Electronic readers certainly have their advantages, and doubtless I will end up owning one someday soon. However, there's an aesthetic that goes with books that future generations will miss: the feel of the paper, the smell of print; cover art (remember record jackets, as opposed to CD boxes?) deckle edged pages...Funny, but I still remember with great fondness my third-grade lanugage arts book. It was a beautiful pale green, and was printed on paper that felt like silk.
Not to mention autographs and hidden treasure! Susan has now given me two books on opera that she found at the University of Toronto booksale that once belonged to Father M. Owen Lee, the great classicist, operaphile and frequent commenator on the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts. When I opened one to read it, out tumbled 1983 San Francisco Opera ticket stub for Die Walkure and a sheet of notes, in his own hand.
There's something wonderful about holding a book that has been passed down to you!