"The eighteenth century imagined the Republic of Letters as a realm with no police, no boundaries, and no inequalities other than those determined by talent. Anyone could join it by exercising the two main attributes of citizenship, writing and reading. Writers formulated ideas, and readers judged them. Thanks to the power of the printed word, the judgments spread in widening circles, and the strongest arguments won.
The word also spread by written letters, for the eighteenth century was a great era of epistolary exchange. Read through the correspondence of Voltaire, Rousseau, Franklin, and Jefferson—each filling about fifty volumes—and you can watch the Republic of Letters in operation. All four writers debated all the issues of their day in a steady stream of letters, which crisscrossed Europe and America in a transatlantic information network."
- from Google & the Future of Books by Robert Darnton in the New York Review of Books, an intelligent piece which comes down against the Google deal. Read on HERE, and see O'Reilly's contrary response HERE .
And go HERE to read Sony Insider on future plans for a new kind of ereader that looks something like THIS:
Contrast - A Sony OLED Reader Concept from Sony Insider on Vimeo.