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To paraphrase Mark Twain, the death of books has been greatly exaggerated.
And Twain should know. Although the famous writer died in 1910, he'll have a new book in stores this fall and will be the subject of another one.
Both titles were among the many discussed at last weekend's BookExpo America, which drew an estimated 22,000 booksellers, publishers, authors, agents and reviewers to Chicago.
At the book convention and trade show last year, e-books and Harry Potter dominated the proceedings; this year, it was printed books and "The Lord of the Rings." Houghton Mifflin is launching an ambitious publishing program of J.R.R. Tolkien tie-ins to the December release of the first film in the epic motion picture trilogy.
As for electronic publishing, it hasn't gone away and is expected to be a force in the future, but as to exactly when that future is remains uncertain. Publishers are still dealing with an evolving digital technology that has yet to make palm-sized e-book devices more popular _ and affordable _ than paperbacks. Then there are the Napster-like issues of piracy, intellectual property rights and copyright …