Whether readers want it to or not, all signs point to the fact that the book as we know it is changing. Devoted readers might feel like they’re at the edge of precipice as the traditional format of the book is clearly due for an overhaul in the age of digitization.
A reinvigorated consideration of e-books is spurred not just by Amazon’s Kindle, now shipping to Canada for a cool $271 CAD. It’s also, of course, triggered by Apple’s iPad (estimated to begin at $523 CAD). The iPad, a new and more accessible cross between a laptop and an iPhone, promises to usher in a new medium for reading books. The same way users can download music and videos straight from iTunes to their iPods, iPads will connect directly to and download from the new e-books store, iBooks (which will launch when iPads become available).
Featuring a larger reading interface and sophisticated visuals, and with the added bonus of being more than just an e-reader, will the iPad transform even readers who love their dog-eared paperbacks and leather-bound tomes?
At this point it is too early to tell, but until iPads arrive (the Wi-Fi models will be available in Canada at the end of March, and the 3G version in April), it is intriguing to see initial reactions to the fact that the time-honoured act of reading a physical book might well be under fire, more so than ever before.
(Apple describes their new iPad in loving detail)
iBooks: Apple Answers the Kindle with a Digital Bookshelf Like No Other
(Mashable concedes that the iPad trumps the Kindle )
Preliminary Review of iBooks
(cnet.com takes a first look at iBooks)
Apple iPad Backlash Begins
(Information Week compiles some of the criticisms against the iPad)
Bill Gates Dismisses the iPad
(Bnet investigates how Apple is suffering from a bit too much hype)
Printed Books and Magazines Still Preferable To Digital Counterparts
(A paperback still beats a laptop in your carry-on—or at least for the time being.)