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Valentine's day e-cards: Are they putting card publishers out of business?

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Associated Press

(Read caption) Valentine's Day e-cards putting printed card publishers out of business? Not in the slightest. Here, Roman Flores puts together arrangements of red roses in The Woodlands, Texas, Feb. 12.

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Searching for the best Valentine's Day e-cards? Here's a preview of what you'll find and it’s very… whimsical. 

On e-card site Bluemountain.com, one of the featured interactive cards begins with the following illustration: a little leaf dangling by its stem underneath a tree canopy. 

Clicking and tugging the leaf snaps the stem and the leaf glides whimsically through the air toward a picnic table below. In the background is whimsical piano music. On the table, two birds and a squirrel lovingly adorn the fallen leaf with whimsical twigs, wildflowers, and berries. A butterfly lays across the leaf and a click of its wings makes them fold up, only to pop open with a message: 

"Wishing you a happy Valentine's Day that’s as special as you are!" 

Whimsy. Whimsy. Whimsy. Would you send that to your significant other? Your parent? Your grandparent? No. No you would not. 

E-versions of books may be driving brick and mortar bookstores out of business, but e-cards aren’t replacing printed greeting cards, says Kathy Krassner, spokesperson for the Greeting Card Association, which represents more than 200 greeting card publishers. 

"We find most people send e-cards to someone they've already sent a real card to or to an acquaintance who you wouldn't have sent a real card to anyway.” Ms. Krassner says. "You won't send your girlfriend or wife an e-card and they'd be annoyed if you did." 

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