I have to chip in on the ebooks debate. I was given a Kindle for Christmas and, being a book lover (I mean I love having pretty copies of pretty books not just that I enjoy reading) I was a bit skeptical. What would it be like reading from a digital screen? What would be available? How would it change my reading experience?
I've been re-watching Buffy from the first season recently and Giles says that the thing he dislikes most about computers is their smell, or, to be more accurate, their total lack of smell. He goes on to explain that smell is one of the most powerful senses, that scents can take you back years to a specific time and place, and that books always have a smell.
I sort of agree with him. I love picking up an older book and having that faint waft of mustiness, being able to flick through the pages and feel them beneath my fingers. I love the crispness of a brand new book, no creases in the spine, no tattered corners or dried droplets of spilt tea. I love my books, they are a feast for the senses.
And yet, I have, in a very short space of time, also grown to love my Kindle. Yes it's a different experience but different isn't a bad thing. For one thing, I travel by train a lot and, being someone who can get through anywhere up to 100 pages in an hour, I often run out of a book halfway. Now, instead of having to lug several books with me just in case I can simply take my ebook library with me and select new books at my leisure. I think the reading quality is excellent too (the Kindle screen really fills me with awe at the technology), to the extent that once I became absorbed in my first Kindle book I actually moved my hand to the top right to try and turn the page - what an idiot I felt! But it is testament to the reading experience that I automatically went to turn the page like that.
However, a lot of ebooks are too expensive - it shouldn't cost the same as a printed book, and many of them do. If there are particular things you want to read then this could cause you problems. If, on the other hand, you are willing to try new authors, new styles and older books, there are myriad options for you that come really cheap and often free.
To answer Geoff's question - no, paper books shouldn't ever stop - I'd be a deeply unhappy person if that ever came to pass. But I think there is a place for ebooks alongside them, and if anyone doubts whether they'd enjoy reading something off a screen as much as out of a book then I can assure you that I can still get lost in a fantasy world just as easily on my kindle as with a real paperback.