It was always a fact that when the Internet became more and more an integral part of life that knowledge which was written before there was such a thing as digital imagery would slowly be added to the growing matrix of databases. The Internet is at its source a method to share information, books are information, so naturally they simply must become a part of it. That is fine. I have nothing against that so long as the book is created first then scanned in or referenced. We traditionalist can enjoy our books and the newer generation can digest and share via a media they are more accustomed to accessing. I would still be saddened that the new generation would not, to the same degree as I, enjoy the feel and smell of an old book.
Then came the Kindle. I hated the very concept of it. I hated the threat it posed to traditional books, magazines and journals. With that tool I could see a day were there would be no need for the printing of books. After all, imagine all the trees that could be saved if we just stopped printing. I have no issue with environmental concern. I have a major issue with some of the nuts who lead the movement. They would quite possibly see the benefit to sacrificing an archaic pleasure. Now couple that with people who would gladly choose to save a buck, by not paying the cost of printing and the corporate bean counters who would push this as policy. Yes, the media of today who become archaic and outdated. This will not happen quickly because even without active resistance the book is still a basic core piece of our culture.
Now, aside from the aesthetic pleasures inherent in owning books, having a personal library or enjoying the social climate of a public library there is a more serious reason not to allow a future where everyone has a Kindle or some derivative. There are two very real reasons why we should work stridently to maintain the book as the basis of media.
The first, yes, does invoke the social paranoia of the easy manipulation of facts at the very press of a button. I could very easily write a short story based on easily achievable technology where what is official public knowledge can be changed. If there is no "offline" data vehicle, i.e. a book to say differently then who is to say what is knowledge and what isn't. There have been stories like 1984, Gattica, Fahrenheit 451 , The Matrix, etc. where an overbearing regime dictates how we are supposed to think. It is not total science fiction and we are blindly creeping towards that possible fate. I am not saying it could simply that it might. (I am not crazy, just an active thinker.)
**Addendum** The above is not fiction and don't think that it can not happen where you live just because somehow your home is 'different'.
Police seize 100000 anti-Vladimir Putin books
This second reason is entirely possible and more deadly. Let us say there are no books. *Poof* They all vanished. Now there is no dystopian one world government, but simply what we have today - a mish mash of idiots, blowhards, crusaders, thieves and the overworked and outnumbered occasional good Samaritans. We are living our lives of total digitized media. Then as you watch TV or visit your favorite Internet news outlet you start hearing the mildly concerned, then increasingly frenzied chirping cacophony of voices warning of the end of times. It is not an asteroid, but a massive magnetic burst from the Sun heading our way. It will fry all of our satellites and wipe out all stored electric media. There is a reason why you keep static electricity and magnets away from disk drives. They don't like each other and the dick drive loses. After the chaos ensues would there be enough people with the mental acuity to keep civilization from collapsing. What is the ratio of helpful people to harmful people needed to maintain the economy, transportation services, the logistics of of a civilization, repair the machinery without reference... I really am not feeling too confident here.
Is this fiction... Well read the following news report and then get back to me...
The Awakening of the Sun - direct link to the video
Just a little food for thought...