Jason Epstein, co-founder of "On Demand Books" which sells the Espresso book machine, has written a thoughtful piece on the digital future, and the role of print in that future, in a recent New York Review of Books. The balanced article notes that it is "likely that shops offering carefully chosen inventories of new and used titles, especially books in hard covers, art books, and many kinds of childrens' books which cannot economically be printed on demand will become neighborhood meeting places, while outlets that specialize in hardcover commercial best sellers will continue to do so."
His advice is to patiently await the birth of the digital book network and an enriched world of books, where titles will be more accessible than ever before. There are many unanswered questions regarding gatekeepers, monopoly, and control, and we will be watching with great interest and anticipation. Chaucer's is marching into the future by continuing to do our best at curating a dynamic and interesting inventory, matching readers with books, and serving the community as we have for over 35 years.