Brian and Patrick, let's cool those sophisticated jets...
Back on topic, what Patrick is saying assumes implicitly that the entire game can be continued. What I fear for is the preservation and availability of the book in its simplest and most enabling form, that is, as a book, preferably in libraries and in private hands where it can be lent, donated, resold, etc.
Anything that assumes (worse, that requires) a highly complex form of access and delivery takes away from the universal usability of the book. Then there is the question of preservation, a very important one. Thanks to the nonpreservation efforts of film companies, we lost 3/4 of all silent films. That is not a bad example of what can happen.
I have participated in efforts to digitalize old books and manuscripts, an important task that, however, does not have anything to do with getting rid of books. We can digitalize them precisely because they exist, they have been preserved!
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