I wonder if Gutenberg had as much trouble with his press as I've had with my format issues for my book. Self publishing is an adventure, a challenge, and yes I do appreciate the big NY brickhouses more. However, I soldier on and (shameless plug here), I am on Amazon Kindle - My Zoo World is available for download. Print edition coming soon (fingers crossed).
Back to Gutenberg. An article caught my eye (Dallas Morning News 10/15/11 p. 14A) about Germans in Cologne who have set up free-for-all libraries. Street corners, city squares, and super markets - shelves are available and books are donated and shared. Very cool concept. No questions asked. Take a book, leave a book, read and enjoy.
The project is open and financed by donations. Volunteer groups care for the shelves. The branch manager of Cologne's Mayersche Buchhandlung book store, Elmar Muether, said, "If books are present everywhere, it helps our business, too.". It's promotion versus competition. If someone gets hooked on an author, he or she is more likely to seek out and buy other books.
Anything to promote reading has to be a positive for society as a whole. Das ist gut!