The e-book is still alive. is set to start selling the Kindle, a handheld reader that is expected to sell for $399, and Jeff Bezos is calling it the future of reading. For a slightly less biased take, this CNET piece offers an interesting round-up of the e-book market, noting that the technology has improved—the devices are lighter, it’s easier to download books, and the reading experience is easier on the eyes, too. The Kindle, for example, is reportedly going to be using technology from E-Ink that allows the reader to look at the digital page from any angle, like traditional printed paper.

But it’s still hard to divine how these gadgets will fit into the market in the future; whether readers will ever really embrace them. This Nature blogger suggests that they’ll be great for storing reference books—looking up this or that concept—but not digging into a novel.—Gregory Mone