Skip to comments.Table Disservice (e.g., banning iPads and Kindles in coffee shops?)
Posted on 02/13/2011 6:05:50 AM PST by RayChuang88
No Kindles in cafes? Youve got to be kidding. This is an affront, not only to readers and gadget lovers, but also to the spirit of cafes!
Many indie New York City cafes now heavily restrict, or ban outright, the use of Kindles, Nooks and iPads. Evidently, too many coffee shops in town have had their ambience wrecked when itinerant word processors with laptops turn the tables into office space. Sure, that phenomenon can be depressing whether youre a scornful lady who lunches or the nomadic freelancer who fields glares. And full-dress computers are perhaps too much personal furniture for cafes to accommodate. But banning devices the size of books, like Kindles and iPads, is going too far, and its anathema to the character and history of cafes.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I mean, look at the Amazon Kindle: you only need Internet access to download the latest book, daily newspaper or magazine issue. Most of the other times, the Kindle operates quietly, and since it uses an e-ink display there are no distracting backlights to deal with like you have with an iPad.
These coffee shops are going to start losing a LOT of business if they ban people from using an e-book reader in the coffee shop.
I couldn’t read the rest of the article because I’m not a subscriber, but this strikes me as incredibly stupid. But it’s typical of the romantic, anti-technological mindset of the liberal world (and I’m sure the average “coffee shop” owner is pretty liberal, unless we’re talking about Greek diners, which I don’t think we are).
Maybe books are too modern. Maybe the readers need to haul out a roll of parchment. Oh - but wait, isn’t the cash register electronic???
Perhaps it is not the device itself, but using the device for hours which is what the coffee shops don't want.
It’s called the Starbucks rule. It’s meant to drive business to Starbucks. While the other places wonder why the have no customers and end up going bankrupt and then closing.
I have to assume that this is because someone using an e-reader sits for a long time sipping on a cup of coffee and taking up a table?
But, if those coffeeshop owners want to really starting losing business big-time, go right ahead!
Why shuold they be banned. If I want to sit over breakfast at a restaurant and read the news via the internet, what is it to you?
This nation is full it seems of a bunch of bored busy bodies that have no better calling in life than to take away other people's liberties because "they don't like it."
As far as I can tell, the policy was aimed at laptop owners who were typing all day, and the clack-clack of the keyboard can be irritating.
But iPads and Kindles are also eBook readers, and reading in a Cafe is almost mandatory. If shop owners don't want squatters, then manage their free internet better, cutting off patrons who don't make a purchase after 60 minutes.
These coffee shops are trying to "hold on to tradition" and they are going to really start losing money in the longer run.
Yeah but you are taking up space while you read for a few hours.
Then enforce a rule you can’t stay at the coffee shop for more than 45 minutes at a time.
Google the headline, you don’t have to register.
I am a Kindle reader and unless you are buying/downloading a new book, you don't need internet access at all (I guess some folk may want to download current newspapers however).
IMO this issue is a tempest in a teapot since the free market will adjust itself accordingly.
But if I were to bring in a book and spend an hour or so reading it, it would be okay?
What’s the difference?
I lived in a university town where all the students went to the local coffee shops with their laptops to do hours worth of work. If you just wanted to come in and get a cup of coffee, you couldn’t do so because every seat was occupied by a student.
The best solution to that would be, as you suggest, simply to limit the internet connection time. There was no limit at the university library, but they didn’t want to go there because there wasn’t music in the background, etc. Limiting their internet time at the coffee shop probably would have forced them to move on to the library after an hour or so.
But a Kindle or other e-reader? It doesn’t use anything from the coffee shop (wifi or electricity), and people don’t sit and read them any longer than they would sit and read a paperback or magazine with their coffee.
I remember that there was a bookstore on the Upper West Side that was staffed entirely by disdainful liberals who were outraged when the big stores like B&N and Borders came to New York. They would write articles about how people were supposed to support their crummy little bookstore, which had a limited selection except for the latest leftist raving (of which it would have hundreds of copies) and a staff that thought it was God’s gift to humanity and which openly scoffed at some of the store’s customers. And then they wondered why nobody wanted to shop there...
It was tongue-in-cheek, but thanks for the tip!
Borders has people stooging in its cafes and stacks all day. Doesn't seem to have worked all that well as a business model.
Meanwhile, Borders may be filing for Chap. 11 this week....
The other store bit the dust a long time ago. I think one of Borders’ problems is that it didn’t really have a strategy for dealing with the e-book (and Amazon in general) until too late. And there may be other, management-related problems that I don’t know about.
Or the local news rag, and spend an hour doing the crossword puzzle.
“These coffee shops are trying to “hold on to tradition” and they are going to really start losing money in the longer run.”
On Sunday, my wife and I would get the local papers and sit in our local cafe for hours. Granted we would eat breakfast, drink coffee and talk to friends.
The only difference is technology. I no longer have to kill a tree and destroy its ability to scrub harmful CO2 from the atmosphere, which is the reason why its -10 today.
I have a Kindle. I am saving the world.
Exactly. Cofee shops are for paying customers, like any other establishment. Why let a bunch of nonpaying selfish freeloaders take up all their seats and table space? If they want to sit and read their kindl all day they should go home or find a park bench.
The New York coffee shops miss the old days where patrons in shaggy clothes would congregate to listen to acoustic Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie songs while discussing Marxist politics and the overthrow of the imperialist, capitalist pigs.
Exactly. That’s what the article tells us if we think beyond the words of the author.
FTA: “Evidently, too many coffee shops in town have had their ambience wrecked when itinerant word processors with laptops turn the tables into office space.”
Borders has a slew of problems and a rotten business model.
Note to the folks who want ambiance with their java: Put your money where your mouths are and spend some.
Except that trees are renewable and CO2 is not dangerous...
Stop talking sense!
You ban my Kindle - you ban my wallet!
However, were it me, I'd get rude to these slobs and ask them to leave after 1 hour and one coffee. Wanna stay? Keep ordering food and beverages.
Just my take.
As such, Borders' inability to "fall back" on its mail order division and its inability to sell its own branded name of e-book readers will result in that company either being dissolved or bought out by a rival like Barnes & Noble.
“The only difference is technology. I no longer have to kill a tree and destroy its ability to scrub harmful CO2 from the atmosphere, which is the reason why its -10 today. “
These restaurants and cafes first accommodated PDAs with their free Wi-Fi. Now, it appears that people are squatting in the restaurants, thus limiting the turnover to more paying customers. That might be the problem but it’s the short-sighted hospitality business that invited it.
Not quite. I should have put the /s tag after that.
Those are my feelings. All these people getting upset because they can't loiter in a cafe for hours after buying a $2.00 coffee? I don't frequent these places so maybe I'm off base but it seems to me the coffeeshop is there to sell coffee and a tad of ambiance - not to serve as a home away from home. Borders lets you sip a coffee and read a free book - and they're losing their shirts.
To me, a Kindle, etc is a time killer to use on a long journey, waiting at the Drs. office or an airport and not to use in tying up a money-generating space for hours.
It's still not rocket surgery.
“But if I were to bring in a book and spend an hour or so reading it, it would be okay?
Whats the difference?”
With a Kindle it’s not just an hour, it can be all day.
As martin noted, there are places which offer time-limited web access for a modest cost. There are also places like the burger chains which do that, or offer it for free, with cheaper coffee and a full menu. It’s not as if anyone (in, say, France, in an open-air café) never spent the morning reading their entire newspaper while nursing a single cup of coffee. Or in a diner where their single cup of coffee was freshened up by a helpful waitress.
The real thing at work here is that there are alternatives now which didn’t exist before, and it’s become more difficult to sell a $4 cup of coffee and $3 bagel. Throw in gratis web access (which plenty of these java places do) and fairly small numbers of tables, and it’s obvious that, since their floor space hasn’t changed, and their prices have gone up, that their margins have declined due to rising costs, and cutting free web access — which is their prerogative — is the one place they can easily cut their costs. It also helps (they think) with turnover.
What they’re about to find out is, there won’t be any more customers than before, and in fact there will be fewer.
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