A long form essay in The Economist, for Oct 11th, 2014, titled From Papyrus to Pixels, is an excellent survey of the current state of book culture. It smartly traces the evolving technology of the book, from Roman times up to the present, pointing out that the book indeed has had an evolving technology. Digital books are simply the latest development in a two thousand year progression.
The article is not about the evolution of book content—a whole other subject—but how books have been written, made, sold and read. Cited are indications that the e-book has already reached its saturation point, and that the printed book—which has also evolved technologically—holds its own. That said, e-books have had the greatest impact on bookstores, which radically declined in numbers. Then, too, digital books have meant the return—note the word, return—of the self-published book.
For those involved—as I am—in the children’s book world—there is some interesting commentary, too.
Lastly, one may read this article, as I did, in the magazine. Alternatively, one can go online (as I also did) and read the article there again. The presentation of the article in digital form is humorous in its own right—as you will see when you look at it.
All in all, it is worth reading because, for those who love books, it is an optimistic report.