3 min read

Chapter Sale

The future of eBooks is brimming with possibilities and promises. Nothing short of a revolution is happening in the domain of eBooks. Increased interactivity, e-reading clubs—authors, publishers and technology companies are pushing the frontiers and coming up with new ideas every day.

We live in a world that offers too many choices and too little time. Quick and easy access to relevant and accurate information in the most economical way is what discerning customers look for. They do not have the time or inclination to search for the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Then why buy an entire book, when you can buy just the relevant chapters in the book?

Last weekend, I was reading a book on lateral thinking. After progressing through the first four chapters of the book, I came to a chapter on information processing. It seemed like an area that I already had some knowledge about. Skipping the chapter, I read the rest of the book.

It occurred to me that I should have not paid for that chapter since I did not need it. Just to confirm my hypothesis, I went back and read the chapter that I had skipped earlier. It had information about what I already knew, although the chapter also contained the author’s perspective and some new info. Also, the author had made a few references about this chapter elsewhere in the book.

So does buying just certain parts or chapters of a book make sense? From a cost perspective, the decision is clear. Why pay for something that you do not need.

Another advantage is the time you save by arriving where you want to be without having to cut through the clutter. Why oppress yourself by spending time on information irrelevant to you. Additionally, there is no information overload. But, as always is the case, there are two sides to this coin too. The main disadvantage to buying just the parts and not the whole is the potential risk of not completely understanding the concept discussed in the book. If the author is building his arguments or explaining his concept in the chapters you chose to skip, there is the danger of misinterpretation and misconception.

Fortunately, there are ways to address and overcome this problem. When authors realize that readers want buy chapters of the book, instead of the entire book, they would design each chapter as an independent self-contained entity. Detailed previews of chapters—and not just the preview of the whole book—would give customers an idea of what they want to buy or not.

With chapter sale, we would be embracing the internet experience of searching for the most pertinent info and finding related info from the links that the chapter contains.

At this point, I am not sure how this trend will evolve, but I do feel that chapter sale would be a great option that all textbook buyers would like to have.

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