Biggest Electronic Book Store On Earth

Barnes and Noble announced the biggest e-book store on Earth yesterday, just forty-eight years after Stanislaw Lem introduced the idea to patient science fiction fans.

I spent the afternoon in a bookstore. There were no books in it. None had been printed for nearly half a century... No longer was it possible to browse among shelves, to weigh volumes in hand, to feel their heft, the promise of ponderous reading. The bookstore resembled, instead, an electronic laboratory. The books were crystals with recorded contents. They can be read the aid of an opton, which was similar to a book but had only one page between the covers. At a touch, successive pages of the text appeared on it.

But optons were little used, the sales-robot told me. The public preferred lectons - like lectons read out loud, they could be set to any voice, tempo, and modulation. Only scientific publications having a very limited distribution were still printed, on a plastic imitation paper. Thus all my purchases fitted into one pocket, though there must have been almost three hundred titles.

The originals - Crystomatrices - were not to be seen; they were kept behind pale blue enamel the steel plates.... Actually, a great achievement, and yet I regretted the passing of books.
(Read more about Lem's electronic book store)

Lem didn't concentrate on the online distribution aspect in his 1961 story, the notion of networked information distribution having been worked out by Hugo Gernsback a half-century earlier (see the entry for personalized news).

And Barnes and Noble? They intend to have 700,000 titles available for devices like the iPhone and other platforms. BN plans to charge $9.99 for new releases and bestsellers (as Amazon.com does today).

More interestingly, BN plans to partner with Plastic Logic, whose e-reader will be coming out next year. Take a look at last year's prototype version in this handy video.


(Plastic Logic reader)

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/22/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Lifestyle ")

Seiko Astron Always Knows Your Time Zone
'Harrington glanced at his wrist watch - a bulky affair - and whistled.' - Robert Heinlein, 1940.

The Ring Clock IS Heinlein's Finger Watch
'Crayn glanced at his finger watch...' - HB Fyfe, 1951.

3D Printed Fashion - Plastirobes And Transdresses
'... dial a new fashion every day!' - Niven and Barnes, 1992.

ThreeForm 3D Scans And Digitally Simulates Customer Fashion
'...A miracle of misapplied engineering caused his own face to appear on the illustrated figures dressed in trooper red.' - Harry Harrison, 1965.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.

Seasteading Floating Cities
'It was a remarkable island, circular, about half a kilometer in diameter.'

Tesla Semi 'Electrotruck' Unveiled
Elon Musk unveils yet another technological marvel.

Watch What People Are Seeing Via Brain Scanning
'had managed to see through the other man's eyes as the other man, all unaware, washed their Zis limousine sixteen hundred meters away...'

Integrated Circuits Printed Right Onto Fabric!
'...a shirt that displayed email on its sleeve.

Interstellar Asteroid Visits Our Solar System
'This asteroid had whirled in from the cold of the interplanetary space...'

PRIMA Bionic Vision Restoration
'The VISOR... was a medical device used in the Federation to aid patients who have suffered loss of eyesight...'

Audi Traffic Jam Pilot Knows If You're Sleeping
'Even here, riding a garbage truck to eternity, the machine watched him...'

UM Hall Thruster Breaks Records
Someday, we'll see an ion drive used to get to Mars.

Ionity Ultra-fast Charging Station Network
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

VAuth Voice Security Wearable From University of Michigan
'Siri, I gave you a voice command...' 'Yes, but do I know you?'

Ubiquiti FrontRow Camera Records Your Life
Why be choosy? Just upload your whole life to the Internet, and be done with it.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.