E-books, on the cusp of their “iPod moment”?

Full page Analysis piece in today’s Financial Times:

Brought to book

Publishing Amid rapid growth in the number of digital titles and devices to read them on, an industry barely changed isnce Gutenberg is confronting upheaval, write Ben Fenton and Salamander Davoudi

Financial Times, Friday, October 16, 2009, p. 7

From the story:

. . .

At the Frankfurt Book Fair this week, the talk has been all about the impact of the e-book, with scores of sessions and seminars devoted to discussing the implications of devices such as Amazon’s Kindle and the Sony Reader. Another hot topic is Google’s digitisation of, so far, 10m books including about 9m still protected by copyright.

The Google Books project, arguably the first attempt to collect the planet’s collective knowledge in one (cyber) space since the Library of Alexandria was founded in the third century BC, also includes plans to allow people to buy out-of-print books from Espresso printing and binding machines.

. . .

Overall, industry executives and analysts expect digital books to reach about 20-25 per cent of the market over the next decade as publishers await their “iPod moment”, the appearance of a piece of hardware that gives the digital incarnation of the written word the same volcanic momentum that transformed the consumption, and the business, of music.

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