One of the first thinkers to use the Codex which is the immediate ancestor of the book was the Christian philosopher Origen. He translated the Old Testament and put it in columns so that your could read the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek across the page. It was a great triumph for which he was a Doctor of the Church until someone in the early Middle Ages declared him a heretic. but that said the book has been a part of our lives for over 1800 years.
Now we face a challenge. You cannot deny that the e book and the iPad and its kin are a great thing but this great thing might have a very destructive impact. The book is a way for the poet or writer to control what he/she has written. The author decides what goes in and what says out and this means that it is a work of art not a newspaper article.
The problem with the e book and its kin is that the author, the artist, loses control over her own work. Another problem is the death of Serendipity. If you want to make an analogy when I was younger it was possible to go to record store (CD's also) and browse and get suggestions from an actual person on a new band or music group.
Serendipity is also essential for books and poets.
Imagine a world where all poetry is electronic. Where in order to find poetry or novels for that manner that are only generated by electronic media. Imagine a time when the bookstore and the physical book no longer exist? This means for us that the chance finding of a new author or new type of reading will also no longer exist. What does this mean for the future of literature?
I would argue that the book as object as a work of art is too important to not be discussed? Someone out there tell me what is the solution? Or are we all okay with this change?