However! I ask myself (and, by extension, you): will the meaning of the word change over the next couple of years? That is, I wonder whether bibliophiles will become analogous to and as niche as, say, audiophiles.
Everyone listens to music; not everyone is an audiophile. And not everyone who loves music is an audiophile! These are the people who invest a lot in speaker equipment, often prefer analog to digital music, and spend time in small communities of like-minded individuals. They own a lot of stuff on vinyl. They know a lot of jargon that no one outside their subculture understands.
Just as audiophiles comprise their own niche community/market, I wonder whether tomorrow's bibliophiles will read and buy books similarly, what with their "eccentric" attachment to print and the experience of reading a physical book, their willingness to spend a lot of disposable income on rare books, and their predisposition toward (irony of ironies!) spending time on-line talking to people who also prefer to read physical books rather than electronic ones.
Record companies recognize the existence of the audiophile/enthusiast market and continue to release a small number of vinyl albums, regardless of the fact that most people listen to music electronically. Which is exactly the point! Vinyl is not aimed at most people, while electronic music is. I think that over the next couple of years, we'll see the same change in the book market. Most people will read electronically, and bibliophiles will read and supply the niche market for paper books.
This isn't to say that bibliophiles won't read electronically—I expect many will. The distinction I'm trying to get at is that consumers will do what they do best—consume—in the least expensive and least inconvenient way possible, which is to say, electronically. Enthusiasts, aficionados, collectors, connoisseurs—bibliophiles—will buy and read physical books and will maintain physical libraries.
For this reason, mes auteurs, I think there will always be a market for physical books—particularly coffee table books or collector's editions, which don't translate as well to the electronic medium—but that market will surely become much smaller, while the overall market for books will increase. The e-book is the future of publishing; the book buff is the future of the physical book.
What do you think?