Finally fulfilling one of customers' most requested features, Amazon has just announced Kindle MatchBook. It's a feature that lets customers buy digital editions of Amazon-purchased print books for as little as, well, nothing.
The program follows in the footsteps of the incredibly similar Auto Rip program, which launched earlier this year and gave Amazon customers who purchased physical CDs — all dozens of them — cloud-based MP3 versions of the tracks too. MatchBook will extend to purchases made all the way back to 1995, which, for most people, should be more than enough to cover any online book purchase. The Kindle versions will be either free or discounted from anywhere between $US1 and $US3 starting in October, and 10,000 books will be available at launch.
As much as some may attempt to prematurely herald in the physical book's demise, even major proponents of e-readers still buy real, live, paper copies fairly often, and MatchBook could be a major incentive to continue to do so. Now more than ever, it seems as though we're moving into a world where electronic and the hardcopy literature is destined to coexist peacefully and side-by-side.