The other day I overheard a conversation in which one book-loving acquaintance of mine expressed the opinion that selling e-books amounts to a betrayal of the physical book.
Let me be the first to say: this a bunch of maudlin nonsense.
The book business is precisely that, mes auteurs: a business. Yes, in many instances we're selling art, but I've always been of the opinion that the art of the book is almost always found in its content, not in its form; if a majority of consumers want their books electronically, any publisher or bookseller resisting that change will likely be driven out of business. If it sounds Darwinian, that's because it is. If you're not selling what people want, you're not going to be in business very long.
This isn't at all to say that the physical book is going extinct (though hardcover fiction may, à mon avis, be more or less gone within a few years)—I'm only saying that refusing to cultivate an electronic platform or sell e-books due to the misguided notion that you're somehow betraying an inanimate cultural medium is, well, childish. Books aren't people; they don't have feelings. Those who really love them will buy and sell them in whatever format is available.
The book is very old, cats & kittens, but before we had them we had scrolls and before that we had tablets and before that we had oral traditions. The codex—a book with a cover and pages—hasn't been around forever and it won't be around forever, and the sooner publishers, booksellers, and other industry insiders realize this and not only accommodate but embrace the changes that are revolutionizing the way people read, the better.