all of the technology that flashes before our eyes, how could we possibly focus on something for more than a minute? In the internet, we can get information fast, condensed and graphically enhanced. There is no need to take our time during absorption. Technology has indeed, allowed us to develop such short attention spans.
Keeping up with the consumers’ demand for quick information, a company is going to offer shortened versions of ebooks for Kindle and other digital readers. These versions will range from 1,000 to 5,000 words. For the older folks among us, these can be equated with the ever popular Cliff Notes. Remember frantically running into the book store to pick up the yellow and black booklet of Hamlet? You were saved, and you didn’t even have to read the play! Well you don’t have to run any longer; the condensed digital version is on its way.
Currently, The FT Press, a division of Pearson only offers shortened versions of business books that are marketed to on-the-go professionals. Known as FT Press Delivers in the Kindle ebook store and Barnes & Noble ebook shop, they sell “Elements” and “Shorts”.
“Elements” contain simply the facts at around 1,000-2,000 words, and the “Shorts” are freshly written essays around 5,000 words. Amazon offers FT Press ebooks at discounted prices, yet Barnes & Noble has kept the publisher’s prices. There are over 240 titles available with the hopes of bringing this number up to 500 by the end of the year.
An example of an Element from FT Press Delivers is “Don’t Make Them Think!: Creating the Best Flow for the Elements of Any Great Presentation” by Jerry Weissman. Costing only $1.59 for the Kindle users, the condensed book only contains 130 locations and gives the reader the bare bones in bullet points.
Granted this may be a fantastic buy for a professional who is trying to structure a presentation, but reading a novel in bullet points may not be satisfying. Perhaps a bit dramatic, but this is what the reading world is coming to.
Ereader technology is ground-breaking, and with the ever-changing gadget, it will continue to satisfy hungry readers who simply don’t want to wait for the next trip to the book store. Condensing novels may take the joy out reading, and with our fast-paced lives, shouldn’t we leave one thing alone? No matter how the written word is read, perhaps it should be left in its full hearty emotional state with the perfect companion — the ebook reader like the Amazon Kindle.