Once you're on a plane, you're limited to what you've brought with you and what the aircraft offers in the way of entertainment. (Well, that and passing out.) Usually you're left to decide between a movie or different music channels. Another option that could be coming up? A book.
If you've ever flown Virgin America, you know that it's a pretty swank ride: every passenger has their own glossy touch screen command center from which they can order movies, drinks, food and what have you. There's a mysterious other tab there labeled Books but when you press it you only get a screen saying that the feature is coming soon.
EBookNewser's Dianna Dilworth was on a Virgin flight and, noticing this, started to ponder how it could go down:
There are a number of ways that it could work. Perhaps you could sign in to an existing Amazon or Barnes & Noble account and access your digital bookshelf directly. Or perhaps the airline could sell bestsellers or short stories directly. Think Atlantic Fiction's monthly short stories in the Kindle store.
Being able to access the e-books we've already purchased? Now there's an idea we really like. Still, if it were cheap enough, would you be willing to rent a book during the duration of a flight? It's interesting that airlines haven't jumped on this yet — bookstores may close down all over the world, but they'll still be in airports.