I never learned to E-READ!!!!

Ever since the introduction of the tablet PC, Iíve had this vague notion that Iíd like to partake of my books and novels in an electronic format. I already forego the newspaper in favor of reading daily events on the web so it seemed like a logical step. But tablet PCs were just a bit too pricey to use for reading something on a gaming website (ahem!) or to get my fix of The Onion. And then e-readers came into the picture.

Less expensive, lightweight (kinda), end eco-friendly, more companies are starting to take notice of the e-reader market. Itís about time considering how often I find myself reading a story on my Blackberry, wishing there were something big enough to get more than a few sentences on the screen at a time but light and small enough to fit into my backpack without giving me back problems.

Hoping to do for books what the I-Pod did for music, companies like Amazon and Sony have already ventured into the market with the Kindle and Reader, respectively. Unfortunately, while the two devices are impressive, they donít include that one little feature that would warrant theirprice tags. Wi-Fi. How can you introduce a portable device made specifically for reading text documents and not include Wi-Fi? Nonetheless, Sonyís Reader beckons to me with itís touchscreen, zoom-able text, and built in LED lighting. The $299.00 price tag and lack of network connectivity make it a bit hard to warrant such a toy in my collection of gadgets, however.

Granted, more devices from multiple companies are on the way. At the Frankfurt Book Fare, several merchants were on hand with their latest and greatest forrays into the e-reader market. And many of them boasted Wi-Fi. Sorry, Sony, I might have to cheat on you if I can stand to fork over the cash for one of the new devices.

Book publishers are already simultaneously releasing both paper and digital versions of their books and many of them are digitizing their backlist. How much longer before a bestseller manages to make it onto the list because of its e-book sales? When it happens, will we be looking at the end of the printed page? Already mediums such as comic books are making the move to the digital age. Surely we can save a rain forest or two if more of us make the move to digital print.

It might be a ways off, that distant future, when I can finally feel alright about having a small library with me on my travels because that library is on a memory card. But when it comes, I can only hope that someone remind me to blinkÖ

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Posted By Gritskrieg

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