Unresolved conflicts among publishers, sellers, libraries, and the U.S. Justice Department cloud the future of the publishing industry.
Unless you are embedded somewhere in the publishing industry spectrum
as an author, editor, bookseller, or librarian, the odds are that you
will find it very hard to keep up with the pace of sweeping changes
underway connected to the impact of the enormous expansion of digital
reading. The latest authoritative survey came from Pew Research, reporting that
21 percent of American adults say they have read an eBook in the past
year, with the average number of books at 24, compared to 15 for those
who said they purchased only printed books -- confirmation that digital
readers represent, generally speaking, very good news for literacy.
But there are three ongoing issues that greatly complicate the
evolving book culture and the publishing business. In the summaries
that follow, my goal is to provide as nearly as possible an unbiased
consumer's guide to what is happening in these complex and contentious
clashes in the industry.
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