Amazon's E-Book Gamble Gets Big Play

Newsweek looks at changes $399 device could wreak on reading
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2007 3:24 AM CST
Amazon's E-Book Gamble Gets Big Play
Jeff Bezos,, founder and CEO, takes questions from shareholders during the Amazon shareholders meeting in Seattle in this June 14, 2007 file photo. (AP Photo/Marcus R. Donner, file)   (Associated Press)

News that Amazon would debut its new Kindle e-book leaked earlier this week, and a Newsweek cover story has the full hype on what Jeff Bezos and company hope to achieve with it. "This isn't a device, it's a service," Bezos says of of the Kindle, pointing to its "Whispernet" wireless connection, which uses Sprint's EVDO network, as one of its key attributes.

Biblio-soothsayers predict an "always-on" device that can download books, magazines  and newspapers that could lead to not only cheaper prices ($9.99 for bestsellers) but perhaps the demise of the lone author, especially for non-fiction titles, in favor of wiki-style community writing based on constant annotation. Net-connected literature, says Google's book search manager, is about  “getting rid of the idea that a book is a [closed] container." (More stories.)

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