Unmaking Book

Are hardbound libraries doomed? One look at the new color SoftBook changed my mind

I used to draw the line at books. the more my life became digital and downloadable, dominated by DVDs and MP3s, the more dust that gathered on my analog music tapes and VHS cassettes, the more I resolved never to abandon the trusty old paper- ink-and-glue devices that proliferate on my shelves and pile up on my floor. As a die-hard bibliophile, I'd trot out every argument in the book against e-books: they're too clunky to curl up with; they're too expensive; they can't re-create print- perfect text or the smell of a new hardback.

And then I got a sneak...

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