Here's my biased view of ebooks.
It doesn't seem to me that paper books are going away anytime soon, but I know that I personally have had a huge shift in my preference for electronic versus physical over the last couple of years. I blame the public library, physics, and my iPod. See, I used to buy books that I liked. I even spent a lot of money on them. And then when I started working at a public library, it occurred to me--I can get my hands on nearly any book I can think of within a couple of days, and not have to store it in my home!
Much of the bookbuying stopped. I limited my purchases to reference books and books that were too niche to be available through the library system (in other words, old sf/f and m/m romance.) My groaning bookshelves thanked me! I even managed to shed some titles that I was probably never going to look at again, but was hanging on to "just in case." Yes...hoarders everywhere are nodding their heads in understanding.
Two years ago I set up a home office, and I put a stereo in it. Within hours I realized I hated the stereo. Why? Because compared to iTunes, it was incredibly inconvenient. I didn't want to deal with standing up and putting CDs in a slot. I wanted to push a button and not have to worry about it. I realized I didn't care about discs--I wanted the MP3s, the music, and not the physical items. Then computer issues wiped out my iTunes library, and I decided I'd rather subscribe to a music service than deal with keeping track of an MP3 collection. I wanted the ability to hear the songs--not to own the hunks of plastic (and whatever CDs are made of.)
I've also stopped buying movies. Why? I have Netflix. Who needs 'em?
I love feeling less burdened by physical items. In my opinion, they're just more crap to keep you weighed down. Think about it, if we were always confident that the things we wanted or needed would be at our fingertips without having to store, clean, inventory and hoard them, we'd be so free to come and go as we pleased, experience the things we want to experience, without having to deal with all this physical stuff. I love having my digital library on a mobile device. To me, it represents freedom.
That's my take on it; I'm keen on hearing yours. Come chat with Josh and me at the Samhain Cafe on Thursday, March 11 at 6pm EST.