Dematerialization of the Book

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I remember back when I was a Wired reader (a very long time ago) waiting for the dematerialization of the book. It hasn't happened yet. (And who would trade scholarly reference books for Wikipedia entries?)

But:

U.S. publisher HarperCollins said Monday that it plans to convert some 20,000 books in its catalog into digital form in a bid to rein in potential copyright violations on the Internet.

Really this is a way of insuring they can enforce their intellectual property rights against Google which is scanning books.

But the day is coming when people will download books instead of buying physical copies.

Scary, no?

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I have worked on and scanned many older books for ebook sites like Sacred Texts but still love the physical feel of a book. However the Google Books are very useful when researching subjects and the new Sony e books: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4586800.stm are moving into useful areas.

Your feelings?

Please share your feelings about Dematerialization of the Book.
Thanks,
Richard

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