It’s the end of the book as we know it

Remember The End of the Book? It was common wisdom that the computer age would spell doom for the printed page. The explosion of the Internet in past years resurrected predictions of doom, but after the dust settled, a new realization emerged. Marshall McLuhan said it years ago in relation to TV and radio, and it still holds true: a new medium (in this case the Net) doesn’t ever replace an old one (books).

Book-lovers are more relaxed these days, and for good reason: the Net now lets you browse for books and buy them at your convenience. In the U.S., an on-line bookstore appropriately named “” has drawn a lot of attention and business, billing itself as truly the world’s biggest bookstore. But for Canadian readers, amazon often disappoints.

Chapters bookstores and the Globe and Mail have teamed up to provide a Canadian alternative with “”, a unique (if awkwardly-named) online destination for book lovers. The site offers a unique blend of content, community and commerce: book news, views and reviews from the Globe and Mail; Canada’s largest online source of books for purchase, with more than two million titles available from Chapters; a natial calendar of book-related events; and discussion forums. Supported by advertising, this free wesite is designed to receive submissions regarding book-related events.

At this site, Canadian readers at home and around the world will have access to a full range of titles not otherwise available from US-based online book sites. In addition, readers will receive Canadian editions whenever they are available, thereby supporting Canadian publishers and distributors. Canadians purchasing books from often receive US editions, even if the titles are Canadian.