A Companion to the History of the Book*, one of the most valuable books I've read, now on my wish list, addresses the future of the book without emotion or fear - I appreciate that. Will it die? According to Angus Phillips, probably not. Why? The tangible book is worth much more than the comfort people claim to enjoy from holding it in hand: “…the sale of a physical item yields a return against a predictable cost (pg. 556)” and while digital advancements are exciting, their “profitability is more difficult to control” as are copyright infringements (ibid). The book as a printed object is not only around for a while. It's relied upon.
*Eliot, Simon, Jonathan Rose, ed. A Companion to the History of the Book. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2007.