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What do you think of electronic book readers like Kindle and how big do you think the e-book market will get?

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ca1ic0cat - I don't think you've actually seen or used an ebook right? the e-ink is exceptionally contrasty and paper/ink like. very readable in all lighting (except dark - like a book) and at angles too. Systems use very little power, e-ink is a semi-stable display requiring almost no power except a page refresh.

Battery is good for over 4 days of reading and, it doesn't die at unpredictable times, there is a battery meter telling you when it will die. It can power and charge off any USB socket. Would your laptop power run for a flight from Tokyo to NY or Lon? Doubt it (some netbooks would now) but their reading experience is very sub that of a true ebook.

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The problem(s) with electronic displays over paper:

paper has a higher contrast ratio with the ink so it's easier to read.

dead batteries are tough to recycle, paper recycles easily.

batteries go dead at unpredictable times.

electronics tend to go "poof" every now and then. Ink is pretty stable.

the airport security people get more worked up over electronics than books.

I'm sticking to paper or my laptop. I have to have the computing power anyway, why not use that?

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the companies that make glasses & contacts will be happy for sure

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There's no real market. These products are bound to fail, and fail in a big way.

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Yokomoc: Have you ever heard about recycled paper? It's a very useful invention.

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"Children need school books, libraries"

They also need trees

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Reading books on computers will definitely win out in the end. But these "reader" devices are just a step in that direction. Some kind of thing like apple is making that does more things will win out. Not a kindle. Who wants to carry and charge another device?

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pawtan, cannot disprove a negative - I'm relatively confident about Amazon. BTW - you can backup any or all books to a PC or MAC hard drive over USB. You don't have to carry all books at all times on the device.

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"I like the smell of the pages of a new book."

I like the smell of the pages of an old book. But I think the e-book market will get very big.

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pawtan, yes it does, in Japan the International kindle has free internet browsing.

Wow, really? I had read the opposite previously. Very nice to hear otherwise! Now if they just fixed that "Oops, just deleted your books, so sorry!" feature.

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I was skeptical for a long time about eBook readers, until I saw a Sony eBook reader on display in a store. I found it very easy to use and not hard on the eyes at all. Then I did some shopping around, and found a lot of things I did NOT like with most of the eBook readers out there. And then came Amazon's infamous move of removing the eBooks and notes from readers. I vowed to NOT get a Kindle or anything tethered to some store like that. Luckily, a brand new eBook reader, the ezReader Pro, came out on the market. It supports just about every format out there, allows you to put your eBooks into an archive file like a .zip or .rar file to keep from cluttering things up, lets you put in a 16Gb memory card, and much much more. I bought one of those - and have not looked back yet. This eBook reader is the best - for me - that I found out there.

eBooks will definitely take over - eventually. My complaints? No Zoom function for reading Manga on it. The words are too small to read when viewing manga. And you can't select the font for Adobe's reader to use. Most of the time you are stuck with the embedded font, which is not necessarily suitable for easy reading. Aside from that, I have read about 10 books on my ezReader Pro so far, and am looking forward to when I have to travel. No more need to carry a physical book - I just plop it on the memory card and go.

You have to experience it first hand before you get hooked on it. And once you get hooked on it - I feel sorry for book stores... If they dont embrace an electronic future, they are going to vanish...

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pawtan, yes it does, in Japan the International kindle has free internet browsing.

Azreal - who said anything about replacing paper books? Also, what about the 3rd world laptop projects? The ability to construct cheaper versions of these (with their minimal battery requirements and e-ink technology) and store thousands of books could be a liberator for developing countries, not an elitist gadget only!

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Amazon restricts users and (already has) changes the contents of books you "own" without prior notice because it doesn't need your permission to alter the contents of your books (specifically, replace your edition with an edited edition). Turns out, you can't "buy" books, only buy a "license" to read them. That is SO 1984. I refuse to buy a Kindle or any similar device as long as that issue is dealt with.

On the other hand as someone already mentioned, who said all avid readers belong in the moneyed elite? Electronic books can be a fashion gadget but nothing more. Printed books must continue to exist, because the vast majority of the world population (yes, including people in the developing world and poor nations) cannot afford fancy lifestyles. Children need school books, libraries; even now many poor children receive second hand school books via donations and charities that collect and redistribute used books. Used book shops are goldmines for great reads and way cheaper than Kindle for DECADES worth in receipts. One whole book (more so the classics) for less than a dollar (surprised?). Kindle is an elitist fad. Perhaps it will prosper in its captive market (the rich in rich nations, like 2% of the human race), but as far as saying electronic readers will eradicate paper books? PLEASE. Right to Education is a human right on the UN list; paper books are inextricably linked to that right.

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The international kindle doesn't have the free internet like the US version. That plus the whole "Let's delete books you legitimately bought" fiasco earlier this year means my money will stay in my pocket (and my nose in a nice paper book) until they get it right.

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Paper books have a certain smell and feel to them which I prefer. Plus I can write notes in them.

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KallyPygous, the reason for this is a completely different LCD type. It is rather large size and not back-lit. i think it also uses higher refresh rate. it actually looks like a proper page in the book. i don't have time to read anymore, but i would have definetely got me one of these i was in college.

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please don't give the kindle whistles and bells. It is a book reading device, and pretty cheap for it. 4 days battery life, immediate on, bookmarks etc. the kindle is considerably cheaper than other options.

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Nice idea, but why have a dedicated gadget? Give it some whistles and bells to justify the expense. While it's true that reading on an iphone, ipod touch or even a laptop is not the best of experiences, when the e-reader is of an equivalent price but with only one function, most people will baulk. Contrary to what popular opinion, avid readers are not the moneyed elite.

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I like the smell of the pages of a new book. People have read books for centuries and will continue to do so.

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I prefer to play videogames

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Nifty gadget, but I prefer to read a book onpaper - environmental heathen that I am.

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The new kindle and ebooks will be huge. As with all things, there are still wrinkles to iron out over publishing rights and distribution but I think they are the way forward.

I got my 'International Kindle' as soon as it was announced and have been very happy.

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