I don't know about you, but I like to hold a book in my hands. A hard (or paperback) cover book with pages that you turn along with that little "swish" sound when you turn them. There's something about the Feel of a book. The Smell of a book. It's a sensory experience beyond just your sight. With the advent of electronic books, I didn't see much success for them since, arrogant person that I am, I believe most of the population likes that sensory experience along with me.
Until the Kindle.
As a commuter, I see people with Kindles on the train. I've often thought to ask them what they thought of them, but I haven't, because more people that I actually KNOW are getting them. I had a conversation with someone in a training class (during the break!) and she said she misses the feel of a book, but the Kindle works. While many people, when they read, will at some point in time look where their bookmark is to judge their progress in getting through the story, the Kindle TELLS you (60% completed). That's a little wierd, and yet, informational.
I'd looked into getting a Kindle for myself, but felt it was cost prohibitive, and at the time, they didn't read PDF files (and I already have PDF books), rather like the iPod when it was new in that you can only read what they give you and not anything else, so I didn't make the investment. Then there was the Sony Reader. As my husband points out, technology eventually catches up, and now the Kindle WILL read a PDF file, and the price is adjusting with more competition. I do believe this is something I will buy - eventually.
Which brings me to the author point of view. With publishing becoming more competitive than ever, and publishing houses complaining about the cost of producing paper books, I'm seeing the trend toward the future. E-books are making more and more sense.
While the Kindle will never replace the sensory feel of a new book, at least the design can appease some of what you lose. Pushing a button is not a replacement for the swish and crinkle of turning a page, but it mimics it near enough as to be a sort of methadone until you can hold the read thing. Maybe it's like borrowing a book from the library. It gives you the opportunity to read it and decide if its something you want on your permanent shelf. And then, when you find a book that warrants keeping, you can bond with it, read it all over again on a more intimate level.
What do you think about the Kindle/Sony Reader?