"The demise of publishing has been predicted since the days of Gutenberg. But for most of the past century -- through wars and depressions -- the business of books has jogged along at a steady pace. It's one of the main (some would say only) advantages of working in a 'mature' industry: no unsustainable highs, no devastating lows. A stoic calm, peppered with a bit of gallows humor, prevailed in the industry.
Survey New York's oldest culture industry this season, however, and you won't find many stoics. What you will find are prophets of doom, Cassandras in blazers and black dresses arguing at elegant lunches over What Is to Be Done. Even best-selling publishers and agents fresh from seven-figure deals worry about what's coming next. Two, five years from now -- who knows? Life moves fast in the waning era of print; publishing doesn't."