Book industry cautiously optimistic about the Kindle, electronic books


The Frankfurt Book Fair just wrapped up, and one clear theme emerged from the show: people are willing to embrace digitized books, à la the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader, but they may need some time to get used to the idea.

For example, Penguin called such gadgets “mainstream” and no longer in “the province of geeks any longer.”

Meanwhile, plenty of people were on hand to defend the traditional book, with some going so far as to suggest electronic books will never replace the good ol’ fashioned dead trees version. You know, just like how cars will never replace horses.

The one thing keeping things like Kindle from really taking off? Right now, it’s the economy (stupid). If people are worrying about whether or not they can put food on the table, they’re less likely to spend hundreds of dollars on extravagant gadgets. And really, at the end of the day, the Kindle and its ilk are nothing if not extravagant gadgets.