- and some people, including me, will tell you that e-readers are not as good an experience as paper books.
I get the impression that you don't actually own or use an e-reader. It is different from an iPad. For a start, the screen is not transmissive. The e-ink screen is as easy on the eyes as a printed page. In fact, it's easier because one can change the font size to suit one's eyesight.
I admit there will probably always be a few marginal and trivial advantages the old-fashioned book will retain. You can drop a book on a hard surface without expecting it to be damaged, and you can quickly flip through dozens of pages in search of the page with a particular photograph. With an e-reader you really need to know the page number to get there quickly.
On the other hand, if we're talking about trivial advantages, the e-reader also has at least an equal number as well as many major advantages.
An example of a trivial advantage, which I find quite appealing nevertheless, is the fact you can place a e-book reader on any flat surface and turn pages with one finger whilst supping a glass of wine or eating a bag of chips.
After all the jumping up and down is done, you still read the book. E-readers didn't give us higher ISOs.
Yes they do. Some e-book readers have illuminated screens which allow you to read in the dark. The Kindle DX doesn't, but it does have an audio mode with a computerised voice, which one can switch to any time.
In fact, this is the equivalent of the ultimate high ISO. Even with the Nikon D3s, image quality is somewhat degraded at high ISO, whereas the e-reader provides total clarity of every word in total darkness, whether by eyesight or hearing.
Of course, I already hear the knee-jerk objections to the computerised voice. However, the Kindle DX also accepts audio books narrated by your favourite actor. You've got the choice, and sufficient memory to store the choices.
But the thing about paper books...I have a large collection of art books. The color prints inside are far better than anything I can get on an iPad, which actually has a pretty great screen.
Art books are in a different category. They are usually even heavier than an MFDB system. They are not easily portable and I think it unlikely you would carry your large format art book of the paintings of Picasso to the doctor's or dentist's waiting room, or take it with you when trekking in the Himalayas.
However, as technology advances, I see no reason why a large format, high resolution e-reader could not be produced which would be half the weight of a single, large art book, display color images of equal or better quality to the paper equivalent, and store 1,000 of such books covering the entire history of art.
..and I can tell you, neither Confucius nor Shakespeare is really burning up the best-seller lists...
A quick search on Google reveals that 'A Tale of Two Cities' by Charles Dickens is one of the all-time best sellers, but sales of the Bible beat it.
Since China is now embracing Confucianism again, after having rejected it under Mao, I expect sales (or at least the distribution) of the Analects will increase dramatically in the future.
I imagine in the future the old-fashioned, tree-consuming, inefficient paper book will become a niche market for those suffering from technophobia.