I read with great interest this NYT piece about how Barnes and Noble’s Nook may “help save the publishing industry.” I’ve got a Nook color, and I have to say, I get my money’s worth out of it, especially since I can buy books in English from B&N and Waterstones (now sans apostrophe), and in Spanish from La Casa del Libro and FNAC. It’s good to know that my habit may also have broader implications!

As I’ve gone minimalist here in Casitita Super-Mini de Rubi, it’s also nice to have access to lots and lots of reading material without having to dust the tomes. Yes, I may finally have left books as objects behind.

It’s also a great traveling companion, since I can take the books I’m reading (usually three at a time), the magazines I’m subscribed to, and a movie or two. If I can find wifi, which is not hard these days in most of the places I visit, I can check my email and look things up on the net. I also scan my boarding passes and room confirmations, and put the files on my Nook so I don’t have to worry about losing them. Very, very handy.

Is the demise of the book? Well, there’s this compelling argument that books will be around for a long time. And this publisher makes a pretty good case. Now we just need to convice those same big publishers who may or may not be hearing their own death knell that making front-list titles available for e-loan at the public library is a healthy move. Think any of them read this?

Book-loving friends, keep buying books where and how you like. Borrow them from the library. Trade them around with your friends. Just stay away from Amazon if you can. (I do buy things from Amazon.es when I can’t get them any other way, but I think really hard about it before I do.) Read, and read some more.

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