Million Dollar Idea # 1: Free for the Taking


As digital books sales overtake and surpass the sale of actual...uh... analog (?) books, there is much lamentation and gnashing of teeth. One of the common themes is that you won't be able to see what people are reading on the subway, the park bench or even on their bookshelf. Slate's Mark Oppenheimer has a nice little piece here on how this will lead to geeky guys getting even less action.

Like every thing else in our world, this is a problem only because there isn't an app for it yet. Come on book nerds, pull your head out of Quicksilver and get working on the code for the new bluetooth broadcasting "What Am I Reading" App.

It should have three settings: one, what I'm actually reading; two, what I want you to think I'm reading (you could hide the Star Trek novels and broadcast your love of Anne-Marie MacDonald); and, three, access to my entire digital library. Suddenly a subway ride can become a bluetooth enabled geek lovefest.

And then sell it to Amazon to bundle with book purchases. Buy two new titles get the app for free.

Now leave me alone, I have to find the dust jacket of The Bell Jar that I slip over my iPad on the subway. - Beta



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