A Tipping Point: E-readers Gain Momentum

Amazon recently announced that sales of e-books surpassed hardcover books for the first time.  This major milestone  lends credence to the idea that consumers are willing to accept content in a variety of forms.  No one is seriously arguing that physical books will completely disappear anytime soon.  But whatever the shortcomings of e-books, they are apparently not significant enough to deter consumers from embracing  multiple formats.  As Clay Shirky has argued in another context, the appropriate question is not whether readers will accept new technologies  and formats, but why they are reading in the first place.  Depending on their purposes, e-readers may fulfill those desires as much as physical books (possibly in a cheaper and more efficient way to boot).  Here’s The Atlantic’s Megan McArdle: (more…)

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