I have to say, I just read a Newsweek article by Anna Quindlen - "Reading Has a Strong Future". I found it wonderfully hopeful about the future of writing and literacy in our increasingly technological age. As iPads and Kindles have made their debut into the world, there has been a pressing question... whether or not they will eventually replace books... and whether or not that is a terrible thing. I encourage you to read it for yourself!!
Some of my favorite snippets:
"The invention of television led to predictions about the demise of radio. The making of movies was to be the death knell of live theater; recorded music, the end of concerts. All these forms still exist—sometimes overshadowed by their siblings, but not smothered by them."
"There is and has always been more than a whiff of snobbery about lamentations that reading is doomed to extinction. That's because they're really judgments on human nature."
"Reading is not simply an intellectual pursuit but an emotional and spiritual one. It lights the candle in the hurricane lamp of self; that's why it survives. There are book clubs and book Web sites and books on tape and books online. There are still millions of people who like the paper version, at least for now. And if that changes—well, what is a book, really? Is it its body, or its soul?"
Innovations like this have happened before. Television and radio. Movies and theatre. Typewriters and legal pads. And now books and kindle. Notice that books are still holding their own in our culture. No one has abandoned them yet. These innovations are simply creating new options for enjoying literature, not erasing it or taking it for granted. Kindles and iPads and whatever new inkling of genius that follows will still convey that flame... readers will read, writers will write.
And honestly, I don't think books will disappear as fast as some people fear. ;)