Digital distribution has the power to make books affordable to everyone, even well beyond the cheapest possible means of production and distribution in the physical object world. So their is always the potential that second hand stores would be useless because "new" digital goods could be acquired even by the super poor without problem. Unfortunately, we would need to completely re-prioritize our value systems and I have zero idea how to go about it or if it is even possible although it sounds desirable (but if it overly resembled Communism or Capitalism I would say we are way off!!! But what else is there? I don't know, my imagination is politically weak.).
But seeing this potential realized is probably not within reach currently (or possibly ever, despite Star Trek!). Second hand shops of any sort are practically an indigenous feature of the human landscape (man, I'm talking about that a lot today!). There will ALWAYS be something similar to it, even if it goes away in name.
Of that much, I am confident.
Last edited by Anthem; 01-31-2011 at 11:21 PM.