1. The Chicago Tribune notes that e-books aren't the great deal they used to be:
Cheap new e-readers are expected to be one of the hottest gifts this holiday season. But new owners of Kindles and Nooks may be in for sticker shock on Christmas morning: The price gap between the print and e-versions of some top sellers has now narrowed to within a few dollars — and in some cases, e-books are more expensive than their printed equivalents.
I've said this a million times before, and I'll say it again: At some point in the very near future, readers are gong to revolt against paying 16 bucks for a glorified Word document that they don't even really own. E-book prices need to be more realistic.
2. In much happier news, the Economist (by way of The Verge) says that tablets encourage long-term reading:
42 percent of tablet users regularly read in-depth articles, with another 40 percent reading them occasionally
Tablet users are three times more likely to read an article than watch a news video
The Economist projects a fall of over 50 percent in the preference for paper over other formats in the next 2 years, with tablet preference growing to over 20 percent.
71 percent of tablet users prefer reading or hearing news over pictures or video, compared to roughly 50 / 50 in the general population.
I've only read a few books on my iPad—I still prefer my Sony Reader for e-books—but I do read a hell of a lot of news and articles on my iPad every single day. It's like an endless magazine that always stays up-to-date. (And thanks to subscription apps that have improved a great deal over the last year, I read my actual magazines—the New Yorker, Time, Entertainment Weekly, the Atlantic—on the iPad, too.) As much as I hate marketing terms like "Lean-Back Digital" that appear in that Economist presentation, it's true: Tablets make the internet a friendlier, and more immersive, experience for reading.