Saturday, July 26, 2008

Whither eBooks?

One thing I keep thinking about is how paper print is still so popular when there hasn't been more of an effort to switch to electronic device book reading.

When I was studying for my library degree in 1993, there was talk even then of electronic screen eBooks, reading off of CD-ROM discs. There's a moderately successful eBook format online with NetLibrary, however only libraries seem to carry it. There's been, from what I've read, attempts to create book reading devices, but there were conflicts over marketability, technology, copyrights, costs, what have you. It's only been in the last year, with the advent of Amazon's Kindle device, that I've seen any overt big-push toward eBook reading.

Paper print is still popular because 1) it's relatively cheap, and 2) it's what people know. But as more people do stuff on computers and the Internet, and depending on if Kindle retains and expands its' place in the market, we should finally start seeing a shift away from paper-based reading and toward computer-screen reading.

I'd love to see a Kindle in action. And I'd love to get my short story book on Kindle. Heh.