I was doing a book signing the other day and suddenly I looked around and had a very strange feeling--I felt I was looking at history. All those books in their pulpy pages on all those shelves. History. We will not see it again. Books will go away. The kindle and the IPOD and the downloaded book are here to stay. Technological revolution is that way. Imagine the uproar when the first printing press started cranking out hundreds of papers. Scribes must have thrown up their pens like Scrooge in the last scene of A Christmas Carol. Books are a good thing to have and I prefer them, but they are on paper and paper is a vanishing commodity. If a person can download hundreds of books and their newspapers all before their morning coffee, then yes, something has changed. How fast will it come? In a nanosecond. It is already here. The big publishers are in a tailspin, trying to figure out the new model. How do you replace all that revenue when one guy can download a book and zap it out to ten of his friends? Sounds like the Knapster mess all over again. Borders is teetering, publishers are not acquiring. Hmmm. Sounds like the automakers. Too much stock, not enough readers. But the plain fact is that a digital file is stored easily, does not require a publisher to print a bunch of copies he might not sell, and allows the reader the ease of carrying multiple works and reading literally anywhere. This means authors and publishers will have to embrace a new model. If the end result is the dissemination of the work, then it is a good thing. More people can get their hands on your book. As a writer I like that, but I cant' help but feel a little sad that the warm pulpy smell of a bookstore will be replaced by the clean ascetic smell of plastic. Maybe they will come up with a spray: Bookscent.