It seems the future of actually READING books may be in electronic format. The delivery is instant, and you can save money - especially on those books you only want to skim or read once.
While book-reading devices are all-the-rage right now, I'm sure people will soon figure out that they can just as easily read their books on their laptops or phones - which they are already carrying around everywhere, anyway, which eliminates the need to carry one more thing. Environmentalists should be happy, because e-books are paperless.
There will still be a need for "real" books, obviously. Some people, who are already feeling eye strain from staring at a computer screen all day will want to give their eyes a rest. People who value books as "collectible," will continue to want beautiful hard-cover editions of their favorites - as will those who simply use books as decoration (either for interior decorating, or for impressing their friends with their supposed intelligence - ha!).
For those relatively new to the e-Book phenomenon, wanting to check it out, see:
Also see Mashable: 5 E-Book Trends That Will Change the Future of Publishing
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.