E-books to make paperbacks obsolete

November 14th, 2007 - 2:57 am ICT by admin  
According to The Telegraph, with children more interested in possessing an iPod or a MySpace account rather than the complete works of Charles Dickens, publishers are turning to digital books in an attempt to attract younger audiences.

The “e-book” has divided the publishing world, with some predicting “the death of the book” and others arguing that the traditional printed version will remain the favoured format.

HarperCollins is leading the digital revolution with the launch of a service that allows people to download the first 10 pages of the first two chapters of forthcoming books onto the Apple iPhone.

Although the service is currently only available in America, British book fans will soon be able to try it for themselves, after the UK launch of Apple’s long-awaited handset next month.

The latest research shows that more than half of Internet users would like to read books, magazines or newspapers in a digital format.

However, a vast majority said they would prefer to read it on their laptop rather than a device specially designed for e-books.

Jeff Gomez, the senior director for online consumer sales and marketing for the Penguin Group in the US, said that publishers had to embrace electronic books if they wanted to survive in the 21st century.

“Far from causing the book industry’s downfall, free access to electronic versions of novels has the potential to be its saviour. And to publishers, struggling for relevance in a digital age, that should be music to their ears,” he said.

The Booker Prize Foundation announced last week that it would be releasing e-book versions of this year’s short listed titles, in a sign that e-books could soon become as mainstream as digital music downloads.

A number of specialist e-book stores have also sprung up online to cater for growing demand. (ANI)

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