Waterstone's in e-book deal

The bookseller Waterstone's is gearing up to launch its first electronic book reader device this autumn, as rival Borders UK revealed sales of the e-book it launched in May are ahead of expectations.

Waterstone's, which is part of HMV Group, is thought to have signed a deal with Sony to sell the Sony Reader in the majority of its UK stores later this year. The Sony Reader retails in the US for $299 (£150), but the price of its UK launch in Waterstone's is yet to be confirmed.

The launch is eagerly anticipated because e-books could ultimately have a similar impact on the book industry that MP3 devices have had on the music sector. However, industry experts believe e-books will only become mainstream if the price of the devices falls substantially.

Borders UK became the first UK retailer to sell an e-book reader in its stores in May, when it launched the iLiad device, which retails for £399.