A publishing battle is brewing. Summer has begun and vacationers will be packing paperback and hardback books to enjoy on the beach or at the lake.

On the horizon change is coming. Amazon and Google are working to change the way everyone reads books.

Amazon is now selling the Kindle DX that allows anyone interested in spending $359 for a tablet computer, which digital books can be downloaded via Wi-Fi and taken anywhere.

Books can be downloaded in under 60 seconds, according to Amazon’s advertisements.

The most amazing comment on the Amazon.com site is “reads like real paper, now boasts 16 shades of gray for clear text and even crisper images.”

And if authors allow text-to-speech features in their books, the Kindle can actually read every newspaper, magazine, blog to the reader.

But it’s not paper - it’s an LED screen. It will hold up to 1,500 books.

But are they really books if they are digital? There is no paper, no binding and no dogged eared pages telling you where you should pick after putting the book down.

Initially, those supporting the Kindle suggested it would save the newspaper industry because readers could now get their daily papers, uh, digital copies, on their device.

But what about the smell of a newspaper? The feel of newsprint in your hands cannot be replaced with a digital device.

Seeing Amazon’s entry into the digital book business, Google, who apparently had been scanning author’s work, many without their permission, in advance so they could offer its own digital book service.

Google’s would be different. Readers interested in the latest release could go to a Web site and read the book there with no download.

Eliminating the portability of books might be a hurdle for Google, but their plan is still in the initial stages.

Gabriel Stricker at Google wants to create a “digital-book ecosystem.” This would be a online site where authors could place their books and have them discovered and still make money.

By eliminating any downloading, Google prevents people from purchasing a digital book and making copies of it for their friends.

For those of us who still read real-books, those with paper and binding, when we purchase it and finishing giving it a good read, we likely will pass it along to a friend. With the onset of the Google model that wouldn’t be possible.

With Amazon’s model if you wanted to share your book, your friend would have to pluck down the $359 for the device. Why not just go down to the public library, get a card and check out whatever you want to read.

At least for this summer, avid readers will keep packing those paperback and hardback books for vacations. If Amazon and Google have their way, that may all change — let’s hope not too soon.