Originally Posted by HamsterRage
Sooner or later, they're going to be right.
Do you really think people will be reading paper books 100 years from now?
Fiction, probably not. However, just about any oversized book -- particularly art books and some textbooks -- will probably always do better in paper format. Paper is much easier to annotate, and I don't think that will change even with tablet computers.
Paper also does not require an intermediary device or batteries -- so unlike 78's or 8-track tapes, paper can continue for a long, long time. There are hundreds of millions of existing paper books floating around, and it may easily take 100 years to really get that out of circulation.
What is likely to happen is that other than limited runs of oversized books, print on demand will become the primary method of generating paper books. In some cases it will be an expansion of existing POD outlets (e.g. you order a book from Amazon, they print it on demand and ship it the same day). In other cases it may be a big kiosk at an airport.
These changes also take longer than most people presume. For example CD's still constitute over half of music sales, and more than half of the revenues, despite the rise of digital downloads.
Paper won't be as common in 20 or 30 years, but it will still be a viable option for a long time.