In the life of a New Yorker, a new book is a crisis the exact size of one new book. I spent three hours scrutinizing the shelves for weak links that could go to the used bookstore, projecting either into the past—When had I read this book and why?—or the future—Would I ever read this again, or even read it?—and filled three bags. I held my two mass-market paperback editions of Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays, bought at Church Street Books in San Francisco in 1990—one to own and one to lend—and after all this time, put the second into the bag. The one remaining now a reminder that I once had two. It’s time, I told myself on the subway uptown afterward, to consider the e-book.
What he says is so, so true – both the attraction of the ebook, and its inherent problems, are things readers everywhere will have to grapple with.