Thursday, March 18, 2010

Which Is More Interesting, E-Books or E. Coli?

All you hear about in the publishing news these days is e-books and e-readers--important topics, to be sure, as they are transforming the entire industry.

Still, you can reach a level of e-book saturation. I mean, the terms "e-book" and "e-reader" are u-biquitous. There's a certain monotony to seeing them repeated endlessly in everything you read. Frankly, it gets a bit tedious. And that "e" sticking out at the front starts to grate.

I came up with a trick that helps keep the publishing news interesting. As I explain on The Huffington Post, it's a simple substitution system: Every time you come across the words "e-book" and "e-reader," simply substitute a different, more interesting word. As long as it has an isolated letter tacked onto the front, it qualifies. The title of the piece will give you the idea: "If E-Books Were G-Strings."

Try this experiment: Next time you're socializing, tell your friends "I'll be happy to share my e-reader with you." The reaction is likely to be a polite "thanks" with an unspoken "whatever" as the subtext. Then say "I'll be happy to share my E. coli with you," and see what kind of stampede results.

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