I’m not really buying it yet, all that talk of e-books and Kindle and stuff, but the author makes some interesting observations:
Credit goes to two key developments: the breakthrough success of Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader, and the maturation of the Google Book Search service, which now offers close to 10 million titles, including many obscure and out-of-print works that Google has scanned. As a result, 2009 may well prove to be the most significant year in the evolution of the book since Gutenberg hammered out his original Bible.
If so, if the future is about to be rewritten, the big question becomes: How?
My usual concern with Kindle is, for example, that in order to read my multiple PDFs I will need to upload them to Amazon.com and then convert them – “for a small fee” – into Kindle format, which is not my thing (paying for stuff, you know, especially if you already own it). I think once there’s a cheap and unattached device out there, I would certainly consider buying it, although I doubt that it would replace the actual books. I think in the future, if you buy a new book, it should come with a small disk with a searchable PDF of the book which will eliminate the need for indexes (and graduate students everywhere will be doing something else for their professors).
Anyone has a Kindle out there and wants to share the experience?