Amazon's E-Book Gamble Gets Big Play

Newsweek looks at changes $399 device could wreak on reading
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2007 3:24 AM CST
Amazon's E-Book Gamble Gets Big Play
Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com, founder and CEO, takes questions from shareholders during the Amazon shareholders meeting in Seattle in this June 14, 2007 file photo. (AP Photo/Marcus R. Donner, file)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – News that Amazon would debut its new Kindle e-book leaked earlier this week, and a Newsweek cover story has the full hype on what Jeff Bezos and company hope to achieve with it. "This isn't a device, it's a service," Bezos says of of the Kindle, pointing to its "Whispernet" wireless connection, which uses Sprint's EVDO network, as one of its key attributes.

Biblio-soothsayers predict an "always-on" device that can download books, magazines  and newspapers that could lead to not only cheaper prices ($9.99 for bestsellers) but perhaps the demise of the lone author, especially for non-fiction titles, in favor of wiki-style community writing based on constant annotation. Net-connected literature, says Google's book search manager, is about  “getting rid of the idea that a book is a [closed] container." (Read more Amazon.com stories.)

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