As has been mentioned, the ipod/itunes had the same type of very restricted format early on and still became a hit because it was a great way to carry thousands of songs around with you easily.
With books, I don't think there is really as much of an interest in having all of your books with you at all times because they aren't consumed constantly and repeatedly like music is.
@DS78: Inflation... It would technically be possible to make a copy of the money without removing it from the bank. Most of your "money" in the bank is just a number on the computer and not physical dollar bills. Making copy would just involve changing the number on your account.
"just because the devices might also be occasionally misused."
I think it's more than likely that they will be highly misused unless they are somehow restricted which would mean most kids are still going to have a regular phone that can do regular texting and stuff. In that situation, I doubt any kid is going to want to have a second phone that they can use just for school stuff.
The number is 3.6/year for the wii to 4.6 or so for ps3 and 360 so it isn't as much of a difference as the article would suggest. If there are so many "casual" people buying no other games, then there would have to be a lot of people buying a lot more than 3.6/year to get the number even that high.
I agree that they appear to be lieing about needing to upgrade to digital cable, but the prices in the consumerist article look like the price for a DVR box ($6.50) and DVR service ($10.95). At least they appear to be close to what time warner charges for each. The actual cost of a basic digital cable box that does not record is quite a bit less I think.