Electronic Books May Become Really Popular

    October 15, 2009
    Chris Crum

According to various sources, Google is preparing to launch an electronic bookstore called Google Editions. With Editions, users would be able to buy electronic books and read them on any device that uses a web browser. This of course means big competition for devices like the Amazon Kindle.

The service is due out sometime in the first half of next year. It would reportedly begin with between 400,000 and 600,000 books. Prices would be set by the publishers. Google would get just over half of the profits, with the publishers getting the rest.

Google Books

In addition to Google’s big project, libraries are starting to offer electronic books. Motoko Rich with the New York Times reports:

Eager to attract digitally savvy patrons and capitalize on the growing popularity of electronic readers, public libraries across the country are expanding collections of books that reside on servers rather than shelves.

The idea is to capture borrowers who might not otherwise use the library, as well as to give existing customers the opportunity to try new formats.

With the increasing availability of electronic books to commonly used devices, we are likely to see a great increase in the amount of people actually reading them. I’m not ready to declare printed book anywhere close to dying, but it may mean bad news for the Kindle.