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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Are e-Readers the Next Hot Outdoor Gift?

kindle reader
Kindle reader
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from a news release of the Outdoor Industry Association

The Outdoor Industry Association believes that the electronic reader may become the hot holiday gift for outdoor lovers.

In July, Forrester Research predicted the number of e-book users in the United States would grow from approximately 1 million to 13 million by 2013, as prices drop from the current $250 to $400 range to the $99 price point.

Amazon's Kindle has led the field, but Barnes & Noble, Sony, and the new Spring Design are not far behind. Other large electronics names are likely to enter the market, which will help drive prices down.

Even with the battery, readers generally weigh less than 3/4 of a pound. Of the 136,000 books available for Kindle, there are 1,452 with outdoor and nature titles. Another 364 are available on water sports, 154 on mountaineering and102 on winter sports, according to Amazon.com. Titles include several hiking guides, such as “The Ultralight Backpacker: The Complete Guide to Simplicity and Comfort on the Trail” by Ryel Kestenbaum. The digital price is even less expensive than the paperback.

With a more rugged case, and the availability of maps, the e-reader could easily go to the woods.

E-books have the same potential as the iPod to shape outerwear and pack design in coming years. Amazon has contacted outdoor brands to encourage them to develop Kindle 2 accessories. This year Patagonia began shipping a water-resistant nylon case for the Kindle 2.

College bookstore managers expect that e-books will become standard issue at universities over the next five years. and JanSport research suspects that this will influence backpack design, although the standard daypack design will probably persist because college kids carry so much more than books in their daypacks.
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2 comments:

Ratty said...

I think ebook readers are a wonderful idea, but they're still too expensive. $99 dollars would be the right price for me to finally buy one. Right now I use an old PDA to read ebooks. I take it with me everywhere. I can also use it for taking notes, and for remembering story ideas.

Sharkbytes said...

I'm such a book lover, I would expect to be more excited about it, but a big part of me loves to hold books, be able to flip pages, etc etc. But it would be a (sort of) lightweight way to take a lot of books on a hike.

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