The Disembodied Book

Jurgen Neffe's article from Die Zeit, in signandsight:

In the shadows of the global financial crisis of the early 21st century, another revolution is gathering pace, whose repercussions reach far beyond the current correctable economic buckling. It impact on the world will compare with Gutenberg's. And with it, the era of the printed book will come to a close. Dissolved digitally like sound and image beforehand, limitlessly copyable, globally downloadable by the million with the click of a mouse, the book is entering the world of multimedia like its disembodied cousins from film, photography and music. This is the disintegration of the oldest serially produced data carrier in terms of form and content.

The medium of enlightenment is losing its message and probably some sense and sensibility along the way. Sooner or later bound piles of printed paper will be available only as luxury items in specialist shops, like vinyl records today. Even the most iron-willed bibliophiles won't be able to get their hands on Gutenberg's legacy in its current from. The collapse of the book industry, much as we mourn it, follows the logic of a long chain of bygone trades, crafts, manufacturing processes and business procedures.

The change is unstoppable, the only moot point is how long it will take to arrive. But we're not talking generations. I mean, who still remembers the typewriter, that so recently so indispensable friend to all typers and texters? Aren't we all witness to how furiously email is turning the screw on the letter. And Wikipedia on the faithful old lexicon?