In the NY Times, an article about the destruction wrought upon the publishing world by the ease of online used-book buying. Here's the upside:
For readers and collectors, these resellers, as they are called, offer a great service. Lost in the hand-wringing over the state of the book industry is the fact that this is a golden age for those in love with old-fashioned printed volumes: more books are available for less effort and less money than ever before.
There's no going back—as with the music and newspaper industries, the terms of book-buying have changed permanently. It'll be interesting to see how the production end of things evolves in the coming years. Last week on Fresh Air Lawrence Lessig had some interesting things to say about this. You can listen to the interview here. One of his most interesting points was that there are more people making money from their music now than there were before music became downloadable and the CD industry was decimated. The big names may lose out on a few million, but smaller acts can get their music out there more so than before.
But what will that mean for books?
In any case, the Times article is well done and worth a read. And hey, it's free.