Today on my lunch break I went to Kramerbooks in Dupont Circle to buy a guidebook for an upcoming vacation. With vacay on the brain, I had been thinking about whether I should buy a Kindle or Nook or whatever those things are called. Even though I generally dislike the idea of reading a book on a computer-ish device, the idea of being able to fit a zillion books in one small space is appealing, packing-wise.
So I asked the woman working at the checkout counter whether Kramerbooks sells eBooks. She said (not unkindly) No, that's the antithesis of everything we stand for, and directed me to a cartoon on the subject posted on the wall. The cartoon made the point that the qualities eBooks are striving to accomplish--indestructability, lendability, ability to read "offline" without recharging--have already been achieved in actual books. Not untrue! But they left out "ability to pack 15 of them in my suitcase."
So now I feel like if I buy an eBook machine maybe I am screwing over independent booksellers. But surely they should be able to get in on the act? Is Kramerbooks' antipathy an ideologial thing, or do Amazon, etc. bar indepent booksellers from participating in the eBook market? (And does anybody have any recommendations for good vacation books--preferably in paperback?)