Everyone is talking digital but there are times I'm not certain anyone is listening!
For clarification--to read a digital book, one does not have to own a Kindle, a Nook, an iPad, or any other separate device beyond whatever computer, smartphone, or netbook that you already possess. If you're reading this blog, you can read an e-book.
Most e-books can be read using free software such as Overdrive, Calibre, Mobipocket Reader, ADE, Adobe Reader, Stanza, Kindle for PC/Mac, or B&N ereader, etc. These are free programs. They are small enough to be downloaded to almost any machine with memory. And once you have them, there is an entire world of free and cheap books at your disposal. My daughter is currently reading her way through the entire Wodehouse and Agatha Christie libraries for nothing, without worrying about returning the books to the library on time. She reads on the train and not having to carry a heavy hardback is a major bonus.
Conversely, one does not have to buy from Amazon to download to a Kindle or from B&N to download to a Nook. Kindles will read any files designated ".mobi," and Nooks--and almost all other e-readers--will read files labeled ".epub." One can purchase these books directly from the authors at places like AWritersWork.com or Bookviewcafe.com or any of dozens of other websites.
And learn quickly, please! I just posted the first of my two westerns at Amazon and B&N: DENIM AND LACE, a former Rita finalist, and PAPER ROSES, the first of the Paper trilogy. If sales take off, I'll do my part and try to add these books in other places. It's been a long hard struggle learning to go digital, but I'm really seeing the advantages of keeping books on virtual shelves!