With the dawn of on-line digital music stores and digital distribution growing in popularity every day, it was only a matter of time until books became digitized. There are already some services out there (such as Google Books, digitalbookindex.org and most respectable libraries) that offer a digital copy of some books, but in such an on-the-go mobile society as the one we live in who has time to sit by their computer for hours reading a book?
Arguably the most popular solution to this issue was a product Amazon introduced in 2007, the Kindle. With its (600x800px) screen, QWERTY keyboard and SD slot, Amazon was ahead of the game. But the design it self is just ugly and it's virtually impossible to hold with out touching the screen or pressing a button, plus the fact that is does not support PDFs. To top it all off, they cost $360 and are practically impossible to come across.
Recently the Amazon Kindle was endorsed by Oprah who not only called it one of her "favorite gadgets" but also gave $50 coupons for it. E-readers are not main-stream products as yet, but could this endorsement change that? Many people feel that it will only create a spike in the Kindle sales, but once people can't find Kindles they will start looking for alternatives (such as Sony and other brands). But do e-books really have a space in this day and age? More and more books are available in audio formats which are really convenient for those who drive as part of their commute; want to listen to a book while at the gym or walking the dog. On the other hand, I would love to see these devices replace school text books. I remember being in 5th grade and carrying around a bag that weighed the same as I did. Maybe in the future our kids will only need an e-reader along with a few PDFs provided by the schools digital books store.