Multiple book formatsWhen I first started buying books from Amazon, I bought hard and soft cover books exclusively. Eventually, I found myself wanting to consume books while doing other activities such as walking or driving.

But for all the obvious reasons, reading a book while driving (or even walking) wasn’t an option.

So I stopped buying physical books and switched to books in digital audio format from Basically, I switched from reading books to listening to books. Although I still catch myself telling people I just finished reading a book.

Along came the Kindle

Then Amazon released the latest generation Kindle which I proceeded to purchase the day it was released. And now because the Kindle is so simple (and gosh darn good looking) I find myself returning to the days where I want to read my books again.

Which brings me to my dilemma. What if I want to start reading a book on my Kindle but finish listening to it on my iPhone? Or what if I want to loan the book to a friend? Certainly I’m not going to give my Kindle to my friend.

Licensed to read

What I really want is to buy a license to whatever book I want without being tied to a format. In other words, if I decide I want the latest book by Vince Flynn, I should be able to get it in paperback, digital audio format and as a Kindle book (or all of them if I so desire).

Of course, I realize that of these three formats, the printed copy carries the highest cost. So maybe the license is only good for digital formats. Or you pay a few extra bucks to include a “full” license to all formats. I don’t know. That’s for the book publishers to figure out.

And before anyone points it out, I know that certain Kindle books can be read to you. But I don’t want a computer reading my book to me. I want a professional speaker (or the author) reading it to me like I get from

Perhaps Amazon’s acquisition of is the first step to getting to what I want. Time will tell I guess.

Disclaimer: Technologies presented in the Technology I’d Like To See (TILTS) series are based on my original (and sometimes delirious) thoughts. I present them here to the public only because I can not afford to implement any of them myself. If you steal borrow one of my ideas and end up filthy rich because of it, please remember where you got the idea and throw a little love my way. Something like a BMW or a big fat check would do just fine.