So Sony has been banging its head against the wall the past few years trying to convince consumers to embrace e-books. Of course, consumers have shown little interest in buying the expensive (it’s expensive, difficult to read) and only modest success in digital books (which have been available in limited supply).
But that’s all history now because Google plans to save the e-book industry by working with leading publishers to make e-books widely available to everyone around the world, according to the Times of London. So, it’s time to rejoice and break out the champagne because the e-book revolution has finally arrived. No more lugging text books to school or no more cramming your suitcase with books to read on vacation because Google will make it easy to download books to your computer, cell phone or PDA.
But wait a minute. e-books have been scuffling along for years and there doesn’t seem to much pent up demand from consumers. How much buzz about you heard about the new Sony Reader? Not much, right? Truth be told, paper-based books are a fantastic technology – light, portable, durable, inexpensive, widely available – so why fix something that ain’t broke.
I’m sure Google’s move into the book downloading business will put e-books into the spotlight but don’t expect e-books to suddenly become all the rage. Google may be great at search but e-books will be a very, very tough nut to crack.