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Sea Change

"A sea-change into something rich and strange."  In 1610 Shakespeare thus used the term "sea change" to describe a radical, fundamental transformation in a setting or situation.

(Not unakin to what happened to the American nutritional landscape in the early Nineties in Snook, TX when Frank Sodolak invented chicken-fried bacon.  Calories per serving:  493.  Total fat per serving:  40.6g.  But I digress.)

Sometimes a sea change can happen with very little fanfare.  Book publisher HarperCollins' recent announcement that its listings of upcoming releases will be available only online has made the back pages of most newspapers, if it was noted at all.  For booksellers and libraries, however, this may be a wrenching emotional transition.  The paper catalogs (usually mailed several times a year since the dawn of publishing) have had an almost iconic status and their methodical appearance has somehow validated an ongoing, ordered, and civilized existence.  Hapercollins (as well as other major publishers with similar plans is well aware of the impact and promises a gentle transition.


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