A review of Amazon’s new digital e-book reader here. I own the latest iPods, and I usually love most of the latest developments in personal electronics. But I’m not quite sure if I want to give up the printed book. That said, I can see how these will become very handy devices for newspapers, and dare I say, magazines.
An interesting stat about reading from the article: “Yet, when Mr. Jobs was asked two weeks ago at the Macworld Expo what he thought of the Kindle, he heaped scorn on the book industry. â€œIt doesnâ€™t matter how good or bad the product is; the fact is that people donâ€™t read anymore,â€ he said. â€œForty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year.â€
“To Mr. Jobs, this statistic dooms everyone in the book business to inevitable failure.
“Only the business is not as ghostly as he suggests. In 2008, book publishing will bring in about $15 billion in revenue in the United States, according to the Book Industry Study Group, a trade association.
“One can only wonder why, by the Study Groupâ€™s estimate, 408 million books will be bought this year if no one reads anymore?
“A survey conducted in August 2007 by Ipsos Public Affairs for The Associated Press found that 27 percent of Americans had not read a book in the previous year. Not as bad as Mr. Jobsâ€™s figure, but dismaying to be sure. Happily, however, the same share â€” 27 percent â€” read 15 or more books.
“In fact, when we exclude Americans who had not read a single book in that year, the average number of books read was 20, raised by the 8 percent who read 51 books or more. In other words, a sizable minority does not read, but the overall distribution is balanced somewhat by those who read a lot.””