we want the fruits of our labor to exist between hard or even soft covers in our own time and after us (and accept that the pages containing our being will turn brown and become brittle), it means something to us to see and speak of a book as a weighty tome or a slender volume, we like to be able to locate a passage we've already read spatially on a page, we are interested, even as we are dismayed, to discover that we are the first person in 61 years, eight months, and three days (according to the "due date" slip) to check a book out of the library, it pleases us to think of Whitman's leaves of grass as pages of a book
For me, reading is a physical experience, one that vanishes, evaporates completely, the minute you read something on a screen. Books also have an architectural dimension. Rooms full of books are meaningful places where people assemble. And yet, one of the things that defines reading is its very intimacy—which is what I love about it.
So real books and e-books will coexist. That has happened time and again with other new technologies that were prophesied to kill off old ones. Autos didn't wipe out horses. Movies didn't finish theater. TV didn't destroy movies. E-books won't destroy paper and ink. The Internet and e-books may set back print media for a while, and they may claim a larger audience in the end. But a lot of people who care about reading will want the feel, the smell, the warmth, the deeper intellectual, emotional, and spiritual involvement of print.