The world's biggest e-book expo opens in Tokyo, showcasing the future of e-books, e-book vending machines, and e-book rental services.
ASIA-COMPANYASIA -The world's biggest electronic book expo started in Japan, showcasing the latest in digital publications, like moving characters, music and competitive prices.
With more than 150 companies joining the international event, exhibitors say e-books can offer more than paper books.
A character of Marilyn Monroe, for example, is static in a paper-based picture book, but in its e-book version, her skirt blows up.And many of these e-books are cheaper than their paper versions.
UNIVERSITY STUDENT MAKI SUZUKI , 33, SAYING:
"I was surprised at how cheap the price is. For the price of one picture book, I can download three e-books, so I was shocked."
And in a country where vending machines are all over the place, one for e-books comes as no surprise. An e-book vending machine developed by Japanese company Glory spits out a ticket with a bar code, through which a user can download an e-book into a cell phone.
Some visitors, like office worker Moeko Iinuma, found the idea convenient.
OFFICE WORKER MOEKO IINUMA, 29, SAYING:
"Frankly, I think this is a fantastic idea. I think it's a question of where you put the machine. Perhaps it will be really convenient to have it at the airport or at stations."
And for those who still don't want to buy an ebook, there's an option of renting it.
Japanese online e-book shop "Papyless" is offering 13,000 e-books for rent, at a starting rate of about a dollar for the first 2 days.
Toshi Maeda, Reuters, Tokyo.