I was probably the last person on earth to get an eReader, but the other day I finally broke down and bought one, and have already begun working my way through the classics with Jack London (White Fang) and James Joyce (Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man).
These were two books I read in high school, and because they were free (yes I am a cheap skate) I have now once again taken a fresh look at them. It strikes me that Kindle is likely to not only largely replace the Public Library (in Republican South Carolina tax cuts have devastated the Public Library System) but for all looks and purposes, Kindles seem to be opening reading as a hobby to a whole new group of readers.
Everywhere I look there seems to be a mother with babies in tow, reading a Kindle. When I talk with many of these readers, they are often the same people who formerly bought Danielle Steel or Nora Roberts or Harlequin Romances often at the grocery store. They are still buying these books (but now often through a Kindle Store), yet because they love their eReader, they also are downloading free and low cost books in other genres ranging from Self Help to those free classics.
Kindle has made reading an easy lifestyle choice, no longer associated with language arts. The number of readers who use Kindles or other eReaders has increased dramatically every year, and within the near future more than half of the books sold each year will be e-Books.
Another interesting benefit of the electronic book trend is that books are now perpetually available to the reader. The traditional shelf-life on a newly published books at a Brick and Mortar store was 3 months, and if the author did not sell through some 60%+ of their books in the first year, it would usually die with a whimper.
With eBooks there is no magic number of sales needed to keep a book “in print” and so an author can grow their sales and reputation over time, without needing the right combination of luck and money to succeed.