Thursday, July 9, 2009

Will electronic devices make books obsolete?

The Denver Post (via the Miami Herald)

Like a lot of readers, Kimberly Field likes and laments her new Kindle.

On one hand, the in-demand electronic device solves a problem common to fans of novels and nonfiction: too many books, not enough bookshelves.

''I was about to resort to the Fahrenheit 451 method of book management'' joked the Denver author, referring to Ray Bradbury's cautionary tale about book-burning.

On the other hand, its convenience has removed the tactile sensation from a treasured hobby.

``I prefer turning the pages of a book because I like touching it and flipping back to reread passages. You don't get that with Kindle.''

While readers are torn over the merits of literary toys like Amazon's Kindle, the iPhone and Sony Reader, there's no doubt they have overwhelmingly embraced them.

This year, electronic books sales are up 150 percent and analysts predict the number could triple by December. That comes in a year when sales of traditional books are down four percent.

The publishing industry is scrambling to keep up with -- or take advantage of -- the interest in electronic reading. Ailing magazines and newspapers, hungry for a delivery system the public will like, are hopeful. Brick-and-mortar bookstores are hoping they don't become obsolete.

Continue here...

No comments:

Post a Comment