eBooks have done to the physical book and audiobook what MP3 did to LPs and CDs respectively. Figures tell us that they are selling over and beyond other book formats. As it is, we already have enhanced eBooks – doing everything but singing and dancing (some might do). Then there were the Apps. And all this is great especially if we are quid’s in.
And so, I reckon eBooks will be around for a while and boom even further as we have only just started to exploit them. There is so much more we can do with our digital content.
I also predict we will continue to see a greater fusion between technology and books – not just in the formats being offered but inaccessibility. Who would have thought we could buy a physical book in our supermarket or borrow an eBook from an online library?
Could we soon be offered the latest Jodi Picoult eBooks at the check out of our supermarkets like we are offered stamps, mobile top-ups? Could we get them from our post offices or even ATMs? Could we download them wirelessly whilst traveling on a train/tube by swiping our mobile/tablet reader on a device (so you no longer are able to just read the book advert on the bus and make a note to self to buy it when you got home but buy it there and then)? Could we use our satellite navigators to download an audiobook (loan or buy) for a long journey ahead? Could we tune in to a digital online hub or radio station and select a book to listen to. Of course, these would have to be subscription based (something journals and magazines have benefited from for years) or PAYG using chip-and-pin technology or special devices in our phones.
In short, I believe the future is nearer than we think. With the further advancement of science, technology, media, and mobile devices, we have only just scratched the surface.
The best is yet to come!
PS: I hope this also drives down the costs of eReaders so everyone gets to enjoy book reading