Books in 2005: Is it the end, or a new beginning?

The Dallas Morning News says publishers are text-messaging teens to sell books. They’re experimenting with “viral” Web campaigns, Google set up its Print Library, Amazon will soon sell books by the page and the number of litblogs has ballooned, all of them chattering on about books.

All of this looks less like the last, frantic efforts of a dying trade and more like our future of “multiplatform delivery systems.” Most best-sellers make the list by reinforcing reader’s ideas. These can stimulate fresh thinking – a welcome outcome, even if it’s in disagreement.