Wednesday, 13 January 2010

The year of the e-reader

Is 2010 going to be the year we start saying goodbye to ordinary books? Last Christmas the electronic reader, the digital counterpart of a conventional book, was the most popular present in the United States. On 26 December 2009 Amazon released a press statement saying that ‘Kindle has become the most gifted item in Amazon’s history’. 

On Christmas Day, customers purchased more Kindle books than hardcopy books, for the first time ever. If this trend continues in 2010, consumer electronics companies can expect golden times. The Kindle e-reader is the most popular, followed by Sony’s version. It is expected that obtaining books from the internet will be very easy in the near future. Although they have been there for a while, mass demand has only started to grow recently. 

Is it just a matter of time before students no longer have to carry tons of books with them, but only a laptop or e-book? Costs are very low and many websites offer free books or newspapers. It is possible to download whatever you want on an e-reader, and read, print and distribute the material. It is likely the e-reader will change the mind of the conventional book lover. Will 2010 be the start of a new digital book era?
- Michiel Willems (c) 2010