I'll admit, I didn't read the entirety of the thread (please forgive me, but it was sixteen pages long when I arrived!) but I WORK in a bookshop, and if the Christmas Armageddon we just had is anything to go by, physically printed books are not going out of style any time soon. Books are a HUGE gift idea for others - because a lot of people still do like to read, because there are still plenty of coffee tables that need a focal point, because there are more kids than you can shake a stick at who still get EXCITED at the idea of a new book and who will spend ages, as long as you'll let them and then some, browsing the shelves and wriggling because they're so thrilled. "Mom, can I get this one" is an oft-repeated refrain.

I myself have a eReader, but that's largely a logistical thing. I don't drive, and I read on the bus. But given the speed at which I read and my tendency towards fickleness in what I read, I used to strike problems all the time. I'd finish the book I brought and have nothing left. Or I wouldn't feel like the book I brought, and have no alternative. My Kindle solves both of those problems without the need to cart 18lbs of book along with me everywhere I go!

On the flip side, I am blessed that I have a mother who knows me and what I am like, and bought me the Kindle as a present. Realistically, there are thousands upon thousands of people out there, especially in this economy, who can far more readily afford the ~$30 it costs to buy a book than they can afford the ~$200 it costs to buy an eReader, no matter how enticingly prices eBooks are after the initial layout. Especially since they can then, if they choose to, sell the book to a second hand dealer, or put it on eBay, or sell it to a friend at a nominal cost, to then recoup some of that cost/gain money toward the next one.

I don't think the physical book is going anywhere, or I wouldn't still have a job.