Adam Haslett’s Union Atlantic, published last February 9, is available on Amazon. How it is listed brought on this meditation on books and publishing.Amazon offers the book for 42% of its hardcover price. The listing makes note the book is bound with “deckle edge” paper and explains what this means: the pages are bound to resemble handmade paper by fraying the edges so they appear uneven. Amazon, with Wal-Mart, the most successful merchandising gambit of recent times, sells its products at a sharp discount and with free shipping. Not even Wal-Mart can beat that, especially since for the 49 states, sales don’t include sales tax. With its very modern stocking, listing and distribution system, Amazon emphasizes how the publisher (Nan A. Talese) produced the book with a touch of the handmade craftsmanship of a bygone era. I was struck the most by one element on Amazon’s list page for the book. I clicked on a video icon and was treated to what I presume was the author reading from the book against a background that suggested its setting. Amazon, always on the cutting edge to keep its merchandising dominance, may be pioneering another merchandising tool. There really is no question that videos have arrived. With the ease with which video producers today create videos the format should inundate the media even more. To someone like me fascinated by both words and moving images, the future is thrilling.