The future of reading?
The eBook market is gradually growing in Europe. However we have to admit that this trend is slow. In France, the book industry is larger than the film or the music industry, but eBooks represent only 6% of publishers’ revenues.
During the 65th book fair which took place in Frankfurt on Wednesday 9th October, the e-reader had a large place in the debates. We can see a new trend appearing : streaming. Is it a convenient way to read? It is too early to say but several start-ups are interested in the concept. The idea is to read books online for free without downloading the content. For example, the German blogger Sascha Lobo presented in the beginning of October his new platform of eBooks called “Sobooks”. One of the main aims is to share thoughts. This is this idea that Sascha Lobo wants to develop. In France the same concept appeared with “Youboox” in March 2012.
The e-reading market is innovative. One of the new trends is to read on an Android device. With this kind of e-reader, it is possible to install apps from the Google Play Store to transform your smartphone or tablet into an e-reader. This is possible with the E-Ink-Reader imcoV6L by ImCoSys, which costs 100 euros. Researchers also want a display which is more and more comfortable for reading. With the new E-Ink-Display Technology, reading is as “natural” as on paper. The new and fast eBook Reader with color display makes it possible to surf on the internet, watch videos or listen to music.
It will be interesting to see e-readers with flexible screens. Samsung is currently promoting its first smartphone with a curved design. In a few years, we will have e-readers with the same attributes as paper. The user’s experience will be similar but with more functionalities like e-learning, use of internet applications and others you cannot even imagine today.
In France, the “Nolimbook” (“Nolim” = “no limits”) is now available in Carrefour. The first model costs 69.90 euros. This new e-reader is sold with 100 books on it and is equipped with Wi-Fi. It is possible to download more than 100.000 French books, 1.500 of them for free. Fnac, as a big French multimedia store, has a partnership with Kobo and provides e-readers for the same price as Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite. Maybe it will encourage the French to switch to eBook readers.