i am amazed at how many people buy dedicated ebook reading devices. for me, that is just not "efficient" enough, i want it all in my pants
phone, organizer, reader etc.
anyhow, what i wanted to mention was that a while back, i was doing some research for my girlfriend (now wife) in the ebook sector. i've been reading a bit with mobipocket on my symbian device, and discovered the IRC channel #ebooks. it was the day the 5th harry potter book was released, and i was documenting the "dark side" of the internet and basically could see the progress of a russian group of scanners and proofers converting the real harry potter book to ebook format (took them about 6 hours to scan+proof+deliver)
the IRC is basically a chat network, but people have programmed "robots" to pretend to be chat partners, but you can control them with commands and get them to send you stuff.
now in this #ebooks channel, you obviously got ebooks, mostly in TXT, RTF and LIT format.
the interesting thing was, that there were about 2 requests per second (!!), each request resulting in one of those "robots" to send the requested ebook to the requesting chat person.
i believe there are more than this one #ebook channel around, but after i witnessed this i am convinved that ebooks are the future. there are so many books , and slowly but surely people are starting to see the advantage of not using paper.
sure, there are the die-hard "i must feel the texture of a book" and "the smells are part of the reading experience" nut out there, but mostly people just cannot grasp the concept of reading ebooks. they think it's cuddling with a laptop and a pdf document.
show them a smartphone, a palm, a pocketpc, and they realize, it actually IS legible. so i believe the "underground" IRC scene shows that people want digital books, and it won't be long until the ebook is as much a factor in the book world as mp3 is in the music business.
hmmm, i also think this is my first post here. so "hi" to y'all as well