While I will always prefer real paper books pressed between my fingers, I don't really mind reading on my computer screen. In fact, having been in a critique group for a couple of years and swapping manuscripts electronically with fellow writers, I've gotten rather used to it. When traveling, I almost always take my laptop and sometimes there just isn't room in my carry-on luggage to cram another book.
I've held off on buying a Kindle because if I have to choose between a $299 device that only downloads books (when I know a year or two from now it will probably be outdated) and new carpet for the bedroom (although I'm very fond of the coffee stains, dog puke spots and indescribably colored traffic pattern), well, I'm gonna buy the carpet. First we have to drywall the garage, though.
But hold on! Amazon.com recently announced it is going to release FREE Kindle software for PCs! The e-reader companies are at war. Hey, works for me. I can support new authors, buy 3 downloads for the price of one hardback, AND save trees all at the same time. (Yes, I'm a tiny bit excited about this.)
Awhile back I blogged about the Espresso Book Machine. The publishing world seems to have been one of the last to be affected by technology, but the 'current economic situation' is applying new pressures to the system. It's hard telling what will stick and while things may seem tough in publishing right now, what is likely to emerge is something more efficient, greener, and with a myriad of options. In fact, it's already started.