Wednesday 7 December 2016

Kindle and iPad draw battle lines with hardbacks in war of words

It's impossible to say who will get the last word as publishing's newest chapter unfolds before our eyes, says Robert Colvile

Published 22/07/2010 | 05:00

Amazon's handheld Kindle is a popular electronic reader, but good luck sharing ebooks with a friend who has an iPad or some other similarly incompatible device
Amazon's handheld Kindle is a popular electronic reader, but good luck sharing ebooks with a friend who has an iPad or some other similarly incompatible device

For the consumer, the best thing to hope for is a no-score draw

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FOR some of us, hardbacks have always worked better as furniture than literature. They might add gravitas to a shelf -- but given the cost, the bulk, and the irritating, surplus-to-requirements dust jacket, would we really miss them all that much?

The news, then, that sales of electronic books on Amazon are rapidly eclipsing those of hardbacks would seem to be an occasion for a certain muted rejoicing, especially given the wails among traditionalists. Recently, the firm has been shifting 180 eBooks for its Kindle device for every 100 hardbacks, and the trend will only accelerate.

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