Book Scanner Confidential

Josh Spilker

The Dell Axim, the book scanner's best friend / CNET

The Dell Axim, the book scanner's best friend / CNET

They are not fans of what's inside the book. They don't care about words, only about how many stray pen marks and coffee stains there are. They are book scanners. From Slate:

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If it's possible to make a decent living selling books online, then why does it feel so shameful to do this work? I'm not the only one who feels this way; I see it in the mien of my fellow scanners as they whip out their PDAs next to the politely browsing normal customers. The sense that this is a dishonorable profession is confirmed by library book sales that tag their advertisements with “No electronic devices allowed…”

They live by fluctuations in the Amazon Marketplace. They think about things like book photos, the success of chick-lit and how some editions are more engaging than others. If there's no ISBN code, there's no value.

They care about commodities, not content. They use a worn-out PDA that no one remembers. You would think there would be a more-efficient book app for this.

Interesting that the author feels shame in doing this, book buyers/readers who buy for content are a judgmental lot–we want people to be interested in books for the reason we're interested in them–the art possibly, the big bold ideas they might contain–but when we exist in a Twilight World, those things don't really exist no matter how much book buyers/readers want to believe otherwise.

I don't think DVD buyers or commemorative spoon collectors face this same type of judgment. They have no high-minded ideas about their art. Book buyers/readers pass on the notion from generation to generation that books hold a greater value, when it's all just a game of scanners finding easy sales.

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