Amazon.com announced the availability of Kindle 2 on Monday, February 9th. This second generation electronic reader is a slimmer and faster version of the original Kindle that was introduced 14 months ago.
Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos envisions a day when the industry will shift almost entirely from paper to digital. He says that "Our vision is every book every printed in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds. The fact that [digital sales] are growing quickly suggest that 10 years from now, we could see digital books as the primary way books are sold, just as we talk today about digital as the primary way music is sold."
According to an article in the L.A. Times: "The average American hasn't come close to abandoning the printed page yet. Electronic books generate less than 1% of the $25 billion U.S. book publishing market. But they are a fast growing segment of the publishing industry, with sales that grew 62% in the first 11 months of 2008."
Stephen King has written Ur, a novella to be published just for the Kindle. King said, "You're going to like this gadget. But you're going to like books too. It isn't as though the two things are in conflict with one another. They're like peanut butter and chocolate -- when you put them together, you've got a whole new tasty treat."