London, Sept 2 : With Sony launching its electronic book reader that can store upto 160 tomes including classics by Charles Dickens and Jane Austen, experts are arguing that the technological advancement will kill off the traditional paperbacks.
The Sony Reader, priced at 199 pounds, will give buyers a choice of tens of thousands of ebooks to downloaded from the Waterstone's website.
To savour the classics, people will have to connect the Sony Reader to their home computers.
The technological 'gift' will be available in more than 200 Waterstone's stores from August 4.
Having a battery life equivalent to 6,800 page turns, the reader is smaller than a hard back.
The books include classics such as Great Expectations by Dickens and Pride and Prejudice by Austen.
With the rise of the so-called "ebook," the publishing world seems to be divided, with some predicting "the death of the book" and others arguing that the traditional printed version will remain the favoured choice among readers.
"The great thing about electronic books is that in the long run they will benefit writers, creating an easier way to enable first-time authors to get their work in front of the public. That will be a revolutionary change," the Telegraph quoted Toby Young, the author of How To Lose Friends And Alienate People, as saying.
On the other hand, Marie Phillips, who wrote Gods Behaving Badly, said that rumours of the traditional book's death had been greatly exaggerated.
"It really all depends on the technology. If I can turn a page or flick back to a section faster with paper, why would I get an electronic book reader? It's really expensive and I don't see what it adds. I also love to be surrounded by books and be able to scan all the ones I have on my shelves," she said.