End of the book? – Los Angeles Times:
From his perspective of more than 30 years in the publishing industry, Tom Engelhardt speculates on the current state of the industry:
In scale, even the largest of modern publishers isn’t exactly a General Motors or a Citigroup or an AIG, in part because unlike cars, banking or insurance, the book represents such a quirky, small-scale, labor-intensive process to create and produce, but also to absorb. Demanding a significant investment of time and energy on the part of the consumer, it has always fit somewhat awkwardly into the world of mass entertainment. Still, there’s a comparison to be made. Like their larger cousins, the big publishing outfits seemed to feel that, when it came to the future, they were immune.
Sure, what happened on publishing’s recent Black Wednesday is only a minor blip on the current economic radar screen, but what Engelhardt sees happening has implications for the future of books and reading.