image A mere 13 percent of watchers want to buy Sony Readers and the like, according to a poll—we don’t have the details of the methodology. The bright side is that e-reader sellers could get off to a nice start even with the 13 percent, if you consider all the tech sites around.

Regardless, at this point we’re still talking about niche products. Among the big obstacles are the prices of both the Readers and the books, as well as the number in E. DRM and eBabel, of course, as I see it, don’t help—since they reduce both real and perceived value.

Related: BBC commentary where Bill Thompson concludes that "we may, after all, be living out the last decades of the printed text a decline that will be hastened by the latest generation of screen-based ‘boks.’" He sees young people as absorbing material in a way different from older generations. Thompson him reads his E on an iPod Touch.


  1. Perhaps we should not worry, but rejoice. If 13 percent scales up to the whole gadget demographic, we would be looking at several million sales in the US alone. That is one mother of a niche!

    Especially since eReaders are far from being an established product category, so these 13 percent are still among the early adopters.

  2. According to one statistic, 70% of people have not visited a bookstore in the last five years, and 40% will never read a book after college.

    Steve Jobs suggests that 40% of people did not read any books last year.

    I don’t know how ‘typical’ web site users are. However, 13% may be a fairly large percentage of the people who actually read multiple books.

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