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An article from Minyanville - Steve

B&N, BlackBerry Try to Extinguish the Kindle

Electronic books appear to be taking off, suggesting that the digital age has gone too far for those who still love black ink on a white page.

Barnes & Noble (BKS) -- the nation's largest bookstore chain by revenue -- announced a free application that will allow users to read electronic books on Research In Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry.

This suggests convergence between devices designed specifically for e-books, such as Amazon's (AMZN) Kindle and smartphones. Apple's (AAPL) iPhone also offers new applications for e-books, so it will be impossible to put this genie back in the bottle.

BlackBerry users can download the latest version of the e-book reader and gain access to about 60,000 titles for sale at B&N's online eReader shop. The e-book market is still new, but some estimate that consumers spent about $100 million on electronic books last year. Publishers are betting the market will grow. Random House, a subsidiary of Bertelsmann, plans to have about 15,000 e-book titles by the end of the year.
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