Sony to offer e-reader in Germany

16th October 2008, Comments 0 comments

Electronic paper is to start replacing traditional books starting this spring, Sony says.

Frankfurt -- Sony is to offer its e-book reader, a replacement for paper books, in Germany from the spring of next year, the Japan-based media company said Wednesday at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

The Sony Reader device went on sale in the United States in 2006 and in Britain last month.

Sony said it would link with a German book wholesaler, Libri, and a retailer, Thalia, to market the device, which downloads books from personal computers.

The new generation of e-book readers use a plastic material, e-paper, which reflects light like ordinary paper. Since the image does not have to be constantly refreshed, the devices use much less battery power than earlier, unsuccessful readers.

Libri, which is to oversee sales of books in German that can be read on the device, said it aimed to have thousands of titles available at launch. No price for the 260-gram device was announced.

Lutz Dursthoff, a German publishing executive, forecast that e-readers will gradually take over and their appeal would not be limited to academics who need to carry big libraries around with them.

"It's also useful to read a thriller on the beach," he said, adding that his publishing house, had already handed out free e-readers to all its staff.

The other notable e-book device on the market, the Amazon Kindle, has only been on sale in the United States. Both devices have had strong sales, with reviewers saying they are easy to use.


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