Readers are very passionate driven people. Give them a good book and they find themselves in a different world, a different dimension that no one can penetrate. They read in the bathtub, at the beach, in a comfortable chair, under a tree or anywhere there is light enough to see. They like the look and feel of hardcover books over paperback books. They do not like to read on the computer because they cannot get comfortable enough to get into their book. They have shelves to display their books for others to see. So where does an eBook reader fit into their world?
At first I wasn’t sure myself. Working on computers all day the thought of staring at another screen to relax was just not even a remote thought or possibility. Yet, in 2008, there were an estimated 500,000 eBook readers sold between Sony & Amazon. An amazingly large number for this new technology. What made the difference was the introduction of E-Ink. The E-Ink technology allows for longer battery life. As one of the distinct advantages is that the only power used is for page turns and not maintaining page displays. Also, unlike the glare you see when you look at the computer screen. E-Ink technology provides a clean, clear, crisp image that rivals the feel and appearance of an actual book page. With the E-Ink introduction there has been an explosion of eBook readers coming to market.
eBook readers have many benefits for the casual or avid reader. They are very lightweight and can have numerous books uploaded so no more carrying heavy bound books when traveling or going to school. Some eBook readers are now being produced for note taking and page marking so studying just got easier. Purchasing eBooks are between 50%-75% less than bound books so reading just got more affordable. eBook readers have built in bookmarks so no more bending pages or looking for bookmarks.
eBook readers do have a downside. They are a little pricey. Ranging from $300 up to $750 is not in most budgets these days. It is a difficult price to swallow unless you travel and work away from home a lot. For the average reader, buying a bound book or paperback book is still the best solution but when prices go down eBook readers will seem more realistic.
Estimated sales goals for Sony and Amazon have been set at 5x’s the amount sold in 2008. Companies are quickly moving from the rigid eBook reader to a more flexible, smaller, quicker model. The future for eBook readers is just getting started!