Jason Epstein has had a long, distinguished career in publishing. His latest project was the development of the Espresso Book Machine. In this article, he argues for the importance of books as printed, ink on paper, objects that cannot be deleted with the click of a mouse.
After Amazon's deletion of Orwell's 1984 from the Kindles of customers who had "bought" it (what more appropriate title? except perhaps Fahrenheit 451) demonstrated the reality of digital purchases as licenses for use rather than as permanent purchases of ownership, I began rethinking my own belief about the permanency of digital rather than printed books. Naively, I had liked the fact that digital books could be stored in the cloud; I hadn't reckoned with the legal and technical fragility of them.
As always, Jason Epstein is worth reading. Please let me know what you think on this subject, too.