Print is dead. Long live print!
With all of the latest news about electronic books, one can be forgiven for thinking that print books are in their death throes. Free ebooks and Kindles and digital libraries, oh my! Nonetheless, the good money is that print books are not going extinct anytime soon. In fact, general skepticism of the ebook reading experience aside, good money is actually on ebooks boosting sales of "pbooks."
Allow me to offer some examples. Take Amazon's Search Inside the Book feature (an awesome tool, if you haven't tried it). According to Amazon, sales of books that could be searched increased by 9% when the feature was launched. And despite suing Google for scanning books from the great libraries of the world, publishers are jumping at the chance to make digital previews of their books available via Google Book Search. Now why, pray tell, would publishers partner with Google on scanning if they didn't experience some benefit like, oh, increased print sales?
All of this is to say that the printed word isn't going the way of the dinosaurs in the near future. Of course, we shouldn't be surprised given books' long and storied history.