My favorite Russo work is actually Straight Man, which delves into the politics of university faculty and turns that dry-as-dirt premise into one of the funniest books I've read.
But that isn't why I'm celebrating Russo's birthday today. I want to celebrate the statement he recently made by refusing to allow his latest novel to be available on any e-reader. He's probably one of the few writers who will take that stand, and I have to applaud it.
Russo says that he doesn't want online sellers like Amazon.com to "control the world," and that he wants to support book publishers and local book stores. It's a twist on the "buy local" movement.
He isn't the only author to go out on a limb with this idea - Stephen King has said his next book also will only be published in print.
I'm not naive enough to think that electronic publishing is going to be affected in any way by a statement like Russo's, but I do think that it might renew appreciation for printed materials, and for the retailers and publishers who stand behind them.
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