Canadian ebookseller Kobo published a very interesting post about the way ereaders have been received by consumers. Turns out, nothing happened the way the experts predicted. "Instead of being a transition technology, eReaders have become an interesting case study in how specialized hardware survives in a multi-function world," writes Kobo's Michael Tamblyn.
It's interesting, even on a blog by a company that is interested in selling ereaders, to read what people are not interested in when it comes to ereaders. Turns out, the most successful ebook purchasers are self-selected; ereaders aren't the best gifts, Tamblyn writes, because they work best when consumers "decide for themselves to give eBooks a try." But once they do self-select, people who buy ereaders are loyal to their devices — meaning they rarely trade up but prefer to stay on the same device, even when newer and flashier options are available — and they buy a lot of ebooks.
It doesn't seem that ebooks will ever dominate the publishing sales charts, but ebook buyers do seem to be a solid niche.