Trend: eBook readers like the Amazon Kindle have the potential to rescue the widely read newspapers and magazines that provide great content.
Getting newspapers and magazines via download to an eBook reader is convenient and green (no transportation emissions, no paper). Reading a newspaper or magazine is faster with search and browsing options.
As of April 16, 2009, you can subscribe to 35 newspapers with Amazon's Kindle, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY, The Washington Post, and the Financial Times. There are 26 managines, including The New Yorker, Newsweek, Time, and Reader's Digest, available for the Kindle.
Instead of having to go get your morning newspaper, you just pick up the eBook reader. The newspaper has been downloaded wirelessly, without any attention required.
The advantages are many: no delay in receiving the latest issue, no transportation/mailing costs for the publication, no stack of newspapers and magazines to recycle (you do recycle, don't you?).
The disadvantage: reading a newspaper or magazine on a small screen is different and takes some adjustment.
Currently, Amazon is the market leader with the Kindle. Amazon's stock price may have been boosted by the publicity and warm reviews for the recent, improved upgrade – Kindle 2. Here's the chart for AMZN.
Nicholas Carlson at Silicon Valley Insider estimates that it costs the New York Times about twice as much money to print and deliver the newspaper over a year as it would cost to send each of its subscribers a brand new Amazon Kindle instead (Printing The NYT Costs Twice As Much As Sending Every Subscriber A Free Kindle).
Mike Elgan had been using a Kindle now for a few days, and reading his subscription to The New York Times. He says reading a Kindle-based newspaper is superior -- far superior, actually -- to reading a paper newspaper. So even if you don't care about saving the newspaper industry -- even if you hate the environment -- buy a Kindle anyway for purely selfish reasons. HERE'S WHY THE KINDLE IS BETTER THAN A NEWSPAPER.
I bought an eBook reader (Astek EZ Reader from Fry's) for the hundreds of PDFs I have on my PC. I don't like reading long eBooks on my PC (I spend enough time there already) and I don't like printing out hundreds of pages to be thrown away later. Here's the hard lesson I learned: PDF documents don't flow (PDF is a print medium) and therefore don't work well on a small screen. I sent it back.
I'd like to see a very creative company (like Apple) design an eBook reader with a larger screen to challenge Amazon's Kindle 2.