I think the end of bookstores is fast approaching.
The idea of being able to carry one super-slim device that displays text exactly like a book is very appealing. I wish the new Kindle were available in Asia. Apparently one can buy it in the US, bring it to Asia, and then use a credit card with an American address in order to buy e-books from Amazon to put on the Kindle. The wireless feature wouldn’t work outside the US though.
A friend of mine was telling me about how the libraries in the US offer e-books as part of their collection. You go to the library website, select which e-books you want, and then download it. There is some type of DRM applied so that the e-book will expire after a certain amount of time. Not done yet? Go back to the library site and renew the book. All accomplished without having to physically go to the library!
I suppose people might enjoy the experience of browsing through the thousands of books in a store… perhaps that social aspect of bookstores will be what keeps them in business.
(Written on the HP Mini 1000 – the e-book of laptops, I suppose)