Sunday, May 24, 2009


I'm a Kindle user, the electronic book reading device from Amazon, now in it's second, slimmed-down version. However, I must admit, I'm not happy about the trend away from traditional bound volumes. There is something about seeing traditional books diminished in importance that is depressing, similar to the trend away from familiar newspapers published on newsprint.

Technology, coupled with the economy, have changed how books are being published. Publishers have cut back on new releases and last year, for the first time, more "on demand" books were produced than traditional texts.

I use the Kindle because of convenience--it's far easier to carry around a small 5x7 by half-inch device than a first-run, hardbound bestseller. But, I miss the feel of the book itself--the words on actual paper between the cover that features author information and visuals.

Around 275,000 books were published in the U.S. last year. That's almost 9,000 less than the year before with the biggest reductions occurring in biography, religion and travel. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues.

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