Good Reading : November 2009
20 goodreading ı NOVEMBER 2009 fully booked For more than a decade, readers have been told that the next big thing was going to be the e-book and that electronic text would wipe out print. So far, this has proved untrue, like most predictions about the future. However, digital publishing is definitely shaking up the staid world of books: 2009 has tur ned out to be a watershed year for electronic books. Two remarkable events have impacted on publishing in ways that aren't properly understood yet. The first event was the Global Financial Crisis, which hit the inter national publishing industry with the force of an earthquake. Industry e-bulletins from the UK, Europe and the US, which used to be little more than gossipy newsletters, have become grim litanies of falling book sales, staff redundancies, and financially troubled book chains. The second event was the release of e-book readers that finally offered an attractive way to read. While there is a variety on the market, the game- changer has been the Kindle, which lets readers download books from Amazon. First released in 2007, the new Kindle DX was launched in June this year. And in October an 'inter national' version was released, enabling users in 100 countries worldwide to download books. This includes Australia, although at the time of going to press it is not available in New Zealand. Its books are presented in electronic ink, which is like reading nor mal black letters on white paper. The UK has seen the launch of the Sony e-Reader, which lets its owner download books from Waterstone's book chain. This new generation of e-readers offers the user an experience that's much closer to holding a nor mal book than in the past, except that users can also car ry thousands of books with them at one time and, in some cases, even use their devices to read their favourite magazines and newspapers. Most commentators say the paper- and-ink book is here to stay, regardless of books to screen FELICITY CARTER gets the lowdown on downloadable books and finds out if printed literature is going out of style. Amazon chairman Jeff Bezos.
December January 2010