10 November 2010

Meet Jane E-Book

From the "we already knew this, but now we have data" department: The e-book market is still narrow but deep, finds a Forrester forecasting report* which posits that 7 percent of American adults online are doing all the buying. The prototypical US e-book junkie is a woman (woo) who does 41 percent of her reading in digital form and -- not surprising -- buys and reads more than her non-e-reading counterparts.

What boggled my mind was only half of that 7 percent is using a Kindle or other e-reader; the rest are reading on computers or their phones (or iPads, or tablets). Kindle for BlackBerry just came out and do you know how eye-bleeding it is? Think I'd rather stare into space.
At the same time, Forrester's blog post on the report points out that the most common way people get books these days is still borrowing from a friend or the library, so it's not as if it will happen overnight. Then again, Kindle lending (with the publisher's approval**) has been promised soon, so...

*Which I would buy, indeed in e-book form, were it not $499. Can I borrow someone's copy?
**Let my skepticism on this point be noted. Granted, I don't know so many people with Kindles that I'm dying for this feature, but the ones I know also buy a lot of books, thus exponentially expanding my reach if it were allowed -- given that we don't physically swap Kindles now. 

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