Rachel Syme, "Hybrid Books: 'Illuminations' And The Future Of The E-Reader"
It is no secret to anyone at this point that e-books are here, they are real and, as reported this week, they are adding up to a sizable chunk (often 20% or more) of publishers' sales. With Amazon plotting to release its own tablet and the national book store chains struggling (or in the case of Borders, simply ceasing to exist), it seems like a real possibility that both paper books and the brick-and-mortar stores that sell them could become the next great endangered species in our media taxonomy.
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"Still, despite the dismay that so many feel when they imagine a generation of readers more comfortable staring at a screen than flipping pages, hoping to stem change through vehement objection is probably futile. This is the way the industry is shifting, the natural course it will run with new technologies, the manifest destiny of virtual ink. What is worth fighting for in the new landscape is not printed matter itself (which will likely survive either way, as a rarified collectible even if nothing else), but the preservation of reading as a special act."