“Few technological victories are ever complete, and in the case of books this will be especially true. Bookstores will not disappear but will exploit digital technologies to increase their virtual and physical inventories, and perhaps become publishers themselves. So will libraries, whose vast and arcane holdings will soon be available to everyone everywhere. E-books have been aggressively marketed for five or six years in the United States. Yet despite rapidly acquiring market share they show no sign of displacing actual books, with which they will comfortably coexist in the digital future.
Today’s publishers, still entangled in the dying Gutenberg age, will, one hopes, spin off their talented editors as semi-autonomous units and gradually disencumber themselves of their obsolete infrastructure. Barring a nuclear disaster, life will go on as it always has: past, present, and future all at once. “–Jason Epstein