I’m in the process of moving to a new apartment, which means I just finished boxing up and shipping my entire book collection. This was a lot of boxes. I’m the kind of person who likes to travel light, so it’s at moments like this that I really see the value in the so-called e-book revolution that’s apparently heading our way. If the e-book revolution means I can enjoy these same objet’s d’art in a virtual form about 600 pounds lighter, I’m for that.
As those who follow book industry news know, electronic books are the hot topic of 2009. Much of the coverage has been negative, in tones ranging from poignant to tragic. Another wave of media attention is coming, because Amazon has just purchased Lexcycle, the Texas-based startup that created Stanza, the most popular iPhone e-book reader. We’ve been interested in Stanza for a while, and we’re not sure what to think about Amazon buying the Kindle’s biggest competition.
As for the larger debate about the negative effects of electronic publishing, though, we remain confident that the transition from a print-only literary publishing environment to a print-and-electronic literary publishing environment will be a positive one. I’ll say it again: that was a lot of boxes I just had to move. Sometimes when we carry a lot of weight with us everywhere we go, we forget to think about how good it might feel to become free of that weight. I’m looking forward to someday carrying all the great literature that’s currently residing in 35 cardboard boxes in my new apartment in a device that fits inside my pocket. I don’t see how anyone who truly loves books can not be excited about the idea that this will soon be possible.