Monday, November 30, 2009

It's a good news/bad news thing... Other ways to consume books

Barnes & Noble's new "Nook" eReader has enjoyed so much buzz that WIRED is reporting that pre-orders of the Nook are so heavy that deliveries of stock to the stores to sell off the shelves is being delayed until early December when they will begin to trickle into the highest-volume stores. Sony is reporting similar 'problems' (if being too popular can really be referred to as a problem). WIRED's experts predict that supply chain problems for B&N and Sony plays into the hands of Kindle, which has had production up and running longer and reports no delays. I was commenting to The Engineer over the weekend that this Christmas didn't have a big Hot New Thing to anchor it. Reports are indicating that the digital transition forced most of the people that would have been buying big-ticket items like flatscreen TV's to buy early. This leaves tech stores holding the bag on Black Friday. Add to this the fact that this is the first Christmas that we have a full line of eReaders going head-to-head and we might just have found the tipping point for the e-Book. Whether the temporary sales advantage of the in-stock Kindle parlays into their continuing market domination remains to be seen. I'm put in mind of the somewhat artificial cache of finding a Wii last year and an Xbox 360 the year before and the Playstation 3 the year before that. It's possible that a supply chain kink can actually help the Nook and Sony eReaders in the long-term. For now, however, it's "Advantage: Kindle". What about you, dear readers? What's the hot new electronic widget for you this Yuletide season?
Scott Walker Perkins writes literary thrillers and novels of suspense. His current novel is The Palimpsest and he is working on another tentatively titled 42 Lines. Contact Information Email: Blog: Pages to Type Before I Sleep
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Pages to Type is a blog about books, writing and literary culture (with the occasional digression into coffee and the care and feeding of giant robots).