Salon publishes an interview with James Patterson here, who advocating some kind of government support to keep the traditional ways of publishing (big publishing houses, bookstores, libraries, etc.) viable. He is worried about all of the self-published authors on sites like Amazon who are able to publish now without going through the traditional gatekeepers of agents and editors.
I see a huge advantage in this new world of e-books and self-publishing. Every study I’ve seen suggests that people are reading more. One of the biggest selling categories on Amazon is the Young Adult category, which means our young people are starting to look for books for entertainment again—a practice that had slowed almost to a stop after the advent of television, videos, video games, etc.
In all of my years of teaching high school English, it was very clear to me that the best students were the avid readers. Now—with the easy availability of e-books—it is much easier for all children to fall in love with reading.