It seems extremely unlikely that e-books will ever fully take the place of print books, not in the foreseeable future at any rate. There are lots of book lovers who still like the feeling of a "real" book in their hands. Even so, the impact of e-readers and e-books lately is obvious and seems to be set to continue.
Some industry experts have suggested that the use of e-readers will gradually decline as an increasing number of people start to use tablet computers and smartphones for reading. That might very well be true - but e-books are definitely here to stay and will play a huge role in the future of publishing.
E-books don't require paper, ink or huge amounts of energy in the course of the print run - and they may be delivered by Wi-Fi as opposed to by train and truck. That means that e-book costs will be less than those for conventional printed books, and they are also more eco-friendly (provided that you read enough books before you change your e-reader that is). Out-of-copyright titles can be found free, on sites like Amazon and Project Gutenberg.
Publications by writers who would have been unpublished and probably unheard of in the outdated printing regime are available at very low cost. At the end of the day, e-readers and e-books have benefited customers by offering them much more choice.
Almost the only parties who did not seem to be energized, or at least not in a good way, concerning e-books and e-readers were the established big publishers. There were numerous spats involving big publishing companies and booksellers, notably Amazon, pertaining to e-book costs, and also the timing of e-book launches. The existing publishing regimen would normally see the launch of a hardback version followed, a number of months later normally, by the publication of a less expensive paperback version.
Both book vendors and the public wanted to see the launch of an e-book variation simultaneously with the hardback release - and they really wanted the e-book to be notably cheaper than the hardback. It was a real issue for publishing companies who generated a high amount of their returns on the expensive hardback launch.
Lots of people, not surprisingly perhaps, suppose that Amazon's Kindle was the very first e-reader. As mentioned earlier, that was not the fact of the matter - the Kindle was a somewhat late addition. Nevertheless, the combination of impressive equipment, a massive selection of suitable Kindle titles and Amazon's alreadying existing association with books gifted the Kindle a tremendous advantage which propelled it to the market leading position. There have certainly been a great many challengers over the last five years or so, including the Nook reader from B&N and a selection of e-readers from Canadian firm Kobo, but Amazon appears to be strongly ensconced in the number one slot - a scenario which appears set to continue for the foreseeable future.
Ebook Readers - About
E-readers truly became popular in 2009 thanks to the introduction of the Amazon Kindle 2.0. Throughout the preceding months, Amazon had gradually expanded the number of books available for reading on the Kindle hardware. By the time of the Kindle 2.0 launch in February of 2009, nearly a million Kindle e-books were available, featuring nearly all of the current bestsellers. The mixture of a massive collection of e-books and a carefully orchestrated hardware launch was all that was needed to see sales figures for the Kindle 2.0 go through the roof. It quickly became the top selling product on Amazon's webstore and was a massively popular option in the run up to the numerous gift giving holidays like Xmas, Father's Day, Mother's Day etc.
When they were first introduced, e-readers enticed geeks and early adopters by and large. Once prices started to drop and the reader hardware was upgraded, regular book lovers really started to pick up on the advantages of e-readers. First and foremost, the e-ink technology display screen presented a great reading experience with no back-light and therefore no eye strain. When all's said and done, had the reading experience not been enjoyable, all of the other functions of e-readers would be irrelevant. However, it was, for most people, as near to reading printed text on paper as to make no discernible difference. Many users also delighted in the option of changing the font appearance and size - a convenient function if you've misplaced your reading glasses.