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Is the Internet the Publishing Industry’s Best Friend?

For all the talk in recent years of how the Internet will kill off the already dwindling audience of book readers, it struck me recently that perhaps this theory will prove to be exactly wrong. One of the most common Internet memes is the reading list — a 50-book challenge or some such — in which people all over the world list and comment on the books they are reading. This would seem to give any book added value since it’s providing not only the entertainment or enlightenment or mental excercise that people generally look for in the act of reading, but additionally a means of connecting with the broader world. That’s got to be worth something, doesn’t it?