The Times they are a changin’

A piece in today’s Times looks at the changing face of ebooks, in anticipation of the UK release of Sony’s Reader:

It can take decades for technology to go mainstream. NTT introduced the first commercial mobile-phone service in 1978, people first started talking about the “internet” in 1974, and even electric bulbs took time to spread their light.

Now another technology that has been around for 20 years may finally go mainstream — the e-book.

Overall a nice summative piece – nothing new to see here folks, but in my conversations I’m always surprised by how few people have even heard of e-books. And it’s not just us old folk, I had one twenty-something student who was absolutely shocked that there was such a thing as an e-book. So much for inevitable widespread generational change!!

And I did like the article’s throwaway aside to the convergent v specialised device debate:

In Japan and Korea mobile phones now dominate sections of publishing. Harlequin, the world’s largest romance novel publisher, sells all its books in Japan directly to mobile.

More on that later…

(via teleread)


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