|This picture is the artist's attempt to|
build an e-reader from stuff laying
around his house. Source.
Now after reading about this very issue across the blogosphere and even starting the conversation a bit here, I know that many readers do not feel this way. You don't get the same texture and smell that a paper book has on a Kindle. It just doesn't engage the senses in the same way. Having said that, it's hard to argue with having a ton of free classics that I got from Amazon via their free PC app. So I do agree to some extent that it's the content that I really want, but I also kinda want the book as a thing. He also quoted a recent study that found that 1 in 6 Americans either have an e-reader or plan to purchase one in the next 12 months. I don't know anything else about the study, including how loosely they define an e-reader (would I count, since I read books on my PC?), but if they're anywhere near close... that's huge.
As to books that will never be digitized: Children's picture books, especially the ones with things to feel and move. You can't get that on a Kindle, either. Coffee table books. And here's one for my YA writerly friends: the YA market is currently keeping the physical book market afloat. In other words, keep writing!
I don't really want to ask an e-book question, since I just asked one the other day. So: when's the last time you read aloud to someone? Or had someone read aloud to you?