It's not about the books

Well it's not always about the books; it's about information and reading, whatever the format, and writing and people who read or write. But it's also quite a bit about the books.

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The great beauty of e-books means that all this stuff is suddenly trackable—how much time people spend reading, how people engage with their books. Which means, finally, there might be a way to measure consumer tastes and habits like there is in most of the rest of the world of entertainment—and the publishing industry has a lot more information available to help them create more books that people want to read. On the down side, are books better, really, just because writers and publishers know more about what readers like? All good fodder for debate, but mostly, I’m glad e-books have helped us determine the perfect romantic hero: he “has a European accent and is in his 30s with black hair and green eyes.”

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