Found via TechMeme: the New York Times has an article about how “More Readers [are] Picking Up Electronic Books.” (Update: or at least it used to be called that; they have since changed the headline.) Although e-books have been around for ten years and failed to make much of a splash for most of that time, the article notes, this year the Kindle and Sony have both started picking up users—especially the Kindle.

Nearly one in four copies of the Oprah Winfrey bestseller The Story of Edgar Sawtelle sold through Amazon is sold for the Kindle, for example. The article also notes that many of these new Kindle users are considerably older than the usual gadget-loving demographic.

While the Kindle has proven extremely popular, however, Sony has recently begun a new promotional effort with the goal of demonstrating their reader in person to over two million people by the end of the year. Their devices are roughly comparable to the Kindle technologically, though do not yet have the wireless access of the Kindle (but will in the future).

Unlike many articles about e-book devices, this article does not fail to mention the iPhone. It touches upon Stanza and eReader having over 600,000 downloads, and adds:

Publishers say these iPhone applications are already starting to generate nearly as many digital book sales as the Sony Reader, though they still trail sales of books in the Kindle format.

More evidence that the iPhone is indeed a prominent player in the e-book game. (Though to an extent this depends on how far the gap is between the Sony Reader and the Kindle.)


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