Yesterday, Gizmodo put up this awesome video of a concept for the newsstand of the future. It involves tablet computers and seamless interactivity between devices:
(This reminds me of a tiny detail of Avatar that I loved: There was one scene where somebody—I think Giovanni Ribisi—was looking at data on a computer screen. He grabbed a tablet computer and pushed the screen of the computer onto the tablet and then walked around the room with the information. I thought that looked like a wonderful application for a computer, and I thought it was surely something we would be doing with our computers in five or ten years. Turns out, it was more like five or ten weeks.)
I think bookstores should look into doing the same thing with books. People—even people who primarily buy books on Kindles or similar devices—like to spend time in bookstores, and bookstores can't physically hold every book that's available. But with this interface, it'd be incredibly easy to physically sell ebooks to people with computers and broaden the shelves of bookstores to include every book all at once. The bookstore would make money off the sale of the ebook the old-fashioned way: By handselling the ebook to the customer. If I were the American Booksellers Association, I'd be looking into this right now.