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June 11, 2005

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Don't you think cheap paperbacks will be around for a good while as well? I mean you take a big risk when you take your laptop or PDA into a long tub or to the beach for instance. You lose a ten buck paperback and you are out ten bucks you lose your PDA, or other e-reader, and you are out much more cash and perhaps a good bit of personal information.

walt crawford

"Cheap paperbacks are likely to disappear (at least in industialized nations) within the next five years or s0 -- electronic versions will move into that niche."

Highly unlikely, in my opinion. But what do I know?

T Scott

I should probably have been more precise in that I was referring only to the very cheap mass market paperbacks, not the somewhat more expensive trade paperbacks, which I think will be around for quite awhile. That being said, the disappearance of the low-end paperbacks is certainly the diciest of my predictions. What was driving that, however, is my astonishment at how quickly various handhelds (iPods, blackberries, camera phones) have advanced in just the last two or three years. It seems perfectly plausible to me that five years from now those handhelds will be deemed perfectly adequate for downloading text that one will read on a plane or a train or sitting at the beach. I'll still be reading a book, by the way, but I don't buy the mass market paperbacks to begin with.

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