Regarding the Sept. 29 front-page article "No Escape From E- Mail": The accurately described environment didn't start with BlackBerrys. I think it started when laptops became truly portable.

For years people have been bringing laptops to meetings, and most are not taking notes; they are reading e-mail. As for the acceleration of the pace of business, receiving e-mail that was sent at, say, 2:53 a.m. on a Sunday hasn't been a surprise for a long time. Gone are the days when the boss taking a vacation meant you could catch up on things. If bosses don't read e-mail while they are away, they will be overwhelmed when they return.

Customers also expect sustained attention. At a meeting several years ago, a customer said in closing: "I hope all of you enjoy your holidays. I'll be on vacation for two weeks, but of course you can reach me by e-mail." How could the message be clearer?

The border between work life and home life may have disappeared recently, but it has been blurry for years.

NANCY L. LEIBOLD

Moorestown, N.J.

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The article about the effects of electronic devices on business and personal lives did not mention one problem that came to my attention recently.

People who are using cell phones, personal data assistants, etc., tend to become oblivious to the world around them. I nearly backed into someone in a parking lot who crossed my blind spot while talking on her cell phone. A woman talking on a cell phone was killed in Reston last month by a garbage truck.

There are more than professional or social reasons for paying attention to your surroundings.

MARYANNE B. KENDALL

Reston