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Sunday, August 8, 2010

The eBook reader is now
as mainstream as the bagel


For many years, the bagel was a Sunday-morning treat enjoyed mostly by Jewish families.

A while ago, McDonald's tested the crunchy roll with the hole, found it acceptable, and served it with such non-Jewish toppings as (GASP!) ham and (Oh My God!) bacon-and-cheese. Middle America gobbled up Mickey Dee's bagels.

Just as McDonald's acts as an indicator of which foods are acceptable to millions of Americans, Walmart serves the same function with other products.

It is therefore important to note that eBook readers--once sold mainly by Amazon.com and bookstores--are available at Walmart.

They are also being sold by Sears, Kohl’s, OfficeMax, Office Depot, RadioShack, BestBuy, Staples, Kmart and Target. In stores, and online.

As distribution has broadened, prices have plummeted. Expect to see e-readers below a hundred bucks on Black Friday and for the Christmas season.

If the most powerful retailers in the world have declared that the eBook is a mass-market product, authors cannot afford to limit themselves to books made from trees.

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