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The Future of Books

June 23, 2000 • Volume 10, Issue 24
Will electronic books change the way we read?
By Kenneth Jost

Introduction

A Microsoft employee demonstrates a handheld computer that contains author Michael Crichton's best-seller, Timeline, in an electronic format. (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
A Microsoft employee demonstrates a handheld computer that contains author Michael Crichton's best-seller, Timeline, in an electronic format. (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

The book-publishing industry is all abuzz over electronic books. E-book advocates say they will revolutionize reading, much as Gutenberg's invention of movable type did more than 500 years ago. Electronic books, they say, provide useful computerized features along with portability and durability. Many bibliophiles, however, sneer at the digitized products. They rhapsodize about the feel of ink-on-paper books as well as useful features of print products that they say e-books lack. Consumer acceptance is uncertain. The $200 to $600 price tag for handheld e-book readers is one barrier. In addition, only a small percentage of books are now available in electronic format. But e-book entrepreneurs are working hard to expand the market and say that prices will come down as that happens.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Computers and the Internet
Internet and Social Media
Libraries and Educational Media
Print Media
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