According to Computerworld, e-book sales are about to ignite and be totally mainstream by this time next year. Why? Author Mike Elgan gives six reasons:
1. The economy. The economy is in the tank, and people are looking to cut costs any way they can. An Amazon Kindle pays for itself after the purchase of 20 or 30 books, then starts paying dividends. You save big on books, magazines and newspapers. These savings will grow even more attractive as the recession deepens.
2. The environment. Interest in protecting the environment just keeps growing and growing. The idea of getting a daily newspaper or a weekly or monthly magazine on paper seems incredibly wasteful to the point of decadence. Environmental consciousness will drive e-book acceptance.
3. A publishing revolution. The book publishing industry is one of the most backward, musty, obsolete businesses in our economy. While every other kind of information moves at the speed of light, the process of publishing a book is like something from the Middle Ages.
4. The rise in aggressive e-book marketing. Like the move from silent pictures to “talkies,” the transition to electronic publishing will prove fatal to laggards. Those aggressively pursuing and developing e-books will rise to take control of the publishing industry. Part of this revolution will happen in e-book marketing.
5. A rise in books written for electronic reading. The shift from print to electronic will change the nature of the book itself. Many books will be shorter. They’ll be more timely and culturally relevant. They’ll be more colorfully and engagingly written. And they’ll go after young readers like nothing before.
6. The decline of the newspaper industry. And, finally, the newspaper industry is dying. The old method of physically delivering blog entries on dead tree pulp is obsolete. It’s very simple. Newspapers that embrace e-books will survive. Those that don’t, won’t.
Read the full article here.
What does this mean for school libraries? We are committed to providing materials to students in all formats. The Kindle, with its open internet access, can’t currently be used with students, but Elgan’s article says that Amazon plans to offer Kindle books on cell phones. The Google Book Search blog stated last week that its 1.5 miliion public domain books will also soon be available on mobile devices. How long will it be before we are able to provide electronic books to our students on their ever-present (but currently banned) cell phones?
Leave a comment with your thoughts.
(Thanks to Joyce Valenza for the link.)