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Readers opt for books in hand

October 11, 2003|From Reuters

At the height of the Internet boom, e-books were hailed as the new tomorrow for publishers, and paper books were seen as heading for the scrap heap.

But the bubble has burst, and electronic books are still the poor relation to the printed word, with consumers preferring to turn the pages themselves when they curl up by the fire with a good book.

Three years after the e-book frenzy reached its peak, publishers in Frankfurt this week for the world's biggest book fair of the year were in a much more realistic frame of mind. Targets have been sharply lowered.

"Expectations were widely overblown at the time of the Internet bubble," said British publisher Helen Fraser, managing director at Penguin. "But there is a small market for them, and it may grow as different reading devices appear on the market."

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