Electronic Books Are Catching On

jeff bezos and kindle newsweek cover

Electronic books are controversial at TreeHugger; I love the idea of separating the message from the medium, the words from the dead trees. Others love the Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge (BOOK) format that "is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology; no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It's so easy to use even a child can operate it." (Treehugger here and here)

Watching developments closely are the publishers and booksellers, wondering if they are going to the way of Tower Records and the music industry. While electronic books have been a niche idea for a while, Amazon's Kindle is catching on; Jeff Bezos told people attending BookExpo America that 6% of his unit sales of books are no electronic. Given the number of books he sells, that's a lot. Jeff Bezos doesn't expect to be all-electronic any time soon: "Anything that lasts 500 years is not easily improved upon. Books are so good you can't out-book the book." ::New York Times

UPDATE: Seth Godin writes about the fact that I missed- publishers sell the ebooks to Amazon for exactly the same price as the paper book, even though there are no trees.
Dematerialized Words from TreeHugger on E-Books:
Electronic Books: The Next Chapter : TreeHugger
TreeHugger Picks: Electronic Reading with E-Books and Readers ...
Core77 One Hour Design Challenge eBook Winner : TreeHugger
Survey: Do You Read Books? : TreeHugger

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