These changes are already starting to happen in the book industry. Borders has gone bankrupt, and how long do you think it will really be before dedicated bookstores actually disapear? As it is the bookstores have huge sections for board games and toys. There will probably still be smaller more indie stores (like Ameoba Records is in L.A.), but giant stores like Borders and Barnes & Nobles will probably disappear in the next decade or so.
I can see the advances that e-books will bring. Imagine going to school without an actual textbook. You're required to read on your reader (and teachers will actually know if you've gone through each digital page). Not only that but homework and tests can be completed on your reader as well. I would have to guess this is the experience my future children will have.
Then there's the fact that with an e-reader (and wifi) you can download any book you want instantaneously. Not to mention it's cheaper for the publishers not to have to print, and it's cheaper for the reader as well.
But with the positives, I love books too much to happily make the change. I love reading a book, love looking at the cover, having it in my own hands, being able to display it on a shelf to show it off to the world, and the smell even. I love that I can go back and read a book whenever I want (assuming I don't lose it), instead of having to worry it my e-reader will fail and lose my entire collection or if a publisher recalls all copies of an electronic book.
As I started out saying, I know e-readers are the future and I know that someday I will own one. But that doesn't mean I can't drag my feet on the way.
Do you have an e-reader? Why or why not? And what are your thoughts on the future of actual books?