For nearly twenty years, futurists have been predicting the imminent demise of printed books. The “conventional wisdom” has been that digital “e-books” were on the verge of replacing paper books. There are many reasons why: lower expenses, ease of ordering and receiving books, reduced storage space, and more. There's only one problem: none of the predictions have yet come true. Now Sony finally has a new device that may hasten the demise of paper-based books.
Sony's new PRS-500 has just gone into production and a (very) few have already appeared in the hands of companies producing material for the new devices. Looking a bit like an oversized Palm Pilot device, the Sony PRS-500's monochrome screen is said to be easier to read than a paperback book. Unlike the screen on other handheld devices, this one reportedly is easy to read and produces no glare. It also plays music, replacing an iPod.
I'm keeping an eye on this one. I have no doubt that genealogy books will appear before long on the Sony PRS-500 or some similar device. However, I don't think I'll rush out and buy the $350 device just yet.
You can read more about the Sony PRS-500 at http://tinyurl.com/82bbn