Kindle royalties: Death knell for paper books?

A Twitter friend drew my attention to this explanation of Amazon’s new push to offer authors and publishers a bigger slice of royalties in return for a lower price per book on the Kindle — that is, even though the e-book is cheaper, the writer gets a bigger slice.  The publisher doesn’t go to the expense of printing.  And Amazon tightens its grip on the market.

That sighing sound you hear is all the books on my shelves realizing they’re not going to be getting a lot of new companions in coming years. (Strangely, I feel exactly the opposite about DVDs – I resent the space they take up and their high price and have already gleefully embraced Netflix as a sort of remote or “cloud” DVD library.)

If and when books go the way of the CD and the newspaper, I’m sure I’ll enjoy spending less money, building fewer bookcases and not being crushed when the stacks of reading material piled on my nightstand topple. And I’ll like not having to decide which books to pack for a trip, and not having to haul them through airports or into moving vans.  Probably I’ll become friends with my little tablet device, when I finally give up and purchase one. But scanning my shelves, looking for just the perfect book to lull me into sleep, is a ritual I will actually miss.

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