This question was asked on a forum and I thought I would turn my answer into a blog, however be advised that what follows is just my opinion.
Apparently the Kindle, Sony e-reader, Nook, etc were the hottest selling gift item this holiday season, and one of the posters had watched a TV show promoting them where an expert said this is the digital age, paper books werebecoming a thing of the past. He pointed out advantages of e-readers is that they can hold up to 1500 booksand downloading books is cheaper than buying paper books; apparently some authors are writing specifically for e-readers now.
So what do I think... will e-readers replace real books?
I have an sony reader and I love it, I got it about 9 months ago, we even have one in the school library (love the sony- not keen on kindle: some things I have read about them disturbs me- including an article where people had bought 1984 and then someone discovered they didn't have the right to sell it, and they withdrew it- including stopping access to all who bought it, because it is all stored online... eeek, but in a book shop if you bought it you bought it- to me it seems like renting the rights to read the book, but that is only my opinion, with the ereader all my books are mine and stored on my pc)I am certain Kindles suit a lot of people, but they are not widely known in the uk, sony is bigger here, helped no doubt by them being backed by Waterstones.
I love paper books too, and I see them as complimentary, I will still buy books I want to keep in paper, but books that I may read once I will get in e copy- it makes travelling so much easier, I just have my reader and the charger and about 400 books! LOL
I bought an 8GB SD card for mine and it has about 150 on at the moment and nowhere near full, the SD card makes it so easy to transfer books, I just shove it in the lappy, put them on, take out, and put in the reader and tadaa.... there they are, you can also transfer books directly to the reader using the library software it comes with, it also come with 100 free books! Classics... and some great reads there.
Also books over 100 years old are out of copyright and you can usually get free e editions, which is great for me as I love Austin, Shakespeare and Sherlock Holmes! (It's the English Teacher coming out in me! :D)
Eventually yes I do think paperless books will become the norm and paper books something special, but perhaps that is what it should be, space for many people is becoming a premuim, and I have 2 suitcases of books in the shed- these are to sell as second hand, I already donated about 4 boxes worth to a charity shop when I moved. I just didn't have room for them... even now I am running out of book shelves, hampers, etc. The eformat means I can get what I want, and read it where ever I want!
The only thing I would say is get a decent cover, I didn't like the tan (shit) brown one mone came with, I bought a cute pink one with a stand so I can read and stand it on a table, which is handy sometimes... (I have recipes on it too)
You can also put your own stuff on, type it in word and convert to a pdf... ooo and you can put pictures (black and white currently) and music on it! Handy for those who love audio books.
The screen is designed to be able to be read whichever way you tilt it, but as it is not back lit it does not hurt your eyes, however it does require good light to read. You can buy a cover which has an inbuilt screen light, I know people who have bought these and LOVE them- it means they can read in the dark and not disturb their partners... me.... I turn the light on!
Have I sold you on them yet?