I have long been a basher of electronic book readers, such as the Kindle and Nook. I believe in traditional books, and in outlets that sell and distribute books in print. Books are symbolic, and when anyone stores them on a reader, this facet disappears. I have developed this argument in a previous blog post, and you can access it by clicking here.
To that end, I was pleased to read this today (August 25, 2011) from the Harvard Business Review Online Daily Stat:
E-readers are not about to kill print books in the college environment: Very few students with e-readers use them for all of their reading, and most students with e-readers use them for one-third of their reading or less, according to a survey of 1,705 students by Nancy M. Foasberg of Queens College in New York City. Only 15.7% of respondents who said they read e-books used dedicated e-readers; the rest used computers or cell phones. 74% of respondents didn’t read e-books at all.
However, the title of the piece is misleading. It is called: “E-Readers Gain Ground Slowly in College.” I think that is true only if we start from zero. I am unimpressed by a figure of 15.7% .
There are some professors at colleges and universities who use our 15MinuteBusinessBooks.com site as a resource for their classes. To be clear, every entry we have available on that site was from a traditional, in-print book. Every book that we present at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas comes from a traditional, in-print book that we read and give away in a drawing. And, we will continue to do so. These are both services owned and operated by Creative Communication Network.
And, think about it. Do you really want an instructor in the classroom to say “please scroll to ____” instead of “please turn to page _____?”
What do you think about this?
Let’s talk about it really soon!
Cheryl’s view: It seems Jack Welch should play more golf and resist the temptation of making speeches. On July 21 the Wall Street Journal reported he delivered what I’m sure he thought was “straight talk” like he thinks he did in his book, Straight from the Gut. He told a convention of HR executives women had to choose between raising a family and having the corner office. Which rock have you been hiding under Jack? Maybe he forgot that last year’s CEO of the year as elected by peer CEOs, was Anne Mulcahy, CEO of Xerox, and mother of two sons. And I supposed he also hasn’t noticed Mulcahy passed the reins to the first Afro-American woman to lead an S&P 100 company, Ursula Burns, and (Oh, gasp Jack!) also happens to have a daughter and stepson. When Jack Welch entered the workforce and even possibly when he led General Electric, this might have been a “norm”, possibly his own stereotype at work. This is no longer the case. Jack might also want to start reading the stats on graduating MBAs; women in 2009 will surpass men in all categories: associate, bachelor, graduate and professional. By the way, the gap between men and women has been widening since 1982, the last year men exceeded women in acquiring degrees, in college degrees and is projected to continue until 2017, which is only as far as the projection goes. So, where will the most talented, experienced, and well educated people in the company come from, the future CEOs? My money is on the next generation of women, who, by the way, believe the wisdom of his other book’s title “Control Your Own Destiny, or Someone Else Will.” Thanks for the advice, Jack, now go play golf.
Sara adds: Jack, in the words of James Copeland, former Chairman and CEO of Deloitte & Touche worldwide in True Leaders (Bette Price and George Ritchesche), “Don’t breath your own exhaust.” Your pronouncement in the Journal is contemptible (a carefully chosen word from Merriam Webster’s online dictionary… “contemptible may imply any quality provoking scorn or a low standing in any scale of value.” The italics are mine). I believe your comments to be contemptible; having a low standing in any scale of value on a couple of levels. First level, you single out women leaders. Besides being transparently biased your idea begs the question, why shouldn’t ALL leaders, men and women, have the opportunity to have a life as well as incredibly successful careers? Then there’s the next level. It’s about BUSINESS RESULTS, Jack, not about appearances or sacrifice. By even uttering that comment I wonder if you’ve lost focus on the prize here. Jack, you should read a new Harvard Business Review (HBR) article, Social Intelligence and the Biology of Leadership (Richard Boyatzis and Daniel Goleman). It stands your antiquated version of leadership on its ear. In the article you will read about the negative impact a leader’s stressed lifestyle has on the success of the company they lead. The authors also provide a pathway to leadership that is healthy, balanced and produces great (get that, Jack, GREAT) business results. I wonder what heights GE could have climbed if YOU had been a different kind of leader.