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When I told a colleague I was planning a story about e-books and the upcoming release of Apple's iPad, the multimedia device called the hottest tablet since Moses came off the mountain, he laughed. First, because he was recalling the jokes he'd heard about the iPad's unfortunate name. (By now, you may have heard them, too, but just in case: "Will women send their husbands to the Apple store to buy iPads?" "Did Apple merge with Kotex?" "Will the next version of the iPad come with wings?")

But once that was out of our systems, he said he was laughing because years before, when movies first came out on VHS, he'd predicted no one would watch them more than once, and that they'd go the way of 8-track tapes and quadraphonics.

There are plenty of opinions about how the iPad and similar devices could change the future of publishing. Some say e-books will become so convenient we'll read more than ever. Others insist pirated e-books will put an end to many an author's career.

See what experts in Colorado say, in the story here. And don't miss Bill Forman's companion piece here, a revealing interview with highly lauded local author Kirk Farber, about Farber's new book Postcards From a Dead Girl, his thoughts on e-readers, and his encounters with survivalist postal workers.

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