The Economist of January 25, 2015 has an article under this title. They are talking about the nervousness of authors and publishers in the face of new subscription services for books by the likes of Amazon, Oyster and Scribd. Apparently 4% or readers in America have tried an e-book subscription service. This may seem underwhelming, but it does of course represent a whole lot of people. The only one I’ve talked to seemed perfectly content to have paid his money without ever reading any of the offerings. I fear I might behave similarly (though no doubt with less ease about the dollars spent and unused). I just don’t trust them to have the book I want to read next, whatever that may be. I generally don’t know this till I’ve done with the current one. The Economist article concludes with the forecast that these services will probably wither on the vine. I wonder: the objection I make above will become less and less relevant as more and more titles become available. I don’t know whether they do so, but these services could also offer huge quantities of public domain material. We know from the public’s behavior that it is perfectly possible to sell people content which is available elsewhere free of charge.

The only mention in the article of Spotify in connection with books is however in the title. But be aware: books can be found on Spotify, including lots of those public domain works. Biographile provides a brief guide to the program. You can reach Spotify by clicking on one of the links which are the sub-headings in the piece. There you will need to register in order to discover just how amazingly much there is there.

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