I love Amazon's Kindle, I admit it. It's so easy to use, and even late at night, I'm never out of something to read if I can get a radio signal to download a new book. But the Kindle bypasses brick-and-mortar bookstores. As Michael Powell, of the venerable and quite wonderful Powell's Books of Portland, OR, says, "We can sit and press our nose against the window, but we cannot play a role in that."
According to an NPR report yesterday, Google hopes to change that by offering e-book downloads that are "device agnostic". Pretty cool phrase. The plans are still a little vague, but according to the Google spokesman, the idea is to offer books that can be downloaded to all sorts of media, as long as there's internet access. This plan could even involve booksellers, who might be able to offer such e-book sales through their stores. This is a plot growing thicker by the moment.
The NPR report is here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105169795