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Your e-book speculation for the day

It’s a shame Canadians still can’t experience the apparent bliss that is Amazon’s Kindle 2 (despite the release of that iPhone app that would doubtless work perfectly well on Canadian models), but that hasn’t stemmed our interest in all the commentary on e-book readers, like that which came out of a recent publisher’s conference in Britain.

Meanwhile, American author Steven Johnson’s piece from The Wall Street Journal is perhaps the first article this Quillblogger has read that makes an e-book reader sound like something worth owning:

A few weeks after I bought the device, I was sitting alone in a restaurant in Austin, Texas, dutifully working my way through an e-book about business and technology, when I was hit with a sudden desire to read a novel. After a few taps on the Kindle, I was browsing the Amazon store, and within a minute or two I’d bought and downloaded Zadie Smith’s novel On Beauty. By the time the check arrived, I’d finished the first chapter.

This has obvious benefits for publishers, says Johnson:

Amazon’s early data suggest that Kindle users buy significantly more books than they did before owning the device, and it’s not hard to understand why: The bookstore is now following you around wherever you go. A friend mentions a book in passing, and instead of jotting down a reminder to pick it up next time you’re at Barnes & Noble, you take out the Kindle and — voilà! — you own it.