The E-Book Celebrates its Coming of Age, with the Times Reciting the Benedition

Hallelujah! The New York Times has blessed the e-book.

In Turning Page, E-Books Start To Take Hold, a full-dress, front page treatment by Brad Stone and Motoko Rich, the “Gray Lady” (as the flagship of the printed word is affectionately nicknamed) recognizes that downloadable books are here to stay.

The article summarizes technological and commercial advances made by the Kindle and Sony Reader and foretells new devices and programs on the way including Plastic Logic and Polymer Vision, Blackberry and iPhone. We’ve written up all of these items and more, but if I hotlinked every reference this blog would glow as orange as a tropical sunset.

Do we forgive the New York Times for taking ten years to get with the e-book program? Are we okay with them telling us stuff we’ve known and written about for months or even years? Do we care that the official information organ of the establishment has finally given our band of visionaries its imprimatur?

The answer to all of the above is an unequivocal YES. On behalf of all the futurists, technologists, programmers, geeks, freaks and early adopters who saw it coming ten, fifteen, twenty years ago, I can say that recognition is sweet and very welcome.

As the Times points out, we’re really just at the end of the beginning. As cool as the Kindle and Sony are, they are really the Gutenberg printing presses of the digital revolution, and there are many refinements on the way. In fact, if you do check out some of the reading devices we’ve heralded here, you’ll see that the game is far from over. A number of would-be Kindle- and Sony-killers have the the prize in their sights, and a year or two from now could see more miracles than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

But for now, we’ll take a day to rest on our laurels.

Richard Curtis

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