Professor Iain Stevenson, University College London, Centre for Publishing, offers his opinion on the merits of the Kindle:
It is unsurprising that Amazon are pushing the "fact" that ebook downloads for their Kindle reading device have outsold hardback printed books on their site as they have a vested interest in selling more Kindles (Report 21 July). It is also unsurprising that they steadfastly refuse to disclose how many Kindles they have actually sold. However, purchasers of downloaded ebooks from Amazon should be in no doubt about what they are buying compared to hardbacks. If you buy a hardback from them, it is yours to keep for ever, or sell, donate or destroy as you wish. With an ebook download you are only buying a licence to read it on a specified device and Amazon can delete it remotely from your reader at any time. You cannot sell it, give it away, transfer it or (in theory at least) read it in certain parts of the world. Buyer beware, I recommend!The Guardian.