where the writers are
Keep the "AND" in it!

Another rumor circulating around the BookExpoAmerica held in L.A. last week was that the Barnes and Noble book (www.bn.com) chain (an affiliate of iUniverse [www.iuniverse.com]-- owned by the Ingram Book Company [http://ingrambook.com], which supplies about 80% of Amazon.com's books [www.amazon.com], and is rumored to have purchased a huge computer company -- which has recently amalgamated with Author House [http://authorhouse.com] and Author Solutions [http://authorsolutions.com] and which has its own printing house, Lightning Source [http:/lightningsource.com], etc. etc.) is thinking about purchasing Borders (www.borders.com), which is in financial difficulty.

Meanwhile Borders is in the process of opening a number of new stores geared to incorporating Internet syle bells and whistles (www.newsday.com; www.daytondailynews.com) in order to attract the younger generation who are accustomed to reading on a screen or a laptop or downloading what they want to read and know and see to a handheld. Good for Borders, taking a giant step in the right direction! Hmm! If Barnes and Nobles purchases Borders, it will be good for Barnes and Noble!

Actually, in the end, I think it will be good for everyone. What??? Yes, good! When television came in, everyone said it would kill the movies. It didn't. When the Internet arrived, all the pundits said that it would kill television. It didn't. What they did was adapt to one another, integrate one another's characteristics, just like a good marriage is supposed to, although most don't. So we have the movies being advertised on television, and made-for-TV movies, and now we have TV shows and newscasts streaming on the Internet.

The trouble is, most of us think in terms of EITHER/OR ... movies OR television, television OR the Internet, books OR electronic gadgets-that-pretend-to-be-books (Sonys and Kindles are getting better, you'll see.)

Nobody young is a wannabe anymore. Everyone who wantstabe is a radio producer, with podcasts broadcasting their content to handhelds (already getting dated because people are jaded with just listening already, except in the car, and want videos all the time now), and everyone who's anyone is a cannabe television producer with video clips on YouTube. Even septuagenarian gals like me are thinking about putting some videos on the net. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. (Should I wear dark glasses to look cool?)

My generation, generally speaking, that is (because my cousin who is my age already has a hard-to-get-because-not-enough-people-want-it-yet Kindle), can't understand how anyone can consider reading a book on a screen. The whole point of a book is to curl up with it in bed, to enjoy the texture, to write notes in the margin, or even (didn't your mother teach you not to deface books?) underline with pleasure. Make it your own. My daughter's generation is okay with all that, but they'd just as soon curl up with a lap top. It's comfy. And the NOW GENERATION (can't remember what they're calle) likes squeezing everything onto a downloadable little screen that my generation can't even see with a magnifying glass.

It's all good, see, because maybe they'll learn to read again. It's all good. Just remember to keep the AND in it.

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Mergers and Adaptations

Mary Lynn Archibald

I guess you're right, Corinne, but it makes me nervous when big companies merge. Makes it even harder for independent bookstores to compete. And make no mistake, theyare suffering. I still crave the personal touch in book sales, whether I'm selling or buying, though B & N (where I have a reading next week) does give one more exposure.

As for Kindle, I have both my books on Amazon in electronic form, but I'm too much of a curmudgeron to adapt my reading habits to one now. It's high tech, but where's the high touch?

Mary Lynn

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Going Forward

I don't have much to say about the possible merger, but I know I've been skeptical about devices like the Kindle. Naomi Bock's article this week showed me that it only begins there! What do you think about those visors? Or the tattoo?

Huntington Sharp, Red Room

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Visors??? Tattoos???

Naomi Bock's article is terrific. I'm going to read it again in more detail. As for the visors, I definitely do not want to get DRESSED to read a book. I want to get UNDRESSED and prop  myself up in bed.

The statstics about people reading one book a year was sad. I'd rather believe in the evolution of the book into something we haven't even imagined yet. I kinda like the idea of a wireless chip in my head. Easy to carry around. Do you think we'd get swelled heads?


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You're right too!

Even though Kindle is supposedly the Cadillac of electronic book gadgets, superceding Sony, it hasn't done very well yet in terms of sales. Personally, I'm waiting for the next generation of electronic book readers.  I do like the idea of going on vacation and taking a bunch of books with me that don't take up much space.

My book launch took place at an independent book store, Dutton's, one of the last events at a famed bookstore, where great authors had read for almost 30 years. They went under because the online sellers did them in.

Here's to the future!