As recently as late 2007, the purchase of this book would have involved a trip to a bookstore, the distinct possibility that, given its rarified subject, it would be out of stock or, if ordered from Amazon, would not arrive for a week unless I was willing to pay the high cost of expedited shipping. The odds are that those prospective obstacles would have led me to do something else, and I would never have gotten around to reading Must You Go? My Life with Harold Pinter. That would have been too bad, but hardly a big deal. By now, the notion has embedded in my mind that I can choose on a whim to read a book and obtain it instantly, a fundamental change in the psychology of book buying. You don't really possess the book in the sense that it lands on your shelf as a lifetime fixture, but the notion that the book is available and affordable is a significant incentive to make the purchase.
Full article in The Atlantic