Inspired by a back-to-back reading of getting-things-done sensei David Allen and clutter-elimination expert Peter Walsh, we spent a goodly amount of time last night staring at the piles of books that have accumulated in front of the already-stuffed bookcases, and we figured maybe it was just time to box everything up, take it to the Strand, and use the proceeds to buy a Kindle from Amazon.com (noting, of course, several books to be immediately replaced by electronic editions). Then we realized: Every day brings more review copies, and pretty soon we’d be right back where we started. We thought about it a while, came up with a possible solution, and took to Twitter to see if it would fly:
That got a few other people talking, and though we had referred to “e-ARCS” early on, by the time the conversation evolved to hashtag status, the term had become “#digiarcs.” It turns out we weren’t the only ones interested in being able to read books on handheld devices in advance of publication, and though it was acknowledged that NetGalley did have quite a few publishers already participating in its system, the PDFs they distribute are encrypted, so we wouldn’t be able to convert them into a Kindle-friendly format—and then there were the other e-book readers to consider, of course. (Who, we wondered, has the patience or endurance to read an entire book sitting at their desk?) Some publishers could offer exactly the sort of files we were looking for, but a more… ubiquitious approach to the situation would be helpful.
The #digiarcs conversation will almost certainly continue on Twitter today, but we welcome your comments here as well. Our own position might be—okay, was—summarized as follows: “We want more e-ARCs, and we want them now, please. You can trust us not to pirate them, you know.”