As I entered Barnes and Noble I was presented with a salesperson hawking THE NOOK, B&N's e-reader. Now, I have nothing against The Nook, although I am a Kindle Person myself. However, as I watched the salesperson and the interest in this reader, and as I watched the employees behind the cash registers, at the cafe, and milling about as they serviced the different shelves and fielded questions from customers, I wondered what they were thinking? Were they looking at The Nook and seeing their future? Were they considering a recent article where the number of e-books sold last quarter constituted a sizable chunk of the market.
A great many folk will point out that a tremendous number of folk love books...that which they can hold in their hands and collect. Ignoring the diminishing number of titles being released and the collapse of the magazine fiction market, these folks point to the cost of an ebook, which isn't always a bargain when one is considering new releases.
I am not taking one side or the other in the e-book v. book challenge. I am merely an observer. I was also an observer in the cd v. vinyl war and the famous mp3's v. cd apocalypse. I recognize change is inevitable and while some will dig in and rail against it, the less stressful path is to either throw open one's arms and welcome the new, or else take the role of quiet observer. But be careful folks, it ain't about the aesthetics, it's about the economics, and who can control more while squeezing the most out of it.
Capitalism isn't about philanthropy.