Sunday, May 10, 2009

e-readers and the future of periodicals

Hot on the heels of the Kindle 2, this week Amazon announced the Kindle DX, a larger e-reader (with a screen roughly the size of and 8 1/2 x 11" sheet of paper) intended to handle periodicals, textbooks, and other large-scale text documents. Articles have popped up in almost every major news source about the potential the DX and other large readers (such as the forthcoming flexible model from Plastic Logic) offer to rescue floundering newspapers and magazine publishers.

The Kindle DX promises automatic, wireless downloads of periodical subscriptions and a large screen to perform their original formatting. Newspaper and magazine subscriptions are already available for the smaller Kindle models, but come with the obvious disadvantage of needing to be reformatted to fit the small screen. The question remains - will people pay for these subscriptions?

Until the price of e-readers goes down, we probably won't see too many patrons switching their subscriptions to these new formats, but they are definitely something to keep in mind as we plan future collections and services.

Two good articles to check out:
NY Times
Tech News World