Like a lot of people, I'll be traveling this summer, and like a lot of academics, I need to take books with me. In the past, this wasn't as much of a problem. I'd pack a suitcase with clothes and a suitcase with books, and away I'd go.
But now, with the airlines waging unceasing war on passengers (my theory: Amtrak is pulling the puppet strings so the airlines will wither and die) and charging for extra bags and extra weight, that's not feasible. I would kill--well, pay, anyway--for access to books that I didn't have to lug in a suitcase.
The databases for journals have made this easy, but there's still no comprehensive option for books. What are the alternatives?
What would a Netflix for books look like?
I know, I know: digital rights, copyright laws, royalties, blah blah blah. But the movie companies aren't exactly holding hands and singing on a mountaintop when it comes to digital rights management, and Apple and Netflix have managed to make a go of things.
So I ask again: Netflix did it. Why can't academic booksellers?