Books face new digital challenge

<p>Two new products this autumn are set to test whether consumers really want to replace a technology that has reliably served humankind for hundreds of years: the paper book. The New York Times reports that both Amazon and Google will challenge the printed word with new digital initiatives.<br /><br />In October, the online retailer Amazon.com will unveil the Kindle, an electronic book reader that has been the subject of industry speculation for a year, according to several people who have tried the device and are familiar with Amazon&#39;s plans. The Kindle will be priced at $400 to $500 and will wirelessly connect to an e-book store on Amazon&rsquo;s site.</p><p>Also this autumn, Google plans to start charging users for full online access to the digital copies of some books in its database, according to people with knowledge of its plans. Publishers will set the prices for their own books and share the revenue with Google. So far, Google has made only limited excerpts of copyrighted books available to its users.</p>