The advent of the printed book is usually traced back to The Gutenberg Bible in 1455. People have been used to reading the written word on paper ever since.
Based on new accounts, Amazon (AMZN) will release a new version of its electronic book reader, the Kindle, sometime this week. Many analysts believe that it will be a multi-billion dollar product for the e-commerce company. That may not be true.
The Kindle could turn out to be the most recent incarnation of the hula hoop, a novel product that sold well in the late 1950s and then disappeared. Amazon may have a big seller on its hands, but it is just as likely that it will be a bust. Changing people’s long held habits may be harder than Amazon expects.
Douglas A. McIntyre