The NY Times technology guy tests out a new e-reader. I remember make in 2000 and 2001, e-readers were sure to replace books. At a mystery conference I was at in 2000, a woman from Time-Warner talked about their new division. It was the buzz of Bouchercon. And I remember some company was buying up rights right and left so that people could read your book on their computer. That didn't seem that practial. It was before the stock market collapse, back when anything that involved the Internet could get funding. That idea folded, but maybe it's come back again. I still don't see books on paper going away any time soon.
I think what's more of a problem is that people don't have as much time to read now. And much of the reason is that they are spending it on the Internet. What is the future of the novel? Here's what Walter Kirn [Full disclosure: I once sat across from Walter Kirn at a banquet. And considered getting up and telling him that we once had the same screenwriter, Sheldon Turner, attached to our respective projects. But I did not. So I am not the "woman in Portland" he references. Heck, I had the idea he was married] and Gary Shteyngart have to say on the subject.
Lately, I've been glad that I am writing books for kids. Because that is the last group that is still being encouraged to read books.